The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
No person should have to know what hunger feels like, to experience another night sleeping in the streets, or to explain to their children why there is no power at home. The Salvation Army is committed to helping those with the most need. We provide hope for families and individuals in crisis.
Individuals who come to The Salvation Army for help need more than food or shelter. Often, they are seeking spiritual support and comfort. In the pages of this annual report, you will read stories of people who came to The Salvation Army in their most challenging times. Your support and prayers help provide for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
The programs of The Salvation Army in our community have only been possible with your generosity. Thank you. Your wonderful support has provided countless residents a tangible expression of God’s love.
God bless you,
Lt. Cols. Eddie & Kathy Hobgood
Services We Offer
- Adult Program Services
- Older Adult Services
- Family Stores
- Adult Rehabilitation Centers
- Housing/Residence Services
- Family Counseling Services
- Domestic Violence Services
- Worship Services
- Correctional Services
- Youth Services
- Disaster Services
- Health Services
- Emergency Assistance
- Persons Served
- Meals Served
- Grocery Orders
- Toys & Gifts
Patricia had just settled in for the night when it began to rain outside. She didn’t follow the news and wasn’t aware that Hurricane Joaquin was threatening the entire southeast coast. Within 24 hours, the rainfall in South Carolina had reached record levels. Rainwater was already filling her home when the nearby dam failed. Patricia and her son were trapped inside for days. There was no way in and no way out.
“Our apartment is at the bottom of a hill so the water was coming from different directions and it was all just there. [The emergency responders] had to wait until the water dried up because that was the only way for them to come in and to see if we needed anything. That’s when they brought the water and food. We weren’t able to go anywhere and a lot of people didn’t have food, didn’t have water, they didn’t have anything.”
Hurricane Joaquin devastated the entire Columbia region with a magnitude of flooding seen only once every 1,000 years. As a result, Patricia lost everything she had worked so hard for. Her apartment and everything inside were ruled total losses. She had nowhere to turn and with her small savings already exhausted, she and her son soon found themselves living in their car.
After several months of working to get back on her feet, she turned to The Salvation Army, in need of food and other assistance. There, she found compassion and focus on long-term recovery efforts. They provided more than emergency access to food and water; they wanted to help her rebuild her life. She was able to meet with a caseworker who helped Patricia access the resources she so desperately needed.
“But a lot of other places were like 'We’re booked and we can’t talk to anybody.' I have never contacted The Salvation Army and they said that. If there is nobody in South Carolina, The Salvation Army is here, and that’s a blessing to know that.”
Thanks to the generous support of our donors, The Salvation Army served 55,874 meals, provided 11,499 hours of service, and provided spiritual counseling and prayer for over 2,500 individuals during our response to the South Carolina flooding. We continue to be involved, compassionately providing support for those in the community who are still rebuilding their lives.
“Most of the people that I know from home have passed on: their deaths were either drug-related or from alcoholism. Without The Salvation Army coming in and helping to change our lives, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be here.”
Now a medical doctor with a successful practice, David doesn’t actually remember the first time The Salvation Army impacted his life and the lives of his three older brothers. His mother recalls that when David was just eight months old, some people from The Salvation Army adopted their family for Christmas. Already struggling to make ends meet, life became even more difficult for David’s family when his father passed away a short time later. For many families, such significant challenges are simply impossible to overcome.
But The Salvation Army remained a strong presence in David’s life. As it turned out, this relationship represented a lifeline.
“It was during the winter, there was no doorway, just a screen door with rags stuffed in there. My mom was working, I was born with a hernia but couldn’t get treatment.” David recalls the memories of his childhood when he first met Mr. and Mrs. Harrell, a couple from The Salvation Army. “In those days, if you didn’t have insurance, you didn’t receive treatment.”
