Marion County Folks Open Hearts, Wallets Over Holidays

Bob Palmer, Jimplecute Editor, volunteers as a bellringer for the Salvation Army outside Brookshire’s to encourage donations.

Local residents showed up large when it came to charitable giving in December, according to leaders of some of the assistance groups. “We received a little over $2,500,” Jim Finstrom who heads up the Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign said. “Last year we only received $1,700.

Finstrom said the increase was appreciated. “We were pleased,” Finstrom said. Finstrom noted “there is always a need.” Persons can still donate to the Salvation Army by dropping off a check at Citizens National Bank. “The money is administered locally,” Finstrom said. “It’s a well run program.”

Local residents also raised almost $12,000 to help rescue and care for many of the dogs found suffering in abusive conditions at the Humane Society of Marion County shelter. Donations can still be made by contacting the Friends of Jefferson Animals or the Marshall Animal Hospital. This Saturday, you can also visit PetSense in Marshall from 10 am – 2 pm for an adoption event.

Adoption fees are waived for the Marion County dogs, but donations are appreciated. Blessings of Grace food pantry continues to serve hundreds of Marion County residents each month. “We prepare 103 backpacks a week for needy kids on school lunch programs,” Elizabeth Opeila said.

“There is a real need for donations. We want to make sure those kids have something to eat on weekends.” The volunteers also administer the food pantry which benefited from donations by local children.

“We had some donations from Brookshires that amounted to about 400 pounds of food,” Opeila said. “The Primary School did a collection. They brought in 670 pounds of canned goods. The Girl Scouts collected about 100 pounds of food.” Most of the food was put into bags given in December.

“It’s gone back into the community,” Opeila said. The pantry serves about 125 to 150 people per month. “On produce days (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) we serve 16 to 40 people or about 400 people a month,” Opeila explained. The amount of produce that is available depends on what the pantry receives from Kroger and Walmart. “It’s free to anyone who wants to come and wait in line at 8:30 A.M. in the morning,” Opelia said.


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