Sussex Central senior’s project adds technology links to Puerto Rico’s recovery

GEORGETOWN — Sussex Central High School junior Adam Bobak has never been to Puerto Rico.

“But I hope to go, with my aunt,” he said.

Until then, his connection to the hurricane-ravaged United States territory is a technological/communications care package linked to a school project.

Refurbished computers, monitors and cellphones are slated to be shipped sometime in early March to Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria in late September several weeks after Hurricane Irma skirted the Caribbean island.

It’s all part of Adam’s CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) project for Sussex Central’s International Baccalaureate Diploma program.

“It’s a requirement for any IBD student.” Adam said. “It has to have global impact and you must learn from it. You must benefit the people you are doing it for. And it must include the community and a supervisor.”

Five months later, Puerto Rico is still recovering from Hurricane Maria, which destroyed most of the island’s electric grid.

“I have always revered computer sciences. I wanted to make our local community aware of the computer sciences,” said Adam. “I then heard of the effects that Hurricanes Irma and Maria had on Puerto Rico. So, I thought I could help them in the process. That is where this idea kind of originated.”

“I just knew they were in dire need. Many of their airports were clogged with people sending food and water so I wanted to wait until the initial wave died down to support this project,” Adam said. “I didn’t want to do something like with water because I wanted to give them something that would more or less last a longer time and kind of make up for the belongings lost.”

Olympic Jones and her mother spend Christmas Eve as bell ringers.

Lolo’s Olympic Spirit

Olympic hurdler turned bobsledder Lolo Jones says she’ll never forget how The Salvation Army helped her family when they were homeless. 

The 35-year-old Christian athlete spent Christmas Eve with her mother as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army. Her post read “Christmas Eve with my mom. When we were homeless @SalvationArmyUS sheltered my fam. The money donated helps ppl all year.”

In November, Jones served as a keynote speaker and honoree at an annual Salvation Army luncheon where the three-time Olympian revealed that her family once lived at The Salvation Army Citadel Corps and Community Center in Des Moines, Iowa.

“When we lost our house, I saw my mother pack up her five kids, give us each a blanket and drive around with no destination,” Jones said, according to The Houston Chronicle. “They let us sleep in the basement until she got her feet on the ground.”

The athlete said her family received food, dinner on holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, along with presents that were provided through fundraisers like bell ringing.

“Simply because people are shopping and hear the little bell, they stop and donate,” she said at the luncheon. “That changes people’s lives. It changed my life.

“The question I’m always asked is: ‘How do you get the courage to try again?’ I always answer, ‘With the help of The Salvation Army.’”

She was favored to win the 100 meter hurdles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but tripped on the penultimate hurdle, finishing in seventh place. She went on to win silver at the 2008 World Athletics Final. Jones is the American record holder in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 7.72.

In October 2012, Jones was named to the U.S. national bobsled team. She won a gold medal in the mixed team event at the 2013 World Championships. She represented the U.S. at the 2014 Winter Olympics, making her one of the few athletes who have competed in both the Summer and Winter Olympic games.

Now as a member of the U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team, she once again goes for the gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Her tenacity, perseverance, and courage to continue competing at the highest levels is no doubt something she learned as she grew up under trying circumstances.

Theirs is the first coffee house venture by the Cleveland corps of The Salvation Army.

First coffee house venture of The Salvation Army

Joel and Cheryl Rogers are home.

They were not always Clevelanders. Joel, having grown up in Franklin, N.C., moved to Cleveland in 2004 to attend Lee University, and Cheryl grew up in Silva, N.C., some 20 minutes from Joel. However, over the last 14 years this hardworking couple has become firmly entrenched within the community, adopting the needs of Cleveland as their own.

“I remember the first time we were headed back here (Cleveland), and she said ‘I’m excited to come back home,” Joel said of Cheryl. “That was 14 years ago now.”

Joel is the kind of person that goes in for an interview and gets turned away from the position he is applying for (which he did) only to have a position essentially created for him (which it was).

“We met with Ruthie Forgey to see ‘What we could do for young people in Cleveland.’”

