FAIRMONT, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Salvation Army of Marion County hosted its banquet to honor volunteers at the Baptist Temple Church in Fairmont on Thursday.

Awards were given to the top three bell ringers, numerous volunteers, and the volunteer of the year. Marion County Salvation Army officials say they have received multiple corporate and private sponsors for the banquet that were recognized for their support.

Two Marion County Salvation Army volunteers who were honored. (WBOY image)

“The Salvation Army solely works on donations. We are not able to help others in our community without the generosity of our donors,” said Capt. Dennis Smith, of the Salvation Army of Marion, Monongalia, Preston, and Taylor Counties. “We meet people at their need and that is our main goal is to, to really bring for us or for our church first. So, we want to make sure that we bring the love of Jesus. And I don’t think Jesus would have it any other way. So, he would have it so that we, so that we help those that can’t help themselves.”

Honored volunteers say that it is nice knowing that they are appreciated for their volunteerism but that they volunteer to be able to help others. In 1891 the well-known Salvation Army red kettle campaign began by Captain Joseph Mcfee, a Salvation Army officer who was looking for a way to cover the cost of a community Christmas meal.

“We start at the beginning of November and go through December into Christmas Eve, we have some paid bell ringer staff, we have some volunteer bell ringer’s staff. Again, it becomes very important; the money that we raise in our Christmas-time efforts goes towards operating costs and also goes towards making sure that other people get help that they need,” Capt. Smith said.

Salvation Army representatives said that this past year they did not have a lot of bell ringers and stated that they want to show their appreciation to those who did volunteer. Salvation Army officials added that they have provided assistance to 375 families to date.