|New Salvation Army Family Store to open Thursday
By Heather Gale
The new Salvation Army store, located in the old Booksmith building at the corner of Third Avenue and Laurel Street, is set to open Thursday with a ribbon cutting at 9:15 a.m.
Laurie Suprano, Family Store operations director, said getting the store ready to open has been fun, but stressful. "There are just so many things you have to do that you don't think of until you start getting your hands dirty," she said. "However, we have been able to get everything together and the store looks beautiful."
By moving from its current location on Fourth Avenue just outside of Downtown Conway to the new location, Suprano said they hope to get more foot traffic even though they are losing a bit of square footage.
"The old location was about 12,000-square-feet and this location Downtown is only at 6,000-square-feet," she said. "It will be a tight fit, but we are also going to only offer newer, higher end donations and be pickier with what we put out. For all the other donations we receive, we will make sure they get to a good place."
The new store features like-new furniture, clothes, nick-knacks, dishes, shoes, purses and children's toys.
"Each item will be priced fairly and we will not be pricing people out of the store," she said.
The store will be open Monday through Friday form 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Read more about the store's opening in the Thursday edition of the Horry Independent.
CONWAY -- Horry County’s Salvation Army unit opened a new, $1.6 million facility for its Boys & Girls Club Tuesday, and now the organization wants to start a fund to make it free for all who want to join. People who contribute to the fund will not only be helping the organization achieve its free-to-all goal, but according to CCU education professor Doug Smith, they’re giving kids from disadvantaged homes a leg up they might not get otherwise. Programs such as that offered by Boys & Girls Clubs, Smith said, “fill a void in kids’ lives for things like socialization.” They also help participants to be prepared for school and study, and those in the programs normally do better in school than others who didn’t have that kind of help. The younger kids in the programs, Smith said, become members of a community they wouldn’t have otherwise and get to meet and interact with a variety of people.
Capt. Bret McElroy, corps officer for The Salvation Army of Horry County, said he couldn’t guess how many children in Horry County might benefit from participation in The Salvation Army’s Boys & Girls Club, but he’s sure it’s a lot. If you base your count on the number of Horry County Schools students who are eligible for free and reduced price meals in school cafeterias -- an income-based program -- you’d find that more than 20,000 of the district’s 38,983 students could get critical extra help by participating in a program such as that the Boys & Girls Club offers.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America began as a single club in Hartford, Conn., formed by three women in 1860 to give a better alternative to boys who roamed the streets. It joined with 52 similar organizations in 1906 as The Federated Boys Clubs and, in 1931 became the Boys Clubs of America. In 1990, it opened membership to girls as well and adopted the name that it has today. The clubs have a mission to give participants opportunities to learn character, leadership, education, health and life skills, the arts and sports/fitness/recreation.
Don Hall, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of the Grand Strand on Myrtle Beach’s Oak Street, said he understands McElroy’s desire to have a program that is free for all participants. But Hall’s organization has a somewhat different view. Hall said he believes that parents and kids who pay a price to attend the programs are likely to value them more. Like the Salvation Army program, the Grand Strand club has some kids to whom it gives full scholarships and offers fee help to others, but Hall tries to find some non-monetary way parents could contribute to the organization. He said the non-monetary help might be writing thank-you notes to donors or helping to collect materials the program will use. “Instead of this idea of entitlement,” he said, “we want ownership of the program.” The Grand Strand club charges $60 a week for its summer program, which has about 65 kids attending. The afterschool program costs $20 a week and about 90 kids are members of it. Hall said the two philosophies for service delivery -- paid or free -- don’t clash. There is plenty of room for both. “We would love to have a gymnasium like the Salvation Army does,” Hall said of the Army’s new clubhouse on Conway’s Second Avenue.
McElroy said $650,000 of the construction cost for the new facility was raised in a 2001 fund drive that fizzled out after 9/11. The money was put in the bank and McElroy reinvigorated the plan when he came on board as The Salvation Army’s leader in Horry County.
The additional funds for construction came from monetary gifts people had given the Army over the years.
McElroy said the Army’s Summer Day Camp has about 25 participants, but his goal is to bring membership to 100. Besides the regulation basketball court in the gymnasium that takes up the bulk of the building, there are a couple of offices in the front and two classroom in the rear.
The Salvation Army’s mission is to serve the poorest of the poor, and McElroy intends for Boys & Girls Club memberships to follow the line. “Our goal is to provide a free program,” McElroy said. “If we provide a program for anybody who can afford it, then we’re just like everybody else. And that’s not our mission.”
Want to help? If you want to donate to the Horry County Salvation Army’s Boys & Girls Club, send your check to P.O. Box 500, Conway, S.C. 29528.
