FAIRMONT, W.Va (WBOY) — National Salvation Army Week isn’t necessarily a celebration of the efforts of the Salvation Army itself, but instead, of the community which they serve.

On Friday, Fairmont Salvation Army’s Advisory Council offered 50% off of clothing and handed out free hot dogs, chips and drinks to individuals who attended between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm.

“We serve anybody. You don’t have to be homeless; you don’t have to be struggling. I invite those who are more fortunate to come and see what we do,” said Core Office Administrator and pastor of Fairmont’s Salvation Army, Captain Dennis Smith.

Captain Dennis took the time to share his personal story of how his mother fell to be homeless when he was only eleven years old. Before his mother had passed, she had told Smith that no one deserved to live the life she had, motivating Captain Dennis to help as many individuals as possible within his lifetime.

With a rise in the number of individuals who need help, Fairmont’s Salvation Army could use some helping hands as well.

“We’re at a point right now, we’re struggling financially with being able to give money for utility help and being able to buy food for our pantries. So, any kind of help, financially or through donations, it’s very important to us even if it’s just one can of food, it goes a long way,” said Captain Dennis.

To help as a volunteer, you can call 304-296-3525 and leave a message for Captain Dennis for more details, and donations of all kinds can be made to the Salvation Army any time it’s open as well.

Though the Salvation Army is currently in desperate need of volunteers for its’ soup kitchen, Captain Dennis says they’re trying to get a head start for volunteers with their Christmas and Angel Tree programs.

Thrift store’s house of operation

“We want to make this the biggest Christmas this community has ever seen, between here, Monongalia County, Preston County and in Taylor County. It’s so important to us to help those who aren’t seeing Christmas. A child doesn’t understand at Christmas time why there’s no toys—it’s heartbreaking to even think that a family wouldn’t have a Christmas meal. So, we want to work really really hard to make that work.”

The Salvation Army serves individuals daily at Hazel’s House of Hope. Lunch is served Monday through Saturday from 11:00 am to noon and dinner is served from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Sundays include a church service followed by breakfast from 11:00 am to noon with dinner following at its regular time.