The Greater Derry Salvation Army is looking to win the good-natured Kettle Blitz donation competition administered by the Salvation Army Northern New England Division on December 14. Lieutenant Katie Mayes reports they will win an extra 1,500 dollars if they come out on top this year. Their fundraising goal to continue operating the same programs as last year and make improvements to their building is to raise 175,000 dollars.
Carolers, instrumentalists and bell ringers are needed to work throughout the day of the Kettle Blitz at various locations. Call 603-434-7790 to sign up.
The money raised goes right back into our community. The Salvation Army in Derry serves as chaplain for the Derry Fire Department and assists local emergency and disaster victims in need. 40 families each week are served by their food pantry, area children were served 1,600 lunches over the past summer and the church runs after school programs for young children and teens as well as provides opportunities for children to attend camp in the summer.
Angel Tags were distributed at the Derry Public Library, Hannaford Supermarkets, The Grind Rail Trail Café in Derry and the 99 Restaurant. People were invited to take an Angel Tag, purchase a gift or clothing for a needy child and drop it off at the Salvation Army headquarters. The deadline to drop off gifts and tags is December 8. The Derry Rotary has been involved in this project too, with a special emphasis on ensuring no child on the list is overlooked.
Also on December 8, a ribbon cutting will be held at noon to celebrate the purchase of the building they currently reside in. For the last 16 years, they had rented the building at 18 Folsom Road in Derry. The construction of exit 4A may affect the building but exactly how is not known at this time because the precise route of the new exit off Interstate 93 has not yet been officially selected.
There will be a building dedication ceremony in the spring as well. Lieutenant Mayes listed the goals for the upcoming year include renovations to their kitchen area, so they can better serve the community and expand their children’s programs. They would also like to improve the handicap accessibility of the building, make improvements to the basement pantry area and expand their mission to include serving hot meals during the entire year.
Barry Hall of Derry is a volunteer bell ringer at the Derry Walmart during the holiday season. When asked what inspired him to help the Salvation Army, he shared that in the past his own little boy was helped by the Salvation Army. He now wants to help them continue to help people in his community now that he can. In addition to bell ringing, he has used his skills as an auto mechanic to do repairs for those in need through the church.