Cheryl later joined Salvation Army as a general assistant, doing odds and ends until the idea of Inman Coffee could be realized.

Joel currently serves as the director of Christian Education, overseeing the programs for youth and young adults for Salvation Army, and Cheryl serves as the general manager of, and is very much the driving force behind, the day-to-day inner workings of the Salvation Army’s pilot coffee shop, Inman Coffee (formerly known as Inman Street Coffeehouse). These two entities, Salvation Army and Inman Coffee, and these two people, work together in concert to provide a service to those in need in Cleveland.

The coffee shop is entering its eighth year, has hosted over 500 shows with local artists and serves approximately 4,000 college students a month. Inman Coffee is the first of its kind, a sort of “pilot shop,” that Salvation Army has entrusted to the Rogerses. The coffee shop is a focal point for a multitude of Salvation Army events serving as a positive environment for all. And the idea for the business sprang from the imaginations and hearts of Joel and Cheryl, based on similar experiences from their birthplaces.

“We have 15 states in the Southern territory of Salvation Army, and the coffeehouse was the first to open, and just to see the fruitfulness of that ministry has been an amazing thing to watch,” said Ruthie Forgey administrator for Salvation Army. “I think it has exceeded even Cheryl and Joel’s expectations.”

On might say it speaks volumes about the couple that when asked about resumes for information about past work, neither of them had bothered to update their resume since joining The Salvation Army. They are dedicated to the Cleveland community and to their employer.

“Cheryl and Joel have a heart for others,” said Forgey. “This is not a job for them; it’s a way of life.”

To the couple, Inman Coffee is more than a business that they founded; it’s a way to reach into the community and into the hearts of those in need.

When asked what is most rewarding about working with The Salvation Army and Inman Coffee, Cheryl said, “seeing those stories come full circle. We may not have had a hand on the whole situation, but everybody in the building plays a part in people’s stories and their journey.”

When one meets the pair, you “could expect hugs and smiles,” said Megan Wimpelberg, a barista at Inman Coffee and a leader in the Salvation Army Youth Program. “They are very intentional in getting to know you when meeting you for the first time.”

For Joel, working with students from younger ages — 12, 13 and 14 years old — through ups and downs, highs and lows and seeing them come into their own and step up and be leaders and earn a position at Salvation Army/Inman (when there’s an opening) is most rewarding.

Cheryl was inspired early on by her dad, Darrell Woodard, who is very involved in his own community. “He was the chief of the volunteer fire department; he would mow people’s yards; he would bring them food from the garden … whatever the need that he knew of in the community, he wanted to meet it,” Cheryl said. “It really did set the tone for later in life for me.”

When asked about his inspiration for helping others, Joel cited his family’s holiday and family gatherings. “Whenever we had meals, I can’t remember a family holiday gathering where there weren’t non-family members at our table,” Joel said. “We called it ‘picking up strays.’”

The two currently attend church in the same Salvation Army location that Inman Coffee resides in. There is a Sunday breakfast that is open to the public and currently serves about 120-150 people, with Sunday school and worship following. Youth and Young Adults, as well as a kids congregation, meet on Mondays for a meal/service, and Thursday is an adult Bible study. The Coffee Shop is closed on Mondays to facilitate these events.

In the midst of the whirlwind that is The Salvation Army and Inman Coffee, the couple made time to raise a daughter, Eden, who will be 6 in March and has been a member, at least honorarily, of the Inman Coffee staff since she was 2 days old.

When he finds free time, Joel enjoys running, reading and his beloved Atlanta Braves. He proclaimed his love for them as he lifted his canvas shoes covered in tiny Atlanta Braves “A” logos to the table.

Cheryl enjoys cooking and baking. She actually majored in culinary arts for a time before switching to business. She has a side catering business, Cheryl Mae Catering and Confections, which has catered a ladies Christmas breakfast for the past 2 years, catered school luncheons and created specialty cakes and cupcakes for weddings. She is also currently teaching a crockpot cooking class, for 16 people, which is funded by a grant specifically for that purpose.

