Ohio Masonic Home $25K gift helps Springfield Salvation Army fulfill increasing need

The Springfield Salvation Army received a $25,000 donation to assist in providing Christmas to over 3,000 children in need.

Clark County families signed up at the end of October to be adopted this Christmas through the Springfield Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. Their kids’ names, genders, ages, sizes and toy wishes were printed on angels and distributed to various locations.

Almost 40 percent of the 3,000 children in need are new to the Springfield Salvation Army, Ryan Ray, the development director of the Springfield Salvation Army said.

The nonprofit realized last week that 600 angel tree tags were unclaimed.

Ray told the News-Sun when they saw that number they were worried, anxious and stressed - similar to how they felt when they first saw the number of children in need.

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Scott Buchanan, CEO of the Ohio Masonic Home said they became aware of the need and decided to make a sizable donation to make sure every child has something on Christmas morning.

“We didn’t want anyone to go without,” Buchanan said.

Ray said the Ohio Masonic Home’s donation in conjunction with the Ohio Masonic Home Foundation and Springfield Masonic Community will fulfill at least half of the unclaimed angel tree tags.

“When you’re talking about Christmas this year, it means so much more than it has ever meant,” Ray said. “It’s an expression of love, it’s a statement to the kids that your community is going to take care of you, you matter to us, we love you.”

“With everything that has gone on we see it in our own homes with our own families. We don’t get to visit our parents, grandparents, our children’s lives with the schools have been turned upside down, so there’s no normalcy really,” Buchanan said. “This hopefully creates a little bit of normalcy in a time that is unprecedent to some extent.”

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Each child in the program will receive two new toys, stocking stuffers, new clothes and stuffed animals when appropriate as part of the program, Ray said.

The Ohio Masonic Home has partnered with the Springfield Salvation Army for many years, Ray said.

“We wanted to make sure they (Clark County children) have an enjoyable Christmas and some hope going into 2021,” Buchanan said.

He added, “We’re all here to take care of each other at the end of the day and that’s what we are about.”

The Springfield Salvation Army is still in need of volunteers to help organize the toy shop, Ray said. Volunteers can stop by the Mercantile Building at the Clark County Fairgrounds, 4401 S. Charleston Pike in Springfield, anytime between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Toy distribution will begin Dec. 17.

For more information, call the Springfield Salvation Army at 937-322-3434.

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