Salvation Army Provides Meals for Students During Oklahoma Teacher Walkout

Salvation Army Provides Meals for Students During Oklahoma Teacher Walkout

OKLAHOMA CITY (April 3, 2018) As many school districts across Oklahoma closed on Monday, and again today, due to a Statewide Teacher Walkout, The Salvation Army was requested by many school boards, other agencies and nonprofits in several communities to ensure students did not go without meals while school is cancelled.   One in four Oklahoma children are food insecure and rely on the Free and Reduced Breakfast and Lunch program offered at most public schools.

Salvation Army locations in Bartlesville, Chickasha, Enid, Lawton, Muskogee, Oklahoma City, Shawnee, Stillwater and Tulsa are all involved in assisting students while schools are closed. The Chickasha Salvation Army is partnering with First Baptist Church to provide a safe place to go during the day as well as providing breakfast, lunch and snacks.  The Muskogee Salvation Army has sandwiches available for students who are not in school due to the walkout. Stillwater is shuttling students currently registered in their after-school program for lunch to ensure they receive a meal during the day.

The Tulsa Salvation Army’s Boys and Girls Clubs has six locations across the Tulsa metropolitan area.  The Clubs are open to members and accepting walk-in students as a safe place for area children and youth while schools are closed.  They are partnering with Tulsa Public Schools to provide breakfast and lunch while The Salvation Army is providing daily snacks, and activities such as crafts, board games, basketball and more.  Captain Ken Chapman, Area Commander for the Metro Tulsa Area Command, states “While not taking political sides with the issues, we are responding to the needs of parents and children who need a safe haven and nutritious meals.  Our resources are stretched, but God will provide!  We are in this for the duration.  If the families need us, we will be here.”

The Salvation Army’s Boys and Girls Clubs in Lawton, Oklahoma City and Shawnee have also opened their doors to students who need a place to stay and nutritious meals and snacks.   Shawnee is providing breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and is available to current members of the Boys and Girls Club as well as non-members.  Oklahoma City and Lawton are also providing alternative options for students during the day as well as meals and snacks.

In some areas, such as Bartlesville and Enid, The Salvation Army is utilizing Emergency Disaster Services resources.   Canteens (mobile feeding units) are providing lunch to students affected by the walkout at pre-determined sites.

The activity center is being built on the grounds of The Salvation Army’s Kaiser Emergency Family Shelter in Phoenix, a 23-room facility with a capacity of 118 beds

Salvation Army breaks ground on Phoenix activity center

The Salvation Army Metro Phoenix broke ground March 31 on the Mike Michaels Activity Center, named in honor of the late Mike Michaels, Valley resident and longtime supporter of The Salvation Army.

Michaels’ daughter Barbara Anderson and son Chuck Michaels were on hand with their families to put ceremonial shovels into the ground with Salvation Army officers. The two-story activity center is targeted for completion in November.

“I only wish my father was here to see this come to be and see all of people it will help,” Chuck Michaels said.

Before his passing in 2015, Mike Michaels—who worked as a financial advisor in the Valley for more than two decades—donated often to The Salvation Army, and he told his children of his intentions to leave the bulk of his estate to charity. The daughter and son have honored their father’s wishes by supporting such programs as The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Centers and Kroc Center scholarships.

The Mike Michaels Activity Center will continue that legacy with a model of “Recreate to Re-create,” designed to restore normalcy to families by providing opportunities for them to learn and heal through play, as well as address families’ short and long term housing and economic self-sufficiency goals.

“In recent years, a growing number of noted mental health professionals have observed that play is as important to human happiness and well-being as love and work,” said Major Barbara Sloan, Executive Director of The Salvation Army Phoenix Family Services. “Research supports the effectiveness of recreation therapy, especially with children experiencing a wide variety of social, emotional, behavioral and learning problems.”

The activity center is being built on the grounds of The Salvation Army’s Kaiser Emergency Family Shelter in Phoenix, a 23-room facility with a capacity of 118 beds and 15 cribs for its residents. Over 500 people were provided shelter at the facility this past fiscal year.

Their goal? Camp Appalachia, a residential camp for kids affected by the opioid epidemic and children who are in foster care.

Former Salvation Army Summer Camp Site Continues Doing The Most Good

Jared Davis wants to teach children affected by the opioid epidemic a “new normal.”

As a firefighter and an emergency medical technician with the Teays Valley Fire Department, he’s seen first-hand just how treacherous the opioid epidemic can be. He’s also worked with the Tri-County YMCA’s summer camp for several years, and through both of those opportunities he’s come to recognize a need.

“There’s a distinct need in our community that focuses on prevention. A lot of the opioid crisis focus is on treatment for people who are affected,” he said. “Prevention, it’s going to start with the kids who are directly affected by it.”

It’s a generations-long cycle of poverty and drug abuse, he said, and if something isn’t done to intervene — it’s likely going to continue.

“When a kid is born into a particular situation, they’re going to see that as normal,” he said. “When their family does drugs, doesn’t work and isn’t functional, the kid is simply going to grow up and follow in those footsteps.”

“It’s not a kid’s fault to grow up and become what their home situation is if no one has ever taken the time to show them a better way,” he said.

And that’s exactly what he and others at his church, Church at the Depot, feel called to do: Show kids a better way.

The church purchased the former Salvation Army Camp Happy Valley property in February, which had been on the market since 2016, according to a previous Gazette-Mail report. It has sat vacant for two years, Davis said.

Camp Happy Valley was last open during the summer of 2014 as a day camp. The camp is located in the Scott Depot area of Putnam County on the former Fletcher Farm that was purchased in 1967.

