COLUMBIA CITY — With doughnuts to share, the Salvation Army of Whitley County celebrated 75 years of service with an open house. Members of the community were invited to visit the new location that is now inside First Church of God off DePoy Dr in Columbia City.
The organization has grown in support and in its effort to extend a helping hand to those in need. But there are still residents of Whitley County who are not aware of the Salvation Army’s willingness to serve them.
“We’ve been here 75 years and it seems we still find people who don’t know we are here to help,” said Pat Mossburg, the Community Ministries Specialist for the Salvation Army of Whitley County.
When asked what message she would like to send to those who might need the organization, Mossburg said, “I would just like to tell them that we are here and we want to help. There are so many services we offer, from the hygiene pantry to rental assistance and seasonal assistance around Christmas time.”
Among the most popular services offered is “Tools for School” where shoe vouchers are given to help children in grades kindergarten to 12th grade receive new shoes for school.
Mossburg explained that people adopt a kid for $15 and then Mossburg gives out vouchers to be used at Shoe Show here in Columbia City. The child can then pick out their own shoes. Mossburg said that she usually has to turn kids away and there are about 300 kids that receive vouchers.
The “Tools for School” program also helps with school supplies by collecting items from retailers, churches and other organizations.
Mossburg said, “It is important that the community recognizes that what we do stays in our community. When we collect school supplies, those items go back to students right here in Whitley County.”
Another unique way the army helps others is by a service called “Angel Clippers.”
May 19th the organization will be collecting hygiene items in front of Goody’s off of Countryside Dr. in Columbia City. The retail establishment will be holding a storewide sale in conjunction with the hygiene drive. In exchange for a hygiene item the donor will receive a ticket worth an additional 20 percent off the sale price of one item.
Donations will be accepted at the store from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. although the store itself will be open until 9 p.m. that Saturday.
For those who are interested in seeking help from the Salvation Army, Mossburg said that there is no need to wait for one specific event.
“Anyone can come during our office hours and I will try to help in any way I can.”
The Salvation Army of Whitley County is open Monday to Thursday from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. To contact the office by phone, call 248-1711 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Pat Mossburg and some of her volunteers gather around doughnuts donated by Dunkin Doughnuts in order to celebrate the new location of the Salvation Army of Whitley County and its 75 years of service to the community.