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National Salvation Army Week is May 13-19

May 13-19 The Salvation Army in Hampton Roads and across America will celebrate National Salvation Army Week as first declared by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954.

On Thursday, May 16th, The Salvation Army will host an event for the homeless community at the Men’s Hope Center Shelter in downtown Norfolk. During the event The Salvation Army will provide food and toiletry items to homeless men and women to help combat the rising temperatures the summer months bring.

Also on May 16, The Salvation Army will announce the opening of a Men’s Transitional Housing program to be housed at the Men’s Hope Center Shelter. The 12 bed wing of the shelter will offer men the opportunity to stay up to 90 days, requiring them to obtain full-time employment, participate in case management, life skills training, substance abuse counseling, and financial management. The purpose of the program is to fill the gap between emergency shelter and permanent housing and is expected to serve nearly 50 men annually.

In 2012, The Salvation Army Hampton Roads Area Command served more than 1,500 individuals through the Men’s Hope Center Shelter and more than 21,000 individuals through all social services programs while providing Christmas assistance to more than 42,500 individuals. Nationally, The Salvation Army served more than 30 million Americans in 2012.

During National Salvation Army week, The Salvation Army will continue its outreach to the Lexington Park community of Norfolk on Saturday, May 18. Beginning at 11 AM The Salvation Army will assist in cleaning up the neighborhood, serve meals from the mobile kitchen, offer games and activities for local youth, and offer prayer and ministry to the community.

During his presidency, Dwight D. Eisenhower stated, “Among Americans, The Salvation Army has long been a symbol of wholehearted dedication to the cause of brotherhood. In time of war, the men and women of this organization have brought to those serving their country far from home, friendliness and warm concern. In the quieter days of peace, their work has been a constant reminder to us all that each of us is neighbor and kin to all Americans, giving freely of themselves, the men and women of The Salvation Army have won the respect of all.”

The Salvation Army of Virginia and DC Begins Sandy Related Response Work

Hampton Roads, VA (October 29, 2012) – The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (“EDS”) in Virginia and Washington, DC has begun its work in response to the early effects of Hurricane Sandy.

The Salvation Army in Hampton Roads began response relief on Saturday evening providing shelter for 63 individuals. Since opening on Saturday evening, the shelter in downtown Norfolk has served 350 meals and distributed 70 hygiene kits. On Sunday evening, 71 people, 68 men and 3 women, found shelter at the Men’s Hope Center in Norfolk. The Salvation Army office will continue nonstop shelter services until the threat of harm from storm conditions clears and normal city and government services reopen.

Upon Sandy passing through the Hampton Roads region, The Salvation Army will work with local municipalities and other organizations to dispatch mobile feeding units, volunteers and resources to the accessible areas of greatest need.

For more information on The Salvation Army’s preparation, suggested supplies, planning and response to Hurricane Irene, please visit http://www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org, http://www.facebook.com/salarmyhr or http://twitter.com/salarmyhr.

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The Salvation Army Opens Cooling Stations

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.

The Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps Vandalized

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.

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Youth Shield Awards

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.