The Elkins Salvation Army office is usually a mecca of activity, especially during the Christmas season. Volunteers at that location are busy gathering and bundling Christmas gifts for less fortunate children in the Elkins area.
Families seeking help with children's presents for Christmas may complete an application with the Salvation Army in October or early November. Those who qualify are placed on the Salvation Army's Angel Trees, located this year at Kmart and Walmart. A total of 139 children and 16 teens were placed on the tree for adoption.
Volunteer Lora Hedrick said community members, businesses and organizations adopt the angels. She said she started volunteering for the Salvation Army because of the Angel Tree Project.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Volunteers at the Elkins Salvation Army prepare gifts to deliver from their Angel Tree Tuesday. Dixie Martin, Beverly Hammer and Lora Hedrick bundle presents for the 139 children listed on the trees.
"I called and asked if they needed help and have been here volunteering every since," Hedrick said. "That was four years ago."
"Folks pick an angel from the tree and purchase gifts for the child or teen for Christmas," Hedrick said. "We want to thank the community for their help. If it weren't for the community, these kids would not have a very Merry Christmas."
Hedrick said entire families are sometimes adopted.
"We have a gentleman in Charleston, originally from this area, who adopts a family each year," Hedrick said. "We also have a few local businesses that adopt families, but we could always use more help."
The Salvation Army also issues 60 food certificates for families for Christmas.
This Christmas season, red kettles and bell ringers are collecting for the Salvation Army's good work at Krogers, Walmart and Kmart in Elkins.
"Monies collected at the kettles are used through the year to help those in need," Hedrick said. "We appreciate the generosity of the community giving to our cause."
The Elkins Salvation Army operates a food pantry. It also assists with water, electric and gas bills. Help is also available for medicines and out of town doctor visits. The Salvation Army prepares bags for students at the Elkins Mountain School, personal care items for the Randolph County Homeless Shelter and personal care items for Women's Aid in Crisis.
"During the last storm and power outage, the Salvation Army had a cantina near the fire stations in the area," Hedrick said. "Volunteers served hot dogs, warm coffee and warm cocoa."
The Elkins Salvation Army is open on Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The office is located at 203 Randolph Ave. Additional information is available by calling 304-637-1173.