Read more here: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2012/06/05/2867658/salvation-army-to-open-new-facility.html#storylink=cpy
Horry Salvation Army distributes hundreds of toys
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Salvation Army distributes Angel Tree gifts for children in Myrtle Beach area
Members from 606 families formed a line out the door of The Sun News’ warehouse Friday, waiting for gifts meant to make their children’s Christmases bright. Salvation Army director of social services Brenda Ryan said the organization at first did not think it would have enough toys, but now says it has one for every child who needs assistance.Read more here: http://www.thesunnews.com/2011/12/16/2552901/horry-salvation-army-distributes.html#storylink=cpy
Bad economy impacts Horry County families this Christmas
By: Brie Jackson | South Carolina Now
Published: December 16, 2011 Updated: December 16, 2011 - 6:04 PM
Published: December 16, 2011 Updated: December 16, 2011 - 6:04 PM
MYRTLE BEACH, SC - South Carolina is one of the three worst states when it comes to low income families. The national average is nearly 50 percent while in the Palmetto state 56 percent are either below the poverty line, or classified as low income. On Friday, the Salvation Army of Horry County distributed presents for around 1200 children whose families need help this holiday.
Michelle Waddell picked up a bicycle and a bag of gifts for her two daughters. "I've lost my job and have been trying to find a job for the past couple of months and just can't find one" said Waddell.
Waddell was among the hundreds of people who showed up to the Salvation Army's toy distribution. Right now times are tough as more American families struggle to find jobs, pay bills and put presents under the Christmas tree.
"It is hard and it makes you feel bad as a parent not being able to go out and get the gifts yourself" said Jennifer Maine, Conway resident. This is Maine's first time participating in the Horry County Angel Tree program. For her the unwrapped gifts represent a blessing in disguise as the recently divorced mom seems to have her hands full. "I've had no income because the foster child I took in had been in the hospital for eight months and that's eight months out of work" said Maine.
Many parents said they hope the New Year brings them new job opportunities.
Posted on Tue, Nov. 15, 2011 The Sun News
Editorial | Red Kettle Drive needs your help
Salvation Army starts two holiday traditions
Red Kettles are in place at 23 locations and the Salvation Army of Horry County has launched its Angel Tree program for 2011 -- two traditions that signal the start of the holiday season for giving and serve as reminders of the continuing need of thousands of folks.
In addition to the Salvation Army, other nonprofits providing basic needs include three Helping Hand organizations, Churches Assisting People in Conway and Catholic Charities of Horry County, to name a few. Many schools, churches and civic groups are working on food drives for a variety of pantries.
The annual Red Kettle and Angel Tree programs of the Salvation Army kicked off last week. Capt. Bret McElroy says about 30 kettles are in 23 locations, including seven Wal-Marts. The Angel Trees are at 22 locations including The Sun News. The newspaper’s warehouse also is the Angel Tree distribution center.
Here’s how Angel Tree works: A child’s tag is selected from any of the Angel Trees, and the giver buys a gift and returns it, unwrapped, to the tree. Salvation Army workers and volunteers have screened families and validated the child’s need. Gifts are taken to the center, called “The Toy Shop,” and delivered to parents. Keeping the gifts unwrapped involves parents and assures quality control, McElroy says. He estimates 1,200 to 1,500 children will receive gifts this Christmas.
“We’ve gotten off to a good start -- the public has always been generous. We’re grateful to the community,” he says. The kettle drive goal this season is $140,000, down from a goal of $145,000 last year. The red kettles collected $129,000 in 2010 and $138,000 in 2009.
“The last three years have been rough on the kettles,” McElroy says, referring to the area’s still-struggling economy. “We’re still seeing people who have never before needed help.” That number continues to increase. Well over 4,000 a year receive food, clothing, rent and utilities assistance and financial counseling.
“The only hope is that jobs become available,” he says, citing the 50 applications to be paid bell ringers at the red kettles as an example of the employment crisis. “These are people who want to work.” For locations where he does not have enough volunteers, people are hired ($8 an hour) to ring bells at red kettles. McElroy has heard some criticism about hiring bell ringers but he notes that is work for people who need it.
The Salvation Army has served Horry County residents since 1949. The Army dates to 1865 and operates in more than 5,000 U.S. communities. Here, as in many places, it is a United Way agency or community partner. Its United Way allocation for social services is $25,000, the same as last year. In addition, it receives $15,000 for the Boys & Girls Club in Conway. The total operating budget for the Salvation Army of Horry County is about $3 million.
“We’re operating more efficiently,” McElroy says, explaining that the agency is using more volunteers and has closed its thrift store in Myrtle Beach. Four other thrift stores operate in Conway, Loris, Murrells Inlet and North Myrtle Beach.
