"I do worry that there won’t be enough food to go around with all the joblessness and the homelessness. We’ve seen a lot of newly homeless here in the last couple months, and that’s unusual for us.” Edith Crews has overseen The Salvation Army’s thrift store, food pantry, and family shelter in Frankfort, Indiana for many years. Operating during a year-long pandemic has meant that she and her team of volunteers have had to get creative in order to continue meeting the needs of their community. In addition to those who lost their homes as a result of the COVID-19 shutdowns, Edith has seen increased need in every corner of her county.
“We’re seeing a lot of the younger generation that have lost their jobs where places were closed,” Edith explains. “Several restaurants have totally gone out of business. Our KFC closed. We were getting food from them every Monday morning and now they’re totally closed down.”
Many local residents have been unable to get to The Salvation Army for help, so Edith rolled out a plan to use volunteers to deliver food to homes across the county. Wearing masks and gloves, the volunteers make porch deliveries to clients, spending a few extra minutes to visit from yards and check in on people who are otherwise cut off from the world. Volunteers have also delivered donated candy to seniors at the county home and to first responders working long hours.
This fall, Edith helped to introduce The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program to Clinton County residents. She was able to identify fifteen children from struggling families that could not afford Christmas gifts. Working with individual donors and toys donated by the public, each of these “Angels” found special gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. For the parents, the gifts were a blessing that allowed them to celebrate joyfully as a family, in spite of all they were going through.
One such family included a single mother who'd recently lost her home. “We have a client who comes into the food pantry on occasion who had just fallen on some hard times and lost her job,” recalls Edith. “She and her two children were living with her parents, so some of our volunteers took over Christmas gifts and a food basket. That was a really good outcome.”
Because of gracious donors and supporters like you, The Salvation Army is able to continue delivering hope to our neighbors during these challenging times. Thank you for sharing your blessings and making these ministries possible.