Students spend morning volunteering at Salvation Army
by James Phillips
Apr 14, 2011 | 2647 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Maddox students, from left, Kourtni Douglas, Kirsten McGraw, Madeleine West and Olivia Williams and counselor Denise Timmons help fill boxes with food Wednesday morning at the Jasper Salvation Army’s food pantry. Photo by: James Phillips
Maddox students, from left, Kourtni Douglas, Kirsten McGraw, Madeleine West and Olivia Williams and counselor Denise Timmons help fill boxes with food Wednesday morning at the Jasper Salvation Army’s food pantry. Photo by: James Phillips
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A select group of students from Maddox Middle School spent time Wednesday morning helping arrange items in the Jasper Salvation Army’s food closet. The experience proved to raise awareness among members of the school’s AMICI Jr. program about the hunger problem in Walker County.

Kirsten McGraw, a seventh-grade student at Maddox, said she had no idea how many people struggled to have enough food for their families before visiting the Salvation Army.

“I knew there were a lot of people who didn’t have enough food, but I didn’t know how many until today,” she said. “I’m happy that we could come here today and play a role in helping people. It makes you feel good to know that you are doing something to help.”

The students organized boxes inside the food closet by filling them with items to be given away today. Debbie Wilcutt, a Salvation Army employee who organizes the group’s weekly food giveaways, said the help from the students was welcomed.

“We don’t usually have a lot of help in getting the food ready for the giveaway day,” she said. “We are so happy the students could come and help us, and we welcome any group that would like to help.”

Groups interested in volunteering at the Jasper Salvation Army can call 205-221-7737.

Denise Timmons, a counselor at Maddox Middle School and sponsor of the AMICI Jr. club, said students within the club typically do one project per month to help in the community. Timmons said Maddox Middle School is also sponsoring a food drive for the Salvation Army that will continue through May.

“We want to do our part to help the community and educate our students about doing whatever they can to help others,” Timmons said. “A project like this is the perfect way to show them that they can make a difference.”

The Salvation Army’s food giveaway takes place each Thursday in Jasper from 8:30 until 11:20 a.m. Anyone interested in receiving food should also call 205-221-7737 to get a list of items they will need to bring. Wilcutt said each person must go through an interview to be eligible to receive food, which is a box containing approximately $50 in food items.

Wilcutt said the food pantry is currently in need of all types of items and any donations from the community would be appreciated. Donations are accepted at the Salvation Army’s Jasper location on 20th Street East in downtown Jasper.