“I used to hate baking,” Cheryl said. “The only reason I stayed in the kitchen was so that ‘Mamaw’ would give me the bowl with the batter in it.”

It’s interests, and people like the Rogerses, that end up being a boon during times like the 2011 tornado outbreak, in which Cheryl and Joel’s kitchen, along with several mobile kitchens, produced 10,000 meals in one day, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Director of Social Services Robert Galan says bridge stands for Building Resilience in Discipline, Growth and Empowerment.

Salvation Army ‘blessed’ with bigger building

Attendees at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Salvation Army’s new building in Washougal whooped and applauded Saturday as members of the nonprofit and community lauded the efforts it took to complete the project are feeling blessed.

“People in need frequently come and spend the day at the day shelter. We’re blessed by the new building,” Ministry Leader Samantha Wheeler told a crowd of about four dozen people.

Wheeler addressed the attendees in a chapel on the same property that includes the new building, which is meant to provide food, shelter and other services to people in need.

The new building – the Salvation Army of Camas/Washougal that officially opened in October – replaced a much smaller one used for nearly 20 years. At its groundbreaking, Wheeler recalled, she said it was impossible to expand services in the old facility. Services were occasionally suspended, flooding shut down the childcare room and, on busy days, people had to wait outside.

“With the new building, no one ever has to wait outside,” Wheeler said.

The building, located at 1612 I Street in Washougal, is about six times the size of its predecessor at around 4,550 square feet, according to Jennifer Beattie, president of CIDA Architects. It was constructed from modules shipped down from Seattle.

It was October 2013 when Beattie received an email asking if such a project would be possible. At that time, the answer was “maybe.” But everyone pulled together to finish a services location at which “every inch is consumed by something that’s needed,” she said.

Taking the grand tour

People got a look at the building’s features following several speeches from Salvation Army officials and local dignitaries, as well as a ribbon cutting starring a humorously large pair of scissors.

Among its most used spaces is the blessing room. It holds racks of clothing, rubber bins of small childrens’ toys and shelves of kitchenware. Attendees of the event carried little “passport” booklets explaining services and shuffled into this room and others, where passport agents answered questions.

The largest space of the building is at its center, dubbed the Fellowship Hall. Toddlers and kids played games like cornhole and Operation in the room during the event. Around the holidays, it’s used to serve meals.

The hygiene center is another popular feature. It’s best described as a shower room. The inclusion of the shower stall was much needed in town. Clark County’s homeless community has lamented the lack of showers. During the summer, Share House in downtown Vancouver stopped providing showers to people who are unsheltered, citing plumbing issues and overuse of the building.

Shower use is up 35%

Wheeler said the shower has been heavily used since the building’s opening. The service is offered three times week, but it will be open for use four times a week in March.

In fact, the overall use of services has increased. It has seen about 550 clients each week – a 35 percent increase compared the old facility.

Richard Hays has used the building twice. The first time was Friday; the second on Saturday. Hays said he’s residentially challenged, a term he prefers over homeless. He came to the area from Tacoma.

On Friday, Hays simply wanted to get warm. He said the building offered that comfort as well as a pair of Carhartt overalls.

“It’s great. There was food and company,” Hays said. “The staff was really helpful. They got us info on other resources.”

Kendra Taggart is much more familiar with the building, and the old one. Taggart said she started going to church and using the services about five years ago. She wanted to get sober, and she had heard from others going through addiction that they’d been there and hadn’t been judged for their dilemmas.

Taggart said she cried when the old building was torn down.

“I had a lot of fond memories in the old building. I got sober in that building,” she said. “I now feel those same emotions in this new building.”

After volunteering at the location for two years, Taggart is in her second week on the job there.

Old Orchard Beach Salvation Army receives grant from United Way

The Salvation Army of Old Orchard Beach has been awarded a two-year grant from United Way of York County totaling $20,600.

Through the mobilization of resources, expertise and funds that support programs focused on the essentials of education, financial stability and health, United Way of York County advances the common good and strengthens the whole community.

The funding will benefit the Salvation Army’s Hands-Up Center which provides emergency food, clothing, and energy assistance to individuals from the towns of Old Orchard Beach, Saco, Biddeford, Dayton and Arundel and the community lunch program which provides a free lunch to all who wish to attend twice a week.