The Harrells became mentors for David and his family. His mother’s eighth grade education limited her opportunities. The Harrells helped build her self-esteem. They helped her receive additional schooling, which led to better job opportunities. She was able to move her family into the safety of a new home that she was able to buy. The Harrells were also instrumental in helping David finally receive treatment for his medical condition when he was eight years old.
The pediatrician helped David medically but also inspired him.
“All I could remember was when I went to the hospital I met Dr. Pope, he was a pediatrician. I remember how well he treated me. Dr. Pope spoke with me and we had a good conversation. I told my mom I want to be like him. I want to make the babies well.”
It seemed like the world was against him. Even school guidance counselors said that people like him simply don’t go to college. Discouraged, he told Mr. Harrell that he had wanted to be a doctor, but that it wasn’t possible.
“He kept saying ‘Yes, you can!’ He said, ‘If you want to be that, then you be that.’ He didn’t look down on me he didn’t say that it was too high of a goal.”
David’s mentors from The Salvation Army stuck with him, cheering for him during everything from school band concerts to his college graduation. At the end of Mr. Harrell’s life, David was able to be there, caring for him much like Mr. Harrell had cared for David so many years ago.
“There’s something that happened even before I was aware of where the help came from, and it affected my whole, entire life.” David says. “How can you not go back and make sure that other families have the same opportunity?”
Today, Dr. David continues to give back to others, adopting and mentoring several families through The Salvation Army at Christmas and throughout the year. He stays connected to these families as their own children move from a place of poverty and hopelessness to potential and possibility.
“When I look at the words ‘Salvation Army’ it really is Salvation to me.” David reflects, “It’s not just to me. It’s salvation to a lot of other people. Salvation is bringing people from a state of death, you have no life, and you are giving that person an opportunity to live the life that they deserve or desire. That’s what it’s all about. It’s beautiful.”
When she was just fifteen, Terri escaped from a violently abusive household. Because of her pain and trauma, she became addicted to drugs and found herself living in her car in an abandoned lot when an officer from The Salvation Army found her.
“He saw me a couple of times. He didn’t know at first that I was living there. And, so, when he saw me the second or third time, he walked over to me and asked me what I was doing in there and I told him I lived there. Then he said, ‘Oh’ and left but then he came back ten minutes later with a hamburger -- which was the best hamburger I had ever had! And then he said, ‘If I found you a place to live would you be willing to?’”
Terri was scared and alone. Still, she was reluctant. Her experience with men had taught her that they could not be trusted but she also knew she couldn’t survive on the streets much longer. When the officer returned later, this time with his wife, Terri understood that they simply wanted to help.
The officers brought Terri to the local Family Store and provided her with clothing. They helped her find a place to live and even provided her with employment.
“They said ‘the only thing you have to do is to promise us that you’ll stay in school;’ which I did. They helped me the whole way.”
In order to protect her from her abusive home and to give her the support she needed to succeed, The Salvation Army fought for legal guardianship of Terri. Terri was able to complete high school and even received a college degree in education. She continued to volunteer at The Salvation Army while working as a teacher. There, she met another volunteer - a wonderful, caring man who would eventually become her husband.
After getting married, Terri and her husband wanted to start a family. They struggled and experienced the pain of multiple unsuccessful pregnancies. Later, Terri would discover that the physical abuse she suffered at the hands of her stepfather had robbed her of the ability to have a child of her own. The Salvation Army was there, providing spiritual comfort and support during these difficult years.
The couple started the long process of adoption and were told that they could expect to wait more than two years before being matched with a child. But God had other plans. Just two weeks later, they received a phone call indicating that they were the new parents of a beautiful newborn daughter.
“And after we were accepted, they told us it would be a minimum of two years. Not with God. Two weeks. They called us in two weeks and said if we wanted her, we had a baby girl in Fort Worth, Texas.”
The Salvation Army has been much more than just an organization with Terri and her family. They rescued her. They introduced her to a God that had a plan for her life. They were her family when she had no one else she could rely on.
“The Salvation Army means to me love, protection, family, hope, and life.”