During the first week of July, The Salvation Army offered the Community Challenge as a way for Hampton Roads corporations, businesses and organizations to get involved with The Salvation Army’s mission of providing human services to those in need. During JoKellthe Community Challenge partners competed against one another to raise the most money for The Salvation Army by ringing bells and promoting their own online red kettles.

Community Challenge partners JoKell, Checkered Flag, Northwestern Mutual and Stihl along with The Salvation Army Advisory Board and Women’s Auxiliary helped raise more than $7,000 towards the $10,000 goal that will help send at-risk youth to summer camps, provide food supplements to hungry families and provide cooling assistance to families on the verge of having their utilities disconnected as well as help sustain larger programs such as the Men’s Hope Center Shelter and women’s transitional housing program HOPE Village.

“We are most grateful for our faithful community partners who are helping us remind folks that there are many in need year round. It’s about neighbors helping neighbors,” said Captain Brett Meredith, Salvation Army Tidewater Area Commander.

At present, The Salvation Army is approximately $2,800 short of the $10,000 goal for the Community Challenge. To support and help Salvation Army programs and services continue to their fullest potential please donate via the link below.

Click here to donate

Due to extreme heat, The Salvation Army Tidewater Area Command’s Norfolk and Portsmouth Corps will serve as cooling stations when temperatures reach 95 degrees and above. The expansion in services will provide comfort and relief to the growing number of individuals without access to shelter by offering critical refuge from the summer heat.

Captain Meredith states, “The Salvation Army has always aimed to served those most vulnerable and this is an area we can assist those who are not fortunate enough to have air conditioning in the hottest part of the day.”

Cooling stations will be open during business hours from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday when temperatures reach 95 degrees and beyond. These services are an extension to “Water Outreach” currently provided at The Salvation Army’s Men’s Hope Center Shelter near downtown Norfolk. The Salvation Army Portsmouth and Norfolk Corps provide daily social services including utility assistance and food supplements to families and individuals in need, as well as offering worship opportunities and youth programming throughout the week.

Volunteers are needed to assist in running the cooling stations. Please contact Shelby Moore at 543-8100 x106 or shelby_moore@uss.salvationarmy.org for more information.

On the evening of Tuesday, July 10 The Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps had three of its external air conditioning units destroyed by vandals. The destruction of the air conditioning units leaves much of the facility without working air conditioning, a critical feature of the facility during the summer months when clients visit the office seeking services and refuge from the summer heat.

“It is disheartening to believe that anyone would do damage to The Salvation Army where people come to find help and hope,” said Captain Brett Meredith, Salvation Army Tidewater Area Commander.

The Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps provides daily social services including utility assistance and food supplements to families and individuals in need in Portsmouth as well as offering worship opportunities and youth programming throughout the week.

A police report has been filed. The Salvation Army requests that anyone with knowledge of this crime or potential suspects call the Crime Line at 888-LOCK-U-UP. Companies or individuals interested in donating to assist with the replacement of these HVAC units, please contact The Salvation Army at 543-8100.

Enjoy Salvation Army News Update – 6.27.12.

The Salvation Army’s Men’s Hope Center in downtown Norfolk is extending weekly homeless day service hours effective Monday, July 2, 2012. The extension equates to an additional day of service programming on Thursdays and the inclusion of women’s hygiene services daily.

Captain Brett Meredith says, “We want to accommodate as many people as possible, and this expansion of services allows us to assist half of the homeless population daily instead of just once a week.”

The Men’s Hope Center, located in the Ghent area of Norfolk at 203 West 19th Street will now offer day services programming on Thursdays between 9AM and 2PM which includes employment counseling, housing and substance abuse counseling and services; hygiene services such as clothing assistance, showers and laundry access; and additional services such as voicemail accounts, storage and vital record retrieval. In addition to the now full week of day services, the Hope Center will now offer women’s hygiene services from 2:30PM to 3:30PM Monday through Friday.

“The services that we provide to the homeless are invaluable, and we want to assist them in ways that can help stabilize their lives so that they have a shot at transitioning off the streets. This is central to our goal of serving suffering humanity and fighting poverty in its many forms,” said Captain Meredith.

Between July 1st, 2011 and June 22nd, 2012 The Salvation Army’s Men’s Hope Center served 965 unduplicated homeless singles. In serving these individuals services primarily focused on both meeting immediate needs but also serving as a first step of moving the individuals toward employment and housing opportunities.

