“Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5-7 (NKJV)
Glorify God Together. Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.
Each year, I am amazed by the power of “unity” found here in Pickens County. The common concerns we share together make us a community. I believe our common ground is that we care for each other.
In my position at The Salvation Army, I am privileged to see Pickens County neighbors stepping up and making a difference for others during the Christmas season. This happens as individuals and groups get involved and work for the benefit of someone else. Love your neighbor really means something ‘round here!
This past Christmas season, we found ourselves in the midst of a pandemic, a Presidential election and social unrest. I have to be honest: I was not sure how we’d pull off our Christmas programs this year. The need was there, even stronger with the current crises, but I was unsure about our community response. We were fearful, and sometimes, fear makes us hold still.
But I didn’t need to worry. Pickens County residents responded with an increased support and commitment to our Angel Tree Christmas Assistance Program and our Red Kettle fundraising campaign.
Our 2020 Angel Tree Program safely distributed 4,550 toys to 350 Pickens County children. This represents 150 Pickens County families served. These new toys were donated, packed, organized and distributed completely by volunteer donors and volunteer workers at our Christmas Center.
Our 2020 Red Kettle Campaign produced a 12.85% increase over 2019 in gross income donations received. Pickens County shoppers gave a total of $94,699.13 at the Red Kettles. These funds will maintain services throughout the 2021 year, including homelessness prevention (rent and utility assistance), food assistance, clothing assistance, job readiness and mentorship support.
How were we able to assist these children and raise support for these programs in the midst of a pandemic?
This is how: because of individuals and groups who volunteered and donated for a common cause. See our 2020 Christmas partners below:
ANGEL TREE CHRISTMAS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
- Host Site for Christmas Center: 5 Point Church in Easley
- Angel Tree Donation Locations: 5 Point Church in Easley, YMCA (Pickens & Easley) and Walmart (Easley, Pickens & Central)
- Donated Toys and Supplies: 5 Point Church in Easley, Toys for Tots (USMC) in Pickens, Petco (Easley) and United Way of Pickens County
- Food Drive: Foothills Child Development Center (Easley)
- Group Angel Adoptions: Pickens High School Beta Club, Toyota of Easley, 5 Point Church, 412 Ministries (Clemson), Verizon Wireless (Easley)
- Christmas Center Volunteers: Homeschool/American Heritage Girls, Domino’s Pizza (Liberty), C&C Exterminators (Liberty), 5 Point Church, 35 Individuals (271 Hours)
RED KETTLE DONATION CAMPAIGN
- Red Kettle Donation Sites: Walmart (Easley, Pickens & Central), Belk in Easley, Hobby Lobby in Easley, Sam’s Club in Easley, Ingles (Easley & Pickens)
- Groups of Volunteers for All Day Red Kettle Ringing: Easley Fire Department, Easley Combined Utilities, Freedom Biker Church in Pickens, Rock Springs Baptist Church in Easley, Trinity Point Church in Easley, Rotary Club of Easley, Easley High School Clubs, Jack and Jill of America in Greenville, Smithfield’s Golf Group in Easley and Easley Presbyterian Church
- Individual Volunteers for Red Kettle Ringing: 119 Individuals completing 280 hours
- Red Kettle Finance Administration: Pinnacle Bank (Easley), 5 volunteers (106 hours)
Thank you to all the groups, individuals, businesses, churches, civic organizations and others who came together and assisted our mission this past Christmas season. Because of your continued support, we can uphold our commitment to serve our Pickens County neighbors. What a testimony to the power we create when we share a common goal! Together, we can love our neighbors. To God be the glory.
Jim Abbott, Service Center Director
The Salvation Army of Pickens County