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MARQUETTE — In honor of National Salvation Army Week two U.P. politicians toured the Marquette County facility to learn more about what the Salvation Army does for residents of our area.
The Salvation Army came to the United States in 1880 and since 1889 the Salvation Army of Marquette County has been serving residents of the area, year round. Now, nearly 400 families are served each month at the Marquette County location.
“People don’t understand the whole extent of the operations that we have here. Whether it’s our food pantry, our lunch time feeding program, Monday through Friday everyday…another major thing that we do is some of the case work; being able to meet with families on an individual basis and help them move from here to here, wherever those goals are.”
Additionally the Salvation Army of Marquette County participates in the toy drive each year around the holidays. This allows families in need to still have presents for their kids. Also around Christmas time is the bell-ringing as a part of the Red Kettle Campaign. The Salvation Army of Marquette County also has an emergency disaster vehicle that allows volunteers to go to house fires, natural disasters, and the like in order to provide food and beverages to those who need it.
“It’s on call for the fire departments or any of the emergency services in our county, able to serve up just beverages, warm coffee during the winter Gatorade during the summer, but also a full meal if we need to,” explains Captain Winters.
State Representative Sara Cambensy and former State Senator Tom Casperson, representing Senator Ed McBroom today, toured the Marquette Salvation Army location.
“In Michigan over 25 percent of the people are on some sort of assistance, some program and in the U.P. that number jumps up to 40 percent. So just knowing how busy they are, knowing the types of services they provide…I think it’s a wonderful thing,” says Rep. Cambensy.
The Salvation Army is always in need of food, monetary, and clothing donations but what they need more than ever, especially at this time of year, is volunteers.
“Right now, after the U.S. Postal Service food drive, we’ve got bins and bins of canned goods we need to separate those by date, by the type of food and store those away in our shelves so we can use them effectively in our food pantries,” says Captain Winters.
If you are interested in volunteering with the Salvation Army of Marquette County call (906) 226-2241 or stop by anytime this week from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at 1009 W Baraga Avenue in Marquette.
Donations are also accepted.