“At The Salvation Army, where we recognize that ‘need has no season,’ this grant makes a real difference. Many families in the Saco Bay area will benefit from it, year-round. We are very grateful to everyone who made this possible,” said Major B. Bryan Smith, Old Orchard Beach Corps commanding officer.

Thanks to the continued support of many dedicated individuals, businesses and organizations throughout York County, this year, the United Way of York County is investing in 59 community programs serving children, youth, adults and families.

“Thanks to the generosity of many who support United Way’s work throughout the year, we are able to provide continued and much needed support for essential human services across the region,” said United Way of York County President & CEO Barb Wentworth. “These important programs support the best start for our youngest citizens, provide healthy foods for children and seniors, engage youth in meaningful service, and meet basic needs, all critical components of our collective efforts to build an even stronger York County.”

New GPS technology helps disaster units offer better service

The Salvation Army Continues to Serve Following Tragic Parkland Shooting

Broward County, FL – The Salvation Army of Broward and Palm Beach Counties continue to serve in the aftermath of the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Immediately following the shooting, Majors Keath and Candice Biggers, Fort Lauderdale Area Commanders, reported to the Broward County’s Emergency Operations Center to help assess community needs and offer The Salvation Army’s assistance.  Mobile feeding units from Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach were deployed to serve water, coffee, and emotional and spiritual care to first responders last evening.

The Salvation Army met this morning with community officials at the Parkland Recreation and Enrichment Center to coordinate efforts to be offered throughout the day. A prayer vigil to honor the victims is scheduled this evening at the same location.  The Salvation Army mobile feeding units will be on hand prior to the vigil to deliver meals, drinks and snacks.  Additionally, Salvation Army Officers, staff  and volunteers from Ft. Lauderdale Area Command will be available during and after the vigil offering emotional and spiritual care.

Major Keath Biggers is coordinating with local officials to address the needs of the community as they arise.

“We have seen first hand the pain and sorrow in the community, and we grieve with them,” said Major Keath Biggers. “We are ready to help the community in whatever capacity needed.”

In 2016, only a few hours away from Parkland, The Salvation Army supported families and responders following the tragedy at The Pulse Nighclub.  Over the course of three weeks volunteers, staff and emotional and spiritual care specialists provided financial assistance as well as food and beverages to survivors, families and emergency responders.  The foundation of The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services is to provide hope in times of crisis and right now The Salvation Army world-wide is surrounding Parkland and all of Broward County with thoughts and prayers.  The Salvation Army will continue to serve survivors and families as they seek to recover from this senseless tragedy.

For additional information on The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services, log on to


Salvation Army Provides Warm Clothes to Newcomers Facing First Canadian Winter

Amidst sub-zero temperatures, asylum seekers are crossing the Canadian border and The Salvation Army in Quebec is providing winter clothes to help protect them from the bitter cold.

“Many are from Africa and the weather is a big adjustment for them,” says Vanessa Pérugien, The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services Director in Quebec. “Most of the newcomers aren’t prepared for harsh winters and don’t have the money to outfit their families.”

In December, the Quebec government contacted The Salvation Army for assistance with winter wear and, in the first week of the program, Salvation Army thrift stores in Quebec distributed close to $50,000 in winter items.

“We have continued to provide coats, gloves and toques,” says Pérugien. “Thrift store vouchers are distributed to local shelters that are each providing shelter for up to 300 people. The vouchers can be redeemed at our thrift stores and guests are able to choose the appropriate items to meet their needs.”

The Salvation Army isn’t new to cold weather support. From warm rooms to mobile outreach vans and emergency shelters, we offer respite and other services to ensure vulnerable people are safe and protected.

“We have been working with the government to provide support since the first influx of asylum seekers in April 2017,” says Pérugien. “We expect to be offering assistance for the foreseeable future and until our help is no longer required.”

