Service unit looks to expand into Whitehall, Hampton

 

The organizers of a very successful charitable endeavor held last year in Granville are hoping to branch out into the surrounding communities.

Reverend Jim Peterson, the pastor at the Granville Baptist Church and the First Baptist Church of Whitehall, said the Granville Service Unit of the Salvation Army is hoping to extend its reach beyond Granville and into the surrounding communities.

“We would like to expand to local areas around Granville that don’t have their own service units,” Peterson said.

He envisions expanding the scope of the Granville Service Unit to help needy people in Hampton, Whitehall, Hartford, Hebron and Salem and would like to find representatives from each of those communities who would like to serve on a committee, as well as identify or develop sources of income that would be used to support the organization.

Peterson said the service units could be used to supplement other charitable organizations.

Last fall, the local field representative of the Salvation Army, asked the leaders of Granville churches if they would be interested in forming a service unit in Granville.

Local pastors organized a group, found a team of volunteers and held a Red Kettle coin drop outside the Granville Price Chopper.

They collected approximately $5,000 for the Salvation Army. 90 percent of those funds stayed in Granville and was used to help local people with essentials, such as rent, utility bills, medicine, and food.

The success of that first season has Peterson and the group looking into possibility of having bell ringers at businesses in other towns.

“The major fundraising effort would occur five or six weeks before Christmas,” Peterson said.

He also suggested getting permission from business owners to put mini kettles near cash registers throughout the year.

He said there are several ways people can help.

One is to serve on the committee, which meets three or four times a year. The committee would be charged with organizing fundraising efforts and help with recruiting volunteers.

People could also solicit permission from local business owners to allow bell ringers to set up outside their businesses or volunteer to be a bell ringer at one of the events themselves.

Anyone who is interested in helping is encouraged to contact Peterson at 642-2245.

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