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New location for Connellsville/Scottdale Salvation Army lauded

Marilyn Forbes | For the Daily Courier
Already at $10,000, the Connellsville/Scottdale Salvation Army is starting on its goal of $40,000, which would cover the services for both municipalities. From left are: Scottdale kettle Chairwoman Maria Nascimben, volunteer Bonnie Henry, volunteer Pat Walker, Christmas Chairwoman Doris Rizza, volunteer and advisory board member Marsha Mazer and Connellsville/Scottdale Salvation Army Director Mary McKnight.

Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, 7:09 a.m.

The Connellsville/Scottdale Salvation Army has marked its first anniversary at its new location.

“We just wanted people to see that we are still here, open, alive and well,” Director Mary McKnight said. “We wanted to get the word out that we only moved to a new location.”

The unit has been at 300 W. Crawford Ave. in Connellsville for one year.

McKnight said the unit moved from the Connellsville Community Center when rent became too high.

“So many people from the area thought that we left town or that we just weren't here anymore,” McKnight said.

Since the Scottdale branch of the Salvation Army was experiencing problems finding enough volunteer help to continue to operate from that office, both sites were combined.

McKnight would like to find more ways to reach out to the residents of the Scottdale area.

“The majority of the people that we see are from the Connellsville area,” McKnight said. “We need to try to inform the Scottdale people more and try to involve those people more. I am always looking for ways to try to get the word out.”

The Salvation Army is involved with many projects including Project Bundle Up, kettle collection, Fill the Truck with Toys, Operation Santa Claus, summer camp aid and participation in the Connellsville Community Yard Sale.

The Salvation Army still operates as a service center to help those in need of assistance with utilities and other social services, it no longer operates a soup kitchen.

“We would get phone calls about what we were serving for lunch,” McKnight said. “That was what the people were interested in and the program just wasn't working the way that it was supposed to work.”

McKnight said the organization has a very good working relationship with other organizations such as St. Vincent de Paul and Connellsville Community Ministries.

“We try not to offer duplicate services,” McKnight said.

McKnight said the local unit has a solid group of volunteers.

With the holidays coming, McKnight said the organization will be in need of ringers to man the red kettles that will start to appear in the area around the Thanksgiving holiday.

“We are really in need of ringers,” McKnight said. “We need ringers in Connellsville and in Scottdale.”

Money raised from the kettles will go toward the annual budget that is used to run the unit.

“We don't get funding,” McKnight said. This year's goal is $40,000, which would cover the services for both towns.

“We need all the help and support that we can get from the community.”

The organization also has a Fill the Truck campaign coming in December for toy collection.

For information on the Connellsville/Scottdale Salvation Army services or to volunteer to help with Christmas bell ringing or toy collection, contact the office at 724-628-2010.

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.

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