Gallucios Italian Restaurant Partners with Salvation Army to Fight Hunger

Gallucios Italian Restaurant Partners with Salvation Army to Fight Hunger

Gallucio’s Italian Restaurant, which has been named Delaware’s Best Italian Eatery & “Irish-Style” Pub, has teamed up with the Salvation Army for Souper Bowl. The event takes place on Saturday, February 3, at Gallucio’s, 1709 Lovering Ave., Wilmington, DE.

“The Salvation Army began this event here four years ago with the notion that having finished Christmas our pantries are empty and people are still hungry,” said Carl Colantuono, Director of Marketing, Salvation Army of Delaware. “What we want to do is remind people that even after the Christmas season we need to fill our pantries so we created a fun event called ‘Souper Bowl.’”

This event has been hosted by Gallucio’s since 2015. Colantuono approached Greg Dorak, General Manager of Gallucio’s, about hosting this event and Dorak replied, “Sure, it’s a no-brainer,” citing Gallucio’s involvement in the Wilmington Community.

Donation to Souper Bowl is $10 and includes all-you-can-eat soup, donated by Gallucio’s, and a souvenir mug. There will be door prizes and other surprises at this popular Delaware event. The festivities start at noon.

The Salvation Army exists to meet human need wherever, whenever, and however it can. To donate directly to the Salvation Army, please visit

About Gallucio’s Italian Restaurant
Gallucio’s serves quality Italian fare using authentic Italian cooking methods and the freshest ingredients. Gallucio’s also offers casual bar fare, online ordering, take-out and delivery, and takes reservations for large parties of up to fifty people. For more information, please call 302-655-3689, or visit The restaurant is located at 1709 Lovering Ave., Wilmington, DE 19806.

installation of the new Territorial Leaders of the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland

Chief of the Staff Installs Territorial Leaders for United Kingdom, Ireland

Salvationists and friends of all ages gathered at William Booth Memorial Halls Corps in Nottingham to witness the installation of Territorial Commissioners Lyndon and Bronwyn Buckingham as leaders of the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland (UKI). The ceremony, conducted by the Chief of the Staff (Commissioner Brian Peddle) and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle (World Secretary for Women’s Ministries) took place less than a mile from the birthplace of Salvation Army Founder William Booth in Notintone Place.

Colonel David Hinton (Chief Secretary, UKI) opened the ceremony and made the welcome and introductions, with the territorial headquarters flag carried onto the platform. The congregational song Who is on the Lord’s Side? was followed by a prayer song, O Love, from the International Staff Songsters.

Laura-Jane Kingscott (Divisional Youth Specialist, West Midlands Division) welcomed the new territorial leaders on behalf of young people and youth leaders. She said that the following were important to young people: “Going deeper in their knowledge and understanding of Jesus, authenticity, that they are valued for who they are, and given opportunities to grow in their faith and leadership.”

Greeting the new leaders on behalf of the territory’s officers, Major Anita Purkiss (Leicester West) said she realized that the Buckinghams – originally from New Zealand – were now a very long way from home and that she appreciated the sacrifice of leaving their family behind. But, she said, “We will promise to pray that you would know the Lord holding you close in those moments when the inevitable homesickness strikes.”

Commissioner Bronwyn Buckingham (Territorial Leader for Leader Development) responded to the welcomes, expressing how the Bible verses from Philippians 1 given by Laura-Jane Kingscott were especially significant. The commissioner showed a picture of her family and described them as “an extension of us.” She acknowledged that “God who calls, always equips.”

The Chief of the Staff described the UKI Territory as a “God-glorifying expression, daily,” adding: “The days ahead are going to be incredible.” He commended Commissioners Lyndon and Bronwyn to be “leaders to these, your people, shepherds of God’s flock, leading in mission and also appointed to be stewards of all that is temporal underpinning mission … knowing that you are daily accountable to God.”

In the sacred moments that followed, the Chief of the Staff and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle installed the commissioners as leaders of the territory before praying for them. The congregation greeted the new leaders with a round of applause.

Territorial Commander Commissioner Lyndon Buckingham addressed the congregation with passion and conviction, taking as his theme “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.” He lifted up the fantastic things happening in the territory, together with the amazing people doing the work. He acknowledged the challenges, but wanted to emphasize the mission that was being achieved.