Church at the Depot purchased the property for $535,000, according to online property transfer documents.

Their goal? Camp Appalachia, a residential camp for kids affected by the opioid epidemic and children who are in foster care.

Camp Appalachia is a more than 150-acre camp, complete with a rock wall, a ropes course, a pool and more. The goal of the camp will be to teach children resiliency skills, using a strengths-based model.

Rather than focusing on “what is wrong and how to fix their problems,” Davis said the strengths-based model helps teach kids to overcome their situations by investing in what their strengths are as a unique individual.

“When a kid can come to summer camp for prevention — maybe it’s a kid who is not very athletic and doesn’t think they can achieve on the rock wall. When you build that child up, and you help them up the rock wall … when they see something that’s hard and they didn’t think they could accomplish it — and they accomplish it — that’s going to build their resiliency,” he said.

“Instill in them the belief that they can be better. We can’t necessarily fix the kid’s situation, but we can change his or her outlook on the situation. So, when they go back to a home that is not suitable, so to speak, they have the emotional fortitude and the resiliency to be able to overcome their family situation. Maybe they can look back on the counselor who spent extra time with them, or showed them that they cared.”

Camp Appalachia has partnered with West Virginia State University, Davis’ alma mater, to provide outdoor education for campers. Using his connections with first responders in Putnam County, Davis said Camp Appalachia will invite firefighters, EMTs and police officers to come hang out and participate in camp activities with children to show them a different viewpoint.

“They might view those folks as the people who took Mom or Dad away,” he said.

Davis said the church also hopes to prevent summer learning loss in its campers.

For example, he said, a student who just completed fourth grade on a fourth-grade reading level may spend the entire summer “in survival mode” at home with their families.

“So what happens, a lot of those times, is they go to fifth grade back down on a third-grade level,” he said.

The church will plan on spreading the gospel to campers, but it’s not a typical church camp, Davis said.

Most importantly, he said he wants to campers to see themselves “the way the Lord sees them, which is loved and cared for.”

The church hopes to offer the camp at a low or no cost to children but knows it will be a large undertaking. He also plans to partner with local foster care agencies and the Angel tree program to send kids in need to camp for free or at a low cost.

“We want to reteach that normal. A lot of these kids are not exposed to functional adults who contribute to society well, who maintain jobs and stable households,” he said. “We want to help them identify strengths within themselves. Not many have an adult saying, ‘Hey, you’re good at this, or you’re good at that.’”

Because the property has sat vacant for a few years, Davis said there is still a lot of work to be done before opening it in some capacity this summer. Davis said the church hopes to open the camp as a day camp this summer but has longer-term goals of a residential camp.

The Salvation Army Hampton Roads Area Command received a donation of 500 bars of Alaffia Good Soap from Whole Foods Market in Virginia Beach on March 9

Whole Foods Market Donates to Hampton Roads Command

The Salvation Army Hampton Roads Area Command received a donation of 500 bars of Alaffia Good Soap from Whole Foods Market in Virginia Beach on March 9. This soap will be given out to individuals while they are staying at the Hope Center Shelter, as well as to those leaving the shelter for permanent housing secured by The Salvation Army Hampton Roads Area Command.

During the winter storms in January, the Salvation Army had a significant increase in the number of individuals they served at the Hope Center both overnight and during the day as a warming station. The soap donation from Whole Foods Market will help to replenish the supply of hygiene items given out at that time, in addition to the provisions they distribute throughout the year.

The Salvation Army is thankful for our community partner, Whole Foods. The generosity of their customers, as well as their commitment to improve the lives of those less fortunate in Hampton Roads, allows The Salvation Army to continue to do the most good for our neighbors in need. Today the men at Hope Center are more comfortable due to the kindness of Whole Foods.

Whole Foods Market in Virginia Beach also made a donation of soap to The Salvation Army Hampton Roads Area Command in October in support of H.O.P.E. Village residents, who are homeless single women and women with children

100% of the proceeds from the sale of Alaffia Good Soap support families and communities around the world.

The Salvation Army Serving in Jacksonville, Alabama Following Severe Weather

The Salvation Army Serving in Jacksonville, Alabama Following Severe Weather

Jacksonville, AL – A line of severe storms moved across northern Mississippi and Alabama dropping large hail and spinning up several tornadoes Monday evening. The most extensive damage is in Calhoun County, Alabama where Jacksonville State University received a direct hit.

The Anniston Corps of The Salvation Army has been called to feed lunch and dinner Tuesday for 300 first responders at the Jacksonville Public Safety Complex. The Corps will also provide service delivery to volunteers responding to the area, as requested. The Anniston Corps mobile feeding unit will be supported by 3 additional mobile feeding units from Birmingham and Gadsden. Other resources throughout Alabama are on standby to provide support as needed.

“There are several buildings with roofs ripped right off,” said Major Eric Roberts, Anniston Corps Officer. “It breaks your heart knowing what these folks are going through, but we are here to offer a little bit up hope and a hot meal.”

Major Roberts and Salvation Army staff are also trained to offer emotional and spiritual care to residents who may have lost their homes and simply need to pray with or talk to someone.

“We want them to know they are not alone in this. They can always come to us for help.” said Major Roberts.

Other Salvation Army local units in northeast Alabama are continuing to assess service delivery needs.

“We are communicating with local and state emergency management officials to determine if there are additional needs in the state.” said Terry Lightheart, Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. “We will provide service wherever it is needed.”

Salvation Army to open nonprofit grocery stores in food deserts

Salvation Army to open nonprofit grocery stores in food deserