Holcomb replaces Lona Courington, who left to take a job at Bevill State Community College.
“This is a huge job, but I’m so looking forward to it and what it is,” Holcomb said last Friday. “I have to be challenged in anything I do or I’m just not happy. I think I will get that challenge here, and I have for the past three weeks.”
Holcomb has served the community in previous jobs, including as the program director for the Pregnancy Test and Resource Center.
Holcomb owned North Alabama Senior Services, which is a sitter service for elderly clients, prior to assuming her position with the Salvation Army. She has also done public relations work for home health and hospice programs.
“That’s where I found that niche of what we needed here in the county,” she said.
As executive program director, Holcomb is tasked with overseeing all the programs associated with the Salvation Army, including the Thrift Store, food bank and clothes closet that serves clients who depend on the services each month. “I oversee all the business here,” she said.
Debbie Willcutt serves as director of social services, which includes the food bank and clothes closet. Pam Camerlengo is director of the thrift store.
“They each have people under them that they oversee,” Holcomb said, “and basically I’m responsible for all of it.”
Holcomb is also responsible for any public relations and fundraising necessary to keep the services available to those in need.
“I have to keep our name out there and in a good light,” she said.
The food bank, which is one of the principle needs in the county, and clothes closet are open from 8:30 until 11:20 a.m. each Thursday.
“In that three hours, we normally see about 75 clients,” Holcomb said, “with about 85 percent of that for the food bank.”
Holcomb said the biggest problem facing the food bank is people who take advantage of the system and deny those who are in dire need of the help.
“We’re trying to change that,” she said. “We are emergency-based, and we want to help people who truly need help. Our senior citizens, we really want to help them and others who really need our help.”
The Walker County Service Center not only represents people in Walker County but also serves clients in Marion and Winston counties, Holcomb said.
“I’ve been to other Salvation Army offices, and our food bank is so much better. We’ve got a really giving community that wants to help those in need. We take that seriously. We want to be good stewards of what the community is giving us. We want to help the people who need it most.”