The Starkville Rotary Club heard from an involved local charity Monday, with a talk from Salvation Army Service Center Manager Katie Walker.
In her position, Walker works from the organization’s Starkville service center located at 407 Industrial Park Rd.
The center serves as the Salvation Army’s presence in Oktibbeha, Winston, Webster, Choctaw, Attala and Leake counties. It offers food and utility aid to families in need, and also offers a thrift store.
“The Salvation Army has been in Starkville since about 1984-1985, and in 1994 became its own service center,” Walker said. “For over 30 years the Salvation Army has been here in Oktibbeha County. We, as the Salvation Army provide services to individuals and family within the community who have experienced some sort of an emergency situation.”
She said the emergencies ranged from the loss of a job, to unforeseen medical crises and house fires.
She said on average, between eight and 10 families per month receive food assistance, and between three and four receive utilities assistance. The Angel Tree was able to assist approximately 109 children from 55 families.
“Food is probably the top request that we get,” Walker said. “In the summer months, when their job is not open, or in winter when it’s really cold, we see an uptick in the utilities assistance.”
She said last year, the community provided 11,000 toys and 5,400 clothing items for those in need.
The Salvation Army was founded in London by minister William Booth. Today, the organization is present on all continents but Antarctica, and in more than 130 countries. Most of the donations made to the Salvation Army stay local in their respective communities.
For more on this story, read Tuesday's Starkville Daily News.