The site also functions as a 30 bed emergency shelter for men and soup kitchen providing 12 soup kitchen offerings a week to homeless individuals in the area and a total of seven meal offerings to men staying in the shelter. In the last 12 months 1,376 men received 6,758 nights of shelter in addition to 40,409 meals provided.

The Salvation Army Tidewater Area Command will put out its iconic red kettles for the first week of July in an effort to raise awareness of those who are most vulnerable in our community. Community partners such as Checkered Flag, JoKell and Northwestern Mutual will all participate in the Community Challenge, both ringing bells at local ABC and Harris Teeter stores and raising funds online through the Online Red Kettle at SalvationArmyHRVA.org.

“We are most grateful for our faithful community partners who are helping us remind folks that there are many in need year round. It’s about neighbors helping neighbors,” said Captain Brett Meredith, Salvation Army Tidewater Area Commander.

This summer The Salvation Army is sending at-risk children to safe, educational summer camps, providing cooling assistance to families on the verge having utilities disconnected, providing food supplements to more than 150 families a week, among other larger programs such as the Men’s Hope Center Shelter and Hope Village, women’s transitional housing center.

“When you give to The Salvation Army, your dollars will stay right here in Hampton Roads to fight poverty and serve suffering humanity,” said Captain Meredith.

This will be the fourth year that The Salvation Army Tidewater Area Command has deployed red kettles in the month of July. It is the first year of having support from community partners like Checkered Flag, JoKell and Northwestern Mutual.

Click here to donate.

Click here for Checkered Flag Online Red Kettle
Click here for JoKell Online Red Kettle
Click here for Northwestern Mutual Online Red Kettle


Salvation Army personnel throughout Hampton Roads are responding to the carbon monoxide presence in the 1700 block of South Street in Portsmouth that left two people dead. Approximately 100 other residents in the area were evacuated after their respective buildings tested positive for high levels of carbon monoxide.

On Saturday, June 23, a Salvation Army mobile kitchen unit and volunteers from area churches will be at the site to provide lunch and dinner as well as emotional and spiritual assistance to the displaced residents in the area. Beginning Friday, June 22 and throughout the duration of residents’ displacement, Salvation Army officers will be available to assist with residents’ needs.

Captain Brett Meredith, Area Commander of The Salvation Army, shares, “I am concerned for the welfare of those who have been displaced by the carbon monoxide and that our hearts go out to the families of those who have lost their lives. The Salvation Army stands ready to minister to the residents whether it is by serving a meal or having a listening ear or saying a prayer.”

In the short-term aftermath of the deaths and high carbon monoxide levels, Salvation Army officers, staff, and volunteers will focus primarily on immediate needs providing food, emotional and spiritual care to impacted individuals and families.

Salvation Army mobile feeding units will be positioned in the following area:

-Swanson Homes Community Center (1800 South St, Portsmouth, VA) serving lunch and dinner

The best way to help survivors and relief workers is to make a financial contribution. Monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors.

The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by high carbon monoxide levels visit www.SalvationArmyHRVA.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769). Donors may also contribute $5 via their phone bill by text messaging the word SALHR to 80888, and confirming the donation with the word, “Yes.” Checks may be made out to The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, PO BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301. Please designate ‘carbon monoxide relief’ on all checks.

    • A $10 donation feeds a disaster survivor for one day
    • A $30 donation provides one food box, containing staple foods for a family of four, or one household cleanup kit, containing brooms, mops, buckets and other cleaning supplies
    • A $100 donation can serve snacks and drinks for 125 survivors and emergency personnel at the scene of a disaster
    • A $250 donation can provide one hot meal to 100 people or keep a hydration station operational for 24 hours
    • A $500 donation keeps a Salvation Army canteen (mobile feeding unit) fully operational for one day

At this point, in-kind donations are not being accepted. Used clothing and used furniture are seldom required during an incident. However, these gifts are vitally important in supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Family Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825).

For the latest emergency disaster services news, please visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org and follow the EDS team on Twitter @SalArmyEDS. Interested parties may also visit SalvationArmyHRVA.org, http://www.facebook.com/salarmyhr, and follow SalArmyHR on Twitter at http://twitter.com/salarmyhr.

The Salvation Army Tidewater Area Command welcomes Captains Brett and Mary Meredith as Tidewater Area Commander and Associate Area Commander, respectively.Captains Brett and Mary Meredith

“We are excited to be coming to Hampton Roads to serve this great community which includes many from our heroic military,” said Captain Brett Meredith. “It is an honor to serve alongside those that fight for our freedom as we fight against poverty in its many forms.”

