The Coshocton County Beacon December 31, 2020 - Page 2

2 • The Beacon December 31 , 2020
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Christmas Castle helps almost 400 families

By Marianne Austin
The Salvation Army Christmas Castle had 382 families signed up this year , which means a total of 626 children will have a happy Christmas thanks to the generosity of people in the community .
Maj . Vicki Clark said , “ Coshocton County has been so generous . The Angels group from newborn to 5 years old receive $ 40 each . The kiddos from 6-18 including seniors who graduated in 2020 receive $ 75 . Because of COVID this year , instead of a food basket , families will get a gift card for Walmart or Buehler ’ s — two wonderful organizations partnering with us this year . We want to make sure we take care of families without children too .
One-hundred-eighty-seven of those households got food gift certificates , which helps 200-300 individuals in these families .”
Beginning the day after Thanksgiving , WTNS was The Salvation Army ’ s voice .
“ They raised $ 51,000 ,” Clark said . “ Without them we couldn ’ t have come near that amount . Every day Mike Bechtol was getting the word out on his talk show , and we are still getting donations . The wonderful people in this county understand the value and the importance of this — to help make sure everyone has a wonderful and enjoyable Christmas . People hug us with tears in their eyes and say , ‘ We didn ’ t think we were going to have a Christmas but you helped .’ We ’ re here

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BF-00501051 to keep that spirit of Christmas alive .
“ I ’ m grateful to be serving in my hometown . It ’ s a great honor . There were 123 new families this year who heard about us through flyers and WTNS . This is one of those moments we get to experience the true joy of Christmas .”
Clark distributed the vouchers in front of the shoe department while her husband , Maj . Tom Clark , and volunteer Antonia Rettos helped people check out at the register Friday evening .
“ I get to see them when they ’ re fresh and excited , and he gets to see them when they ’ re finished shopping and worn out ,” she said .
Rettos said this is her first time to volunteer at the regis- ter , but it ’ s fun and fast paced .
She enjoys being a part of helping children and working with Vicki and Tom Clark .
To reach the Beacon Staff directly ...
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740-622-0244 ext . 7701
Marianne Austin
Miles Griffiths picks out some new shoes with a little help from his grandmother , Juanita Griffiths .
Shelby Theatres
“ They ’ re great people ,” she said .
Tom Clark was ready at the checkout with a cart full of warm socks in case the total was off and they needed a small purchase to balance the total amount .
“ Sometimes they don ’ t read the tag right or realize this is tax exempt , and some pass the extra on to someone else ,” he said . “ There is very good cooperation and appreciation from families . Some of the teens like looking through the clearance rack to get twice as much and stretch their allotment . It ’ s a financial decision . It ’ s exciting . A lot of the kids have never been able to pick out $ 75 worth of anything .”
Juanita and Jeff Griffiths are raising their grandson Miles . Juanita Griffiths was a nurse for 15 years and an ordained minister in The Salvation Army as a social worker / case manager working in the Northeast United States . Eventually , she returned to Coshocton because it was home . She has
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