A diaper pantry is just one of many ways the Canton Salvation Army works to empower the community

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CANTON, Ill. (WMBD) — From diapers to utility assistance, Canton’s Salvation Army continues to uphold its mission of serving others. That commitment is being felt, especially in the rural area.

The Salvation Army in Canton is working to enhance its programs and resources amid pandemic recovery, holidays around the corner, and a change in leadership.

Nicole Beard, a case manager with Pathway of Hope, said despite the changes and obstacles, the Salvation Army remains a place of hope.

“If we all work together as a team, we can build this community up and make it stronger,” she said. “We just all have to make some kind of small impact.”

Beard works with people who may need help with employment, housing, education, or other personal skills. She said reaching small goals really adds up over time, and it’s important to help people find their skill set.

“I think looking at their strengths that they may not know are strengths. So looking at how far that they’ve come, and it’s exciting to talk about where they can go and really encouraging them, empowering them. That’s what the Salvation [Army] is all about.”

Nicole Beard, Salvation army canton case manager

The Fulton County office also partnered with “Loving Bottoms,” an organization based in Galesburg that packages diapers for distribution, to help stock their diaper and feminine hygiene product pantries.

“I think it’s one of those needs that we forget,” said Captain Crystal Sherack, Core Officer & Administrator at Salvation Army Canton.

Captain Sherack said the need for diaper donations never stops. She also said that need usually increases as the weather gets colder.

“And that’s pretty typical for the Salvation Army, especially in the Midwest,” she said. “With temperatures dropping, we do see more people asking for housing assistance as well as utility assistance.

And as the holidays get closer, Salvation Army fundraising ramps up.

“That money stays in our community,” Beard said, “which is so important so we can do these other programs that give back to the community.”

One way to benefit the Salvation Army Canton is this year’s “Angel Tree.” More information about the Angel Tree Program and other ways to give or donate can be found on their Facebook page.

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