Captains Meredith, come to Norfolk from Kerrville, Texas where they served a six year appointment as Corps Officers and Kroc Administrators. In Kerrville, they successfully fundraised, built and opened a Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center.

Captains Meredith, high school sweethearts, married in 1985. After a successful music career and having become one of the premier Christian music groups in the United States with his family and group, The Merediths, in 1998 Brett heard God’s call to serve as an officer in The Salvation Army. Within six months Mary, then a commercial property manager, too heard God’s call to serve. In November they began an 18 month stint of assisting the Columbia, South Carolina Corps and in August of 2000 entered the College for Officer Training.

Upon completion, June 2002, they received their first appointment to The Dallas Temple Corps in Dallas, Texas where they led a congregation of 140 and helped it grow to over 200 each Sunday in 4 years. In 2006, they received an appointment to Kerrville, Texas, where they led one of 27 Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers in the United States. In Kerrville, Brett served as the Kroc Administrator and Mary as the Corps Officer.

The Merediths have two children, a daughter who was commissioned as a Salvation Army officer three years ago and a son who will be attending his sophomore year at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Twice a year The Salvation Army National Headquarters reviews leadership and appointments and moves officers based on community needs and officer’s skills. The average appointment length is three years.

On Wednesday, June 13, The Salvation Army Norfolk Corps celebrated the teenagers and young adults involved in Corps programming by hosting the inaugural Youth Shield Awards.

Annually The Salvation Army sends approximately 30 teens and young adults to Youth Councils, a leadership and spiritual development conference, at Youth Councils the Corps awards a single participant with an award. At the Youth Shield Awards, Stacey Adkins, Corps Youth Evangelism and Outreach Director, recognized teens in the categories of community service, spiritual growth and leadership.

“It’s always frustrating at Youth Councils that we have all these great kids and can only recognize one,” Adkins said. “The Youth Shield Awards is going to be a great annual event where we can really celebrate our teens and young adults for a variety of things.”

In addition to the awards, the event included a fashion show with items selected from Salvation Army Family Stores by Dawn Miller and modeled by the teens. The theme of the event was “Using Passion for Good” and included a panel discussion with members from the community who are all using their passions for good. The panel included Rae Pearson Benn (Mrs Virginia Beach 2011), David Ham (Reporter at WVEC-TV 13News), Dawn Miller (Realtor at Exit Realty) and Naoma Doriguzzi (Social Media Expert). The panel discussed topics such as how they use their passions for good, how teens can find their passions and some of the biggest dangers and temptations teenagers face, among others.

“I had a great time talking about using passion for good,” said Naoma. “We had an amazing panel; doing great things in the community.”

All food and items included in the fashion show were donated by Major Dewey Alderson at The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center and Family Store.

While a date for the 2013 Youth Shield Awards has not yet been set, it will likely be in mid-June.

24 hours in the lives of a Salvation Army client can be difficult. Your gift of 24 hours devoted to raising funds and awareness of The Salvation Army’s mission for serving those in need can make a world of difference.

The long and short of it is that if you and your company devoted 24 hours of your work week to raising $50 each hour, whether it be through bell ringing or your Online Red Kettle you’d raise $1,200! If your company provided a 100% match that’s $2,400 that can be used to feed families, pay utility bills, send children to camp, keep the homeless cool and much more. It may not seem like much but with $2,400 The Salvation Army can change someone’s next 24 hours.

How to Participate

  • Select volunteer bell ringing dates & shifts for your employees
  • Use email and social media to fundraise in your company’s Online Red Kettle
  • Commit to match your Red Kettle and online donations
  • Sign the commitment form and secure you company’s Community Challenge spot

Fun Stuff

  • The Salvation Army will include participant names in press releases, media coverage, social media updates, website updates.
  • Participants will also receive recognition in The Salvation Army’s Annual Report
  • The overall champion will receive a plaque and recognition at The Salvation Army’s Annual Dinner on September 27, 2012

All funds donated to The Salvation Army’s Community Challenge will support The Salvation Army’s programs and services here in Hampton Roads, including food supplements, youth camps, women’s transitional housing and men’s shelter programs & services and
other social services. 24 hours from your week can help change the future of someone else’s.

Please contact Nicole Pellegrino (757-581-2362 or nicole_pellegrino@uss.salvationarmy.org) to schedule bell ringing date and location as well as to receive information on your Online Red Kettle.