“It’s the courage that we find in [Christ’s] name that counts,” he said. “It’s the hope that we find in his name that matters, it’s the confidence that we place in him that makes a difference. His name is Jesus and we love him. We serve him and we honour him and we march in his name.”

Salvation Army Launches Group Singing Program For People Living With Dementia

The Salvation Army has launched a dynamic program for people with dementia which uses singing to help them connect with others and bring back memories.

The scheme, called Singing By Heart, uses a mix of popular hymns, such as ‘Joy in my Heart’, and popular songs like ‘Moon River’, which span the decades. Each song has been carefully selected to ensure they’re fondly recognised by the people in the groups.

It is widely acknowledged that music can trigger past memories and feelings in those living with dementia. Each song begins with a passage of scripture and finishes with a prayer. The sessions are designed to encourage communication, recollection of memories, and happy thoughts for those taking part. It is also hoped carers will find the sessions beneficial through enabling time for them to relax, make friends, and share experiences.

Bill, 86, has been bringing his wife Anita to the Singing by Heart session at Sedgley since October after being recommended by a friend. Anita, 81, has been living with anxiety and memory loss for the past 2 years, unable to remember events within a very short amount of time. Bill says: “Singing by Heart is the one day in the month when I can see Anita full of life and engaged in an activity. It’s amazing to see her being sociable with others, and it’s like she’s back to her previous self. I’ve found it difficult to get any positive responses from Anita in the past but the enthusiasm and humour of the leaders at Singing by Heart is the key to its success. We were even up doing the hokey cokey at the last meeting. Every month our daughter comes with us to the session and it’s seeing Anita smile again that keeps us coming back to spend this special time together as a family.”

Ivy, 85, has attended the Sedgley Singing by Heart group since last September. She takes two buses from her house to attend and says she “really looks forward to it”. Ivy said: “I’m a firm believer that everybody loves music and the happiness it can bring.

“My mother suffered for many years with dementia and I really think she would have enjoyed a group like this. Seeing everyone connect with the music in the room is wonderful. Caring for someone with dementia can be so hard and sometimes a smile is all you want. That is what Singing by Heart can offer.”

The idea to bring Singing by Heart to The Salvation Army was introduced by Lee Highton-Nicholls, who is the regional specialist for the church and charity’s older peoples ministries based in Birmingham. Lee has 12 years’ experience working in dementia care, and wanted to use The Salvation Army’s musical legacy to bring those living with dementia and their carers together in an enjoyable and supportive way.

Lee said: “After working with people living with dementia for many years I was interested to see how we could create an experience for people to engage in prayer, bible reading, and worship. Singing always seems to enable the individuals involved to connect with others around them in a unique way. We are very excited to see Singing by Heart being rolled out to groups across The Salvation Army to connect with people living with dementia and their carers. We believe it offers people the opportunity to enjoy singing together in a relaxed and fun way; whilst offering a way of connecting spiritually through prayer and scripture readings.”

The singing groups have been piloted in partnership with our music ministries team in a number of The Salvation Army’s churches with the hope of rolling the programme out to more areas around the UK and Republic of Ireland in the near future.

For each church to run a singing group they must first take a “Dementia Friends” course, an Alzheimer’s Society initiative. A song lyric book and training video has been produced by The Salvation Army to support the programme.

The Salvation Army is dedicated to supporting older people and runs 13 residential care homes around the UK, as well as befriending services, day centres and a range of activities to combat isolation.

Andrew Wileman, Assistant Director of Older Peoples Services at The Salvation Army, said: “At The Salvation Army we believe everyone has equal value and is loved by God. Often people with dementia can be overlooked, and our local churches are at the forefront of welcoming older people to weekly lunches, clubs, and activities. These activities are not only important in communities to help combat loneliness and isolation, but we also see older people with dementia and their carers coming to us in need of support.

“We believe Singing by Heart can be used by Salvation Army churches and centres, as well as other church denominations, to connect with people who live with dementia, while also providing them and their carers a social situation and support network.”