Conway Elementary tops Thanksgiving giving
By Steve Jones
CONWAY The students at Conway Elementary School will receive the Golden Turkey award Monday for collecting 4.75 cans of food each to contribute to the Horry County Salvation Army’s Golden Turkey Food Drive. The school’s total was just 45 cans short of 3,000 that will be given to people 55 years and older who are in need of food for Thanksgiving, and a little less than 30 percent of the total collected from students at 14 participating schools. “It feels really good,” Maquitta Davis, Conway Elementary principal, said of topping this year’s chart. The 2,955 cans are a bunch more than the students collected for the drive last year, a fact Davis attributed to good in-school advertising that made it a point of pride to bring cans of food to school. The effort was featured on Tiger Time, a morning video show, in Davis’ monthly newsletter and messages home to parents. “It was the buzz around here,” Davis said. Davis said the donations were spread well across the entire student body, with most students bringing at least one can to donate.
“This time of year can be hard on many families,” said Brenda Ryan, the Army’s director of social services. The Army will give each household a Thanksgiving turkey, potatoes, stuffing, vegetables and dessert, she said.
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)- The Salvation Army is doing what they can to help those in desperate need to stay cool.
Normally, the organization just helps out with electric bills, but right now, funds are tight and they are having to give away fans instead. Even that is a struggle this year because donations have dropped off. To qualify for assistance in brutal heat, folks have to fill out an application which explains their financial situation and then after a caseworker's review, they will usually drop a fan off. They try to target the elderly, sick and those with infants. The salvation army tells me they get around 20-30 calls every day from people asking for help. As of right now, they have only been able to give out around 5 fans this summer.
Brenda Ryan, Director of Social Services at the Salvation Army, says, "We do as much as we can to meet the needs of as many people as possible and the needs are greater than ever due to the economy and due to the circumstances of the community so when we do not have any more money we do have to tell people no and refer them to another agency."
In 2010, the Salvation Army was able to hand out about 50 fans, and they say this year it is hard to have the means to help everyone in need.
People can donate money or buy a boxed fan and give it to the organization. After WMBF News Reporter Ashley Johnson contacted the Salvation Army, one Conway family now has a fan.
Sebrina Linen is not only battling the heat, but also dealing with health problems, an elderly father and two kids. Linen got a fan because someone donated just under $20.
In 2010, the Salvation Army spent around $800 in fans, but this year their bank account is slim and they have only handed out around $80 worth.
It is important to note that no taxpayer funds go directly to the organization. They are completely dependent on donations from people in the community.
Sebrina Linen says getting a fan is going to make life easier. Linen says, "It's hard but I'm making it, but I appreciate the fans that have been given to me and I'm really happy. Me and my kids are happy because we got a fan. Some kids, some families can't get it."
This is the second year the Salvation Army has done a fan drive but with the state of the economy and the serious conditions people are in, their resources have been somewhat limited.
Copyright 2011 WMBF News. All rights reserved.
Salvation Army works toward community center in Conway
By Steve Jones - email@example.com
CONWAY -- The Horry County Salvation Army is preparing to make good on a promise it made in 2001, when it sought $1.2 million in donations to build a community center.
Work on the center should get under way soon, said Salvation Army Cmdr. Bret McElroy, but it will be built on Second Avenue in Conway rather than in Myrtle Beach as had been planned during the fundraising campaign.
McElroy said that change may alter the plans of some who pledged money but never wrote a check and could cut into the current plan.
As of now, the organization is planning a 12,000-square-foot facility that will house a gymnasium, classrooms, large lobby and a concessions area. It will become home for meetings of the Salvation Army-sponsored Boys and Girls Club, Sunday and Wednesday evening worship services, a character-building program and other things, McElroy said.
The organization now rents space for some of its programs and has 2,500 square feet of space at its Conway offices. The new facility will allow the group to stop paying rent for outside space and allow it to expand the programs it already offers, McElroy said.
"It's going to mean we have an enhanced program because we will be able to do more things," he said.
Conway Mayor Alys Lawson said the community center will give the city another recreation facility that residents can use and room for activities that will help keep young people occupied. The new building, she added, will help to upgrade the neighborhood.
"We're delighted they're building it," she said.
The city, which is in the process of building a 60,000-square-foot recreation center that will charge membership fees for open use of its facilities, is tearing down two houses and a storage building that's now on the land where the Salvation Army's community center is to be built.
The city's work will save the Salvation Army about $20,000, McElroy said, money that will be funneled into equipment and activities.
That's likely a good thing, as the organization's 2001 fundraising came up with less than $580,000, which is less than half the goal. McElroy is hoping additional money will come from some of the uncollected pledges.
In any case, he said the Salvation Army has obligated itself to those who contributed money and it's time to make good on that obligation.
"We've had this money sitting there since 2002," he said.
Additional costs may need to be trimmed for the community center. McElroy said that already acoustical treatments have been cut from the original plan for the gymnasium, which also could limit its use for things such as community meetings and musical performances.
He said the Salvation Army had originally hoped that construction would start in January, but now it looks as though it might be April before the land is ready for the new building.
The organization, though, remains committed to a facility that will serve the community well.
"We want a building that is versatile and multipurpose," he said.