My grandfather fought in World War I. My father fought in World War II. They were proud to serve to their country, as were many young men and women across our country. Both my grandfather and father did not talk much about their experiences while serving their county.
During the Christmas season, however, they both spoke highly about The Salvation Army and how The Salvation Army helped many serviceman and servicewomen during their time of service, especially when they were serving our country overseas.
They recall endless cups of coffee offered, doughnuts and sandwishes all given to soldiers by "sallies" of The Salvation Army, helping wherever and whenever they could.
"Do you need funds for a ticket home?" They were there to help if they could.
Both my grandfather and father made sure that when we passed The Salvation Army Christmas kettle, they reached in their pocket for loose change, and, in some cases, dollar bills.
Fast forward to today, my grandson and I were talking over a snack in our living room. He is a student at Penn College.
He went on to say that he often played basketball in The Salvation Army gymnasium. He often noticed that there were signs for the food pantry and during the Christmas season there were signs for families, if needed, to sign up for Christmas food baskets and toys for their children.
My grandson then said he felt a need to help. He called The Salvation Army and asked how he could help.
He learned that indeed he could help. He learned that The Salvation Army conducts a food panty three times a week throughout the year.
He learned that during the Christmas season The Salvation Army will distribute to families and individuals and senior citizens more than 600 food baskets, as well as toys for children.
And so my grandson is conducting a food drive for The Salvation Army at Penn College.
I spoke to my grandson on how my grandfather and father had high regard for The Salvation Army. I told him that they would be very happy to know that he is helping.
I gave some canned goods to help my grandson with his food drive. I smile and put in my donation as I pass a Christmas kettle; happy to know that The Salvation Army is still doing good for those in need.
Please help by giving generously to the Sun-Gazette and the Salvation Army Santa Fund.
You can help make this a brighter holiday season for local families by making a contribution in person to any branch of M&T Bank or by mail to M&T Bank at 405 River Ave.; at the Salvation Army, 457 Market St.; or the Sun-Gazette office, 252 W. Fourth St., Williamsport, PA 17701.
The Santa Fund is a fundraiser organized by the Sun-Gazette and the Salvation Army to help local families in need.