HUDSON — Many families in Columbia and Greene counties can provide a Thanksgiving dinner because of the Hudson Salvation Army.

More than 100 turkeys and complete dinners were distributed to families over the past week, ahead of the big holiday, said Darcy Connor, director of the Hudson Salvation Army Service Center.

Families registered at the service center, at 40 S. 3rd St., in October.

The turkeys were donated by Valley Energy of Claverack and by individual members of the community, Connor said.

Having distributed the Thanksgiving dinners, the Salvation Army is now focused on its next big projects — the Red Kettle Campaign and Christmas toy distribution.

More than 110 Greene and Columbia county children are in need of toys for Christmas this year, Connor said.

The service center is accepting toy donations over the next few weeks. They can be dropped off weekdays at their location on S. 3rd Street.

The Salvation Army does not provide special food baskets for Christmas, but the food pantry is available for any family that needs it, Connor said.

The goal for the annual Red Kettle Campaign is $75,000, the same as last year, Connor said.

Volunteers are always needed to make sure as many kettles are out as possible.

“If the kettles are not out, there are no donations coming in,” Connor said.

The kettles are set up at locations across Columbia and Greene counties. Volunteers can choose the day, time and location, if available, to ring the bell at a Red Kettle site, Connor said.

The $75,000 goal makes up much of the service center’s operating expenses for the year.

The service center in Hudson is busy during the week. The soup kitchen serves about 100 meals daily and the food pantry assists around 70 families weekly, Connor said.

They also offer a mobile food pantry, that makes stops in Craryville, Philmont and Valatie.

The programs at the service center have been in place since the early 2000s, Connor said.

Between 18 and 20 volunteers assist in keeping the programs running.

Connor has served as director for the past two and a half years, but has been a volunteer with the organization for more than 20 years.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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