Salvation Army to usher in holiday season

GRAFTON—Christmas is right around the corner, and one local organization will be hosting a special gathering that will have the sounds of the season filling the air, as a way to help usher in the holiday season.

The Grafton Salvation Army will be hosting an old fashion open air meeting this Saturday, November 13, on the grounds of the International Mother’s Day Shrine, beginning at 11:00 a.m.

“The first sounds of Christmas will be heard during our meeting, to help get residents in the Christmas spirit,” revealed Grafton Salvation Army Captain Denise “Dee” Stewart. “Guests will be treated to many popular holiday songs performed by the Salvation Army National Cap Brass Band.”

During the day, attendees will also hear testimonies of the wonderful workings of the Lord, as well as an uplifting message, devotions and even more music.

“Everyone is welcome to attend,” voiced Stewart. “Let’s make the town of Grafton come alive with the Christmas spirit!”

She noted that while the meeting is being held outdoors in the fresh air, those who wish to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 are encouraged to mask up.

“For those who are not comfortable taking part in the meeting in close proximity to others, we encourage you to park nearby so you can still hear the music, devotions, message and testimonies,” she added. “Come out, be safe, have a great time and help us kick off our Red Kettle Campaign during this fun event!”

Each year, the Salvation Army launches their Red Kettle Campaign, an initiative to collect funds that will be used to help the needy within the community. Before long, residents and guests in the Grafton area will begin seeing the iconic red buckets around town.

Captain Dee shared that the local branch of the army depends solely on the community’s support in order to obtain the funding necessary to operate each year.

“The money collected through the kettles during the holiday season makes up about 90 to 95 percent of our annual budget,” she revealed. “So, that means that we really rely on the community to help us help others.”

Many residents may not be aware, but the funds collected during the annual campaign are not used for just Christmas, but rather all year long to fund various activities.

They shared that the money collected each holiday season during the Red Kettle Campaign is used to supply Thanksgiving meals for less fortunate families, assisting with Christmas and the organization’s other yearly operations including winter relief.

Winter relief is program that provides assistance with utility bills during the colder months, including gas, water and electric bills.

In essence, the Red Kettle Campaign provides the lifeblood of the local branch of the Salvation Army, and the Grafton Salvation Army is still looking for volunteers to help with this year’s campaign.

“This is the perfect opportunity for groups, clubs, organizations or individuals to strengthen their bonds with the community through volunteerism,” Stewart voiced.

According to Stewart, there is no age requirement for bell ringers, as long as children are accompanied by an adult of at least 18 years of age or older.

Those interested in becoming bell ringers may pick up an application at the Grafton Salvation Army, located at 111 Beech Street, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. In addition, they will be offering applications at their Elkins location, at 230 Randolph Avenue, on Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

In addition, those wishing to apply for the position may do so by visiting the Salvation Army of Grafton’s new website, There, individuals may also learn about additional programs aimed at helping those in need.

For more information on the program, or to obtain a list of available dates and times, please call the Salvation Army at 304-265-3565.


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