One hundred and fifty years ago William Booth, a London minister, gave up his pulpit to take the message of hope and salvation to the street where it would reach the poor. He knew that his mission to preach the gospel could only be achieved if he first met the basic needs of men and women. He did it through an army of dedicated people who would take this message directly to homeless and hurting. Today, his vision of hope is still alive through the countless donors, volunteers, officers, and employees who are The Salvation Army.
The work of The Salvation Army is as varied as the communities in which we serve. We may be providing shelter, or food, or a safe and enriching place for children and youth. We may be helping with homework, or teaching job skills, or digging a family out of their stormravaged home. The mission of The Salvation Army never changes; we serve wherever and whenever we can, without discrimination.
In these pages you will see the faces of some of our neighbors and learn more about the impact of The Salvation Army in our community. As we move Forward! as an army, we know that the life-changing programs and services we provide for people struggling with poverty, disaster, homelessness, and addiction help them move forward as well.
The Salvation Army could not do this important work without the support of people like you and me. When we add our voices, our time, and our resources to the mission, we help move The Salvation Army Forward! and make a difference in countless lives in our community. Thank you.
God bless you,
Captains Davis and Amber Phelps
Jenny is ambitious for a 21 year-old. She had mapped out her life by the time she was 19 and moved to the community from her small town in Virginia to enroll in college. Her dream was to work for a nonprofit, so she began to pursue her degree in human services with minors in sociology and elementary education. She also started working at a daycare to support herself while in school. Her dream was starting to come together.
Then to her surprise, Jenny found out she was pregnant. The father was another college student and unable to help financially. She decided that she wouldn’t allow these circumstances to interrupt her life’s plan. She would stay in school and raise her child on her own, despite all the hardships.
“I wasn’t going to move back home. I came here for school and I was going to finish what I started.”
It was more difficult than she had imagined. There were times when college loans, rent, utilities and food bills felt like they were closing in around her. With the holidays approaching, Jenny went to The Salvation Army to help make her son’s first Christmas a bright one.
“My wish was simply to get a red wagon and some books for him. I was surprised to receive diapers and wipes as well.”
With the help of The Salvation Army, Santa delivered precious gifts to Jenny’s son at Christmas. This may not seem like much to many, but for this single mother and her newborn, it made all the difference.
John knows the importance of a good meal after a long day. As the new cook for The Salvation Army shelter, John sees his role as more than just preparing food for the residents. Even though he now describes himself as outgoing, fun, and energetic, just last year things were different.
“I was a wreck when I came to The Salvation Army shelter.” John says. “I’d never been in a situation like it.”
After a relationship went bad, John and his three children found themselves with no home. Without any family nearby, they did not know where to turn for help. It was then that they arrived at The Salvation Army where they lived for thirteen months. The family found more than a place to stay; they found a second family.
Through the help of The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs, the children excelled in school and experienced new activities. They didn’t have to think about living in a shelter. Instead, they could meet new friends and enjoy a sense of normalcy. The staff even made extraordinary efforts to make sure days like birthdays and special occasions were celebrated in style. >
John knew his children were in good hands which enabled him to focus on getting his family back on their feet. He regularly attended church services and participated in devotions. He worked with his case manager on personal development and life skills. With his past experience in foodservice, he was able to find a job cooking at a local restaurant. He also works at The Salvation Army, serving as a part- time cook at the shelter.
“After I’ve prepared a wonderful meal for a dining room full of people, and they smile... it’s better than a paycheck.”
His two jobs have enabled him to move into a house large enough for his family and their new dog. He now has the opportunity to help his children with their homework, to chauffeur them to their extracurricular activities, and to carry out his plans for a new business.
“I see a lot of love and progress in our future. We set goals and we set them high.”
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.
We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to every Advisory Board member. Thank you for bringing your passion, intellect, insight, experience and resources to move The Salvation Army forward. Your service and leadership are essential in changing the lives of people in our communities.