The Army at Large: November 2022The Salvation Army's ministry spans 133 countries worldwide. Here's a look at how the Army is doing the most good in the USA.
In partnership with the Division of Disability Services, New Jersey Department of Human Services, Backyard Gardens and Rowan University, the Camden Kroc Center opened the Melvin Williams Garden over the summer “to display the beauty of acceptance and inclusion.” The newly constructed garden includes many accessibility-focused features, such as wheelchair-accessible pathways and garden beds, handicap-accessible parking, bilingual signage, interactive garden booklets and more. All who wish to garden or take in the beauty of the space are welcome, regardless of their level of ability. Produce from the garden will go to the Kroc Marketplace, which serves 10,000 clients a year.
New York City, NY
When a heat advisory warning was in place in New York at the beginning of August, The Salvation Army teamed up with the city’s Emergency Management Team to offer free cooling centers across the city. Salvation Army centers at Bay Ridge, Bedford Temple, Bronx Tremont, Harlem Temple, Port Richmond and Times Square were open to the public to come in and beat the heat. This service was offered in addition to the corps’ usual social services, such as food pantries. Captain Kevin Byran of the Bedford Temple Corps expressed concerns for the elderly, who are risk of heat stroke in such weather. The Bedford Temple Corps was open from 9am to 4pm on the day in question, and pets were allowed to come in and cool off as well.
The Salvation Army Community Center in Canton, Ohio was invited to participate in a community “Back to School Bash” for Stark High School, a tuition-free public charter school for grades 9-12 that is intent on family support and community engagement. Individuals representing The Salvation Army set up a table at the event where they handed out flyers for teen and young adult events, Salvation Army pins, Bibles and copies of Peer magazine.
NBA player Taurean Prince of the Minnesota Timberwolves made a visit over the summer to a Salvation Army social services center in Dallas to give back to the organization which he credits with saving his life as a child, when he and his father were homeless and the two were taken in at an Army shelter in San Angelo, TX. During his surprise visit, Prince provided shoes and other physical necessities, as well as taking time to meet with the center’s clients and prepare meals for people. “Giving is the number rule to receiving. You can’t really receive a lot of the blessings you pray or strive for unless you have the ability to give,” said Prince.
San Antonio, TX
San Antonio Area Command held their 5th annual Celebrity Bowl event, presented by Energy Transfer, towards the end of the summer. Sponsors, celebrities and Salvationists gathered for a fun evening of bowling and fundraising. Guests of note included Christopher Knight of “The Brady Bunch” and Vanessa Rubio and Sean Kanan from “The Karate Kid” franchise. Other celebrity and guest bowlers in attendance included Chris Perez, Thunder Rosa, Keldon Johnson from the San Antonio Spurs, Paulina Chávez, Mayor Ron Nirenberg and more. Team BH Hospitality won first place and the award for Top Celebrity Bowler went to journalist Jeremy Baker. Proceeds for the event benefitted the Army’s San Antonio Emergency Family Shelter.
The Salvation Army teamed up with the Minnesota Vikings for the 2nd annual “Down for the Challenge” rappelling event to benefit the Army’s homeless ministries. Nearly 300 rappelers gathered at and descended the 14-story Omni Viking Lakes Hotel in Eagan. The community raised more than $500,000 at the event. Though the event has ended, people in the community are still encouraged to donate in order to help them reach their goal of $1 million to fight homelessness in Minnesota.
The Emergency Disaster Services team from the California South Division made a trip to Butterfield Ranch in Julian, where the ranch’s 300 residents were under a “boil water” order due to contaminants in their water system. The team brought pallets of water and sports drinks for the residents, who consist of disadvantaged individuals in cheap housing. Many are formerly homeless or from shelters and rely on forms of government assistance to get by.
E.A. Buck Financial Services hosted an online fundraising campaign with their employees in Hawaii, Colorado and Washington state to benefit The Salvation Army’s Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Division’s Back-to-School campaign. They raised a total of $8,546, including a dollar-for-dollar match from the company, and they also held a donation drive to collect backpacks filled with supplies to provide to the Kauluwela Corps, who then gave them to children starting a new school year.
The bikers of ABATE of Alaska held their Christmas in July Toy Run, which ended at The Salvation Army’s McKinnell House with Santa rolling in on a motorcycle to greet the children staying at the shelter. The group collects donations throughout July and spends one day visiting kids in hospitals before seeing the families at the McKinnell House. Captain Denice Delgado said, “We want to do everything in our power to bring joy back into these families.” The McKinnell House provides temporary shelter for homeless children and works to find them stable housing.