"Meet needs, heal hurts, change lives." That is the mission statement of The Salvation Army. Sunday, the Tiffin citadel hosted a community thank-you for the volunteers and donors who helped carry out that mission during the 2013 holidays.
Captains P.B. Stetzer and his wife, Becky, spoke about gratitude during the worship service, treated volunteers to lunch and handed out certificates to those in attendance. The Stetzers recognized volunteers who manned the red kettles, marched in the Christmas parade unit, sorted food donations, assembled holiday baskets and other activities.
"We had many people working in many ways to help us do what we do," Stetzer said.
He credited the efforts of kettle coordinator Lawarran Duke, who scheduled volunteers for all the kettle stands. Some of the helpers worked a shift every day or stood for many hours in the cold. Stetzer specifically praised Mary Rohe for holding down the kettle at Big Lots and Mark Yeakle for the "icicles on his mustache" while
on duty outdoors at the Walmart entrance.
Other kettle locations included Kroger, Ace Hardware, The Ritz Theatre (two nights), IGA, and two stores hosting kettles for the first time, J.C. Penney and Rural King. Smaller "counter kettles" were set up at GW's, the Party Store, Reino's, St. Joseph Credit Union, Tiffin Bake Shop and Varsity Barber. Kroger was the site responsible for the highest amount collected - more than $16,000.
The Stetzers reminded those gathered their goal for 2013 was $35,000. When all the contributions were counted, The Salvation Army realized $39,166, an increase from the $32,000 collected in 2012.
"We helped hundreds of families," Becky Stetzer told the crowd. "There's no way we could touch that many lives without a lot of people. Thank you very much."
The current community project is the "From the Heart" Food Drive going on through Feb. 14. All collected items will remain in the Tiffin community and will be divided among The Salvation Army, FISH of Tiffin and Morrison House. Cash donations also are welcome.
More information is available by calling Christine at (419) 448-4357 or by dropping off items at 201 S. Washington St.