Merced’s Salvation Army given $5,000 grant

Merced’s Salvation Army Corps Community Center recently received a $5,000 grant that will go toward feeding the needy, according to the organization’s head official.

Lt. Luke Betti, who recently was appointed as head of the Merced corps, said the Grainger Foundation awarded the grant. He said donations and grants to the organization are important because the corps survives on contributions.

Betti said the most recent donation will be used to achieve the organization’s everyday goals.

“It will go for the social work of feeding the homeless and things like that in the Merced area,” Betti said.

The Grainger Foundation, an independent, private foundation based in Lake Forest, Ill., was established in 1949 by William W. Grainger, founder of industrial supply company W.W. Grainger Inc.

The Merced corps is preparing for the holidays, Betti said.

Merced’s Salvation Army does not organize a holiday meal, Betti said, but contributes to other area efforts such as the community meal organized by the Merced Rescue Mission. More than 2,000 people are expected to eat during that meal on Thanksgiving Day.

Betti said The Salvation Army’s annual red kettle campaign will kick off next week. He said he hopes to set up in front of eight Merced stores.

The red kettle program originated in San Francisco in 1891 and has spread throughout the U.S. It has become a holiday tradition, and people often donate cash or the spare change in their pockets.

Betti came to the Merced corps Oct.16 from a San Francisco Salvation Army location, where he was an assistant.

The Salvation Army assigned former Merced corps leaders Joel and Rhonda Harmon to Norway.