(By Timberly Ferree) [Order this photo]
Lori Kahl, chairperson for the local service extension unit, explained, "We have been here since May 2010, but some people still have no idea we're here."
The local extension unit is tucked into a small corner of the Son Shine Shop's building -- located at 14 N. Washington St. in Worthington.
A volunteer representative is available to assist clients at the location on Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to noon and on Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
"We may eventually add more hours," Kahl noted.
The local unit is also seeking volunteers to assist clients, added Cindy Chudy, a volunteer who also serves on the board.
The local extension unit has no paid positions, Kahl noted.
Assistance through the Salvation Army is offered for rent, utilities, groceries and clothing allowances. Allotments are $50, she added. But, you must meet certain criteria.
"You can only get help twice a year and we prefer to do it six months apart," Kahl explained.
Rent assistance is offered to those who have a note from their landlord and aren't facing eviction as well as have a valid driver's license with the proper address, she said.
The GC Salvation Army relies on its bell-ringing campaign for the majority of its yearly budget.
"We base our budget on that. Last year was the highest -- with the exception of 2009. We raised $12,500 (in 2010)," Kahl said, adding in 2009 a grant helped raised the total budget amount.
"This (2010 bell-ringing campaign) was good, but I was fighting to get volunteers," she explained.
Chudy was recently honored as the Volunteer of the Year as well as Bellringer of the Year. She sometimes spent 12-hour shifts ringing and braving the cold.
Terri Gilley of Bloomfield and Ben Inman of Switz City also volunteered as bell ringers during the past campaign. Gilley has been a volunteer for the past two years.
Several volunteer organizations and groups also helped out with the recent season.
Both ladies agreed that volunteering with the Salvation Army has been a learning experience.
"People are friendly and caring," Kahl said. "We appreciate their giving because this allows us to meet the needs of the community."
Look for the local extension to take part in the 2011 Salvation Army summer camp by sending one or possibly more local children to the annual retreat.
"Kids go for a week for free if they go through the Salvation Army. If they apply themselves it is $400," Kahl added.
Look for the local unit to partake in Christmas in July this summer.
"We'll be ringing at the Bloomfield IGA and Linton Save-A-Lot. We'll ring for at least one weekend," Kahl added.
Proceeds from the shorter bell ringing campaign will help support the "Tools for School" project as well as the budget.
"In July, we'll order the 'Tools for School' and the Son Shine Shop will put them in backpacks that they purchased," she explained.
Although the Greene County Salvation Army is doing well, things could always be better and increasing its volunteer base would be of great help.
"We need volunteers," Kahl said.
Chudy agreed and added, "Big time."