The Mettowee Valley Ecumenical Council constantly tries to find new ways to help the less fortunate in the Granville area and with this holiday season a new way to assist the needy will arrive.
The council plans to partner with the Salvation Army to set up a Salvation Army Service Unit in Granville, Rev. Jim Peterson said and bells will be ringing in Granville soon.
The pastor of Granville Baptist Church said the effort is hoping the people of Granville will dig deep especially when they see those signature red donation kettles.
“The Ecumenical Council is looking forward to being able to help the needy families in Granville with resources which have not previously been available, but now will be, if the public gives generously to the bell-ringers at the Salvation Army red kettles in front of the Granville Price Chopper,” Peterson said.
“The idea is to do maybe what the food pantry can’t do and provide vouchers for fresh meat and vegetables and other things the pantry might not do a lot of and maybe people can’t use food stamps for,” Peterson said.
Those willing to be bell-ringers should contact Rev. Peterson or to Rev. Jerry McKinney to volunteer. Bell-ringers are asked to be able to provide at least an hour of their time, or more, if they choose.
Peterson said the new organization will soon begin taking applications from those in need to assistance with everything from food, utilities and heat, gasoline, medicines and medical supplies.
Once the applications have been approved by the committee, vouchers will be issued to assist the people who have severe needs, Peterson said.
The funding for this aid will come from 90 percent of the money collected by bell-ringers using Salvation Army red kettles, which will be set up outside of the Granville Price Chopper at certain hours during the six weeks before Christmas.
The hours for the Bell-Ringers will tentatively be Thursdays and Fridays from 5-9 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
After the Granville service unit gets organized, its leaders would like to reach out to people in the surrounding communities, Peterson said. Vermont residents will be referred to Service Units in Vermont.
The Ecumenical Council would like to have more people serving on the service unit committee as well as another group Peterson and McKinney have conceived. Peterson said they ecumenical council would like to have representatives from all the various groups, service and civic organizations in Granville being on an advisory committee to assist the service unit in setting priorities and procedures.
“There is no sort of central clearing house for all of these groups in Granville,” Peterson said. The idea of the group would be to coordinate fundraisers and efforts to help prevent organizations, likely raising funds for the same cause, from competing against each other or help pool resources, but that will have to wait until after the busy holiday season.
For more information, call Rev. Peterson 642-2245, or Rev. McKinney 642-9039.