PARKERSBURG, W.Va (WTAP)- Community. It’s the biggest takeaway the former leaders of one important charity organization will keep with them when they leave.
Majors Matt and Cathy Riley have served the Parkersburg community for the past three years. Their new assignment is a Salvation Army in Virginia.
They say there are a few things about the area that have left a big impression, including the annual Angel Tree Toy Drive.
“Every winter I will not ever forget standing out in front of Camden Clark or the Eye Clinic in the freezing cold,” remembers Major Cathy Riley.
“It was fun though,” adds Major Matt Riley. “We’d gather around that heater that was blowing all that heat out and just share stories and talk about what we’re doing and between all of the different groups that were out there, we can’t remember everybody’s names, but it was a lot of fun.”
In addition to the numerous charitable events the group does throughout the year, they also just remodeled their thrift store.
Accomplishments the Rileys say would not be possible without the support of this remarkable community.
“We always try to remind people that we wear the uniform, so we get to do this interview, but the people who make the difference are the people who give, and the people who help us do what we do…I’m not sure that we’ll come across a community that is as giving as this community. It seems like, no matter what the need, is or whenever we turn around and if our red kettles are out there or we’re doing a golf tournament or whatever the case may be, the people in the community continually step up and give,” Mr. Riley emphasizes.
And although they’re leaving, they say that a piece of the Mid-Ohio Valley, to them, will always be home.
“Any community that we’ve ever been in, for us, because we move around a lot, we try to settle in right away and make it home, and I think that what makes it home are the people that live here and their friendliness. Parkersburg will be home for us even though we’re moving to Virginia because we’re leaving behind our daughter and son-in-law and our granddaughter so there will be a piece of Parkersburg that will remain in our hearts for an awful long time,” he notes.
Every few years, there's a change in leadership at the Parkersburg Salvation Army.
The latest change comes at the end of this week.
Majors Matt and Cathy Riley have become familiar faces to us and our viewers, in the three years they've been at the Parkersburg Salvation Army.
They're leaving this week to go to another Salvation Army office in Virginia.
They say they leave the Mid-Ohio Valley with fond memories of the donors and the people they've helped.
"We always try to remind people that we wear the uniform, so we get to do this interview," Matt Riley said. "But the people who make the difference are the people who give, and the people who help us do what we do."
The Salvation Army's shelter went through renovations during their time in the area, and recently, the Thrift store was remodeled while the Rileys were in town.
They have grown children who live in Vienna, so they'll occasionally be back to visit.