Salvation Army is more than ringing bells outside stores

This is one in the 12 Days of Christmas series with The Salvation Army of North Central West Virginia. Articles run daily in The Dominion Post through Dec. 24.

The red shield logo, the red kettles and the phrase “Doing the most good” are well-known symbols of The Salvation Army.

They are recognizable and familiar to people throughout the world who know that The Salvation Army does good work, but not many know the extent of the work that is done in their own communities.

The charity is mostly known for the public programs of bell-ringing, thrift stores and the Angel Tree, but there is so much more that happens throughout the rest of the year beyond these programs. They are all funded by the donations collected through the kettles over a few weeks of the Christmas season.

The Salvation Army has an emergency assistance program that helps families make ends meet through a food pantry as well as rent and utility assistance. Even further, The Salvation Army provides hygiene and toiletry items, Christmas and Thanksgiving meals, back-to-school items and coats to any local family who demonstrates a true need for these items.

Most notably, the Morgantown Corps is home to the only hot feeding program in Monongalia County. From 4-5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, The Salvation Army invites all county residents to stop in for a free hot meal. There are no forms to fill out, no questions asked and nothing expected in return for folks to take advantage of this free meal program.

“We have homeless folks who join us throughout the year, but we also have families who otherwise wouldn’t know where their evening meal would come from. We have working adults that come in between jobs to catch a quick bite to eat and we have senior citizens who live on limited incomes that can’t afford food and medications,” said Lt. Nicole Greenland, commanding corps officer of the Morgantown Salvation Army Corps, “Anyone and everyone is welcome to come eat here.”

Lt. Sheldon Greenland, Morgantown’s Corps commanding officer, reported over 36,000 meals were served last year, and it looks as though they will surpass that number this year.

“It is amazing to me that so many families are truly experiencing food insecurity in 2019,” said Greenland. “We are honored to be able to meet this need day after day to ensure that no Monongalia County family goes to bed hungry at night.”

For more information about the many different programs The Salvation Army supports, visit or stop by the Corps location on University Avenue.