I would love to encourage people to donate to The Tiffin-Seneca United Way to help the many agencies they support. The Salvation Army is one of the many agencies the United Way assists to help the people in our community of Tiffin and Seneca County. The following are some of the ways The Salvation Army of Tiffin/Seneca County uses the United Way dollars:
(1) Seasonal assistance: We provide extensive Christmas assistance to needy families. Last year, we provided 410 children with winter clothing and toys. In addition, we provided 288 families with Christmas food baskets consisting of everything necessary for a complete Christmas dinner. Due to the rough economy, we count on an increase of our services this Christmas.
(2) Emergency assistance: This include with electric and gas bills, assistance with medical prescriptions, emergency shelter and emergency transportation. We also provide clothing and occasionally furniture and appliances. In addition, we operate a food pantry that is open daily.
We have seen about 25 percent more people coming for assistance in all of these areas of assistance. It is harder now than ever to make ends meet, and we stand to give a hand up to help others.
(3) Feeding program: We serve free hot lunches three days (Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday) per week on a walk-in basis for all who are need of a warm meal. During 2008, this amounted to 12,174 meals. We anticipate even a greater need of people coming for a warm, so they can tighten their budget.
(4) Nursing home visitation: The nursing home visitation program is our visitation program for the sick and shut ins. Although we make hospital and home visits to the sick and infirm upon request, the vast majority of our work in this program is to Seneca County's five nursing homes. We visit two of the five homes on a monthly basis and all five at Easter and Christmas. We make an attempt to talk to and cheer the day of each resident during each visit. We also give each resident a small gift during Easter and Christmas visits. During 2008, we visited 507 nursing home residents.
We would love to share some of the stories of how The Salvation Army in Tiffin impacts the lives of people in our own community here:
There was a lady who was referred to us by another agency in the community. This lady was affected by a flood in her home. She had lost everything. She was staying at Tiffin Motel. She was devastated and needed someone to talk to her to assure her that her situation would get better. She also was in need of some clothing. The Salvation Army was able to provide her with clothing as well as a listening ear. She was a lady whom some would not have talked to because at times she was difficult. The Salvation Army was able to meet her need.
There was another lady who had come into one of our community meetings. She was depressed over just losing a grandchild. She was depressed and needed help getting to the next step. The Salvation Army was able to give her assistance and talk with her and help her. She then got involved in our soup kitchen. Volunteering at the soup kitchen gave her a way out so she could think positively. She now is involved in other programs The Salvation Army provides.
Our youth and adult programs are a safe haven for the children and the adults in the community. We intend to give encouragement and moral support. We help the children and the adults to be better citizens in the community. Without these programs, there would be an increase problem in our community.
There is a family of a single mom and two children. The mom was looking for a program for her kids to go to to have some fun and learn at the same time. These two children now are involved in all the programs we offer for their age group. They recently were in an accident and The Salvation Army was able to give the family moral support. The mom has, on occasion, come to some of the programs that her children are involved in. Without these programs, The Salvation Army would not know where these children would be today. The Salvation Army helped them with skills that are needed, for example socialization skills and speech skills.
There was a family that was a part of our programs and they moved away for a little while. With the help of our clothing drive, we were able to reconnect with this family. The children had enjoyed the programs so much, they wanted to come back to them. The excitement in their eyes just showed how much The Salvation Army had influenced them enough to come back to the programs that are provided. These children all come to the programs The Salvation Army provides for their age group.
These are just a few of the services and stories The Salvation Army in Tiffin provided to meet the needs of our community. We endeavor to continue to service and give a hand up in this community. God has commanded the Salvation Army to proclaim his word and to meet the needs of this community.
We do deeply appreciate the funding we receive from United Way. Some of these services would be limited or nonexistent if we did not receive the funds from United Way. We encourage you to support United Way; it takes all of us to pull together. We need to pull together more than ever this year to fulfill the needs in our community. Please consider donating something to make a difference. This is how we live United.
May God continue to bless you richly!