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Salvation Army opens new Connellsville office

| Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

The Salvation Army will officially open its new office in Connellsville, serving the Connellsville and Scottdale areas, on Monday at 300 W. Crawford Ave.

Along with the offices, the unit will have a new part-time director.

Fran Brace, development director of the Salvation Army of Western Pennsylvania, said they are happy to have Mary McKnight of Scottdale take on the job.

McKnight said she got involved with the Salvation Army eight years ago when she became a volunteer at the service unit in Scottdale.

“I volunteered for awhile before I got a part-time job at the unit in Masontown,” she said. “I was there for about 18 months before I got a full-time job in Greensburg that I held for about six years.”

After that stint, McKnight was away from the Salvation Army for a few years, but when she heard about the opening in the Connellsville/Scottdale area, she decided to apply.

“I like working with people, and I'm very excited about the opportunity,” she said.

“I hope we can raise the bar for the unit.”

Brace said the unit will not just be for the Connellsville area anymore. Instead it will be a unit that combines the needs of those in Scottdale, too.

She added that Scottdale had just a few volunteers working out of a local church, and there were no official hours of operation — instead, it was by appointment only.

In Connellsville, the former director retired, so something needed done there as well.

“We no longer have a feeding program at Connellsville, but we will still focus on Project Bundle Up and organizing the different kettle drives,” Brace said. “Maybe we can look to partner with a church to continue the feeding program.”

She added that one of McKnight's jobs will be to begin building an advisory board.

“We'd make sure we have an equal number of representatives from both communities,” Brace said. “Combining the two offices is a great way to accomplish what we needed to, while making sure people are being helped in the community.”

McKnight will put in 29 hours a week on the job.

“It is sad to see the food program close at this point, but only God knows what the future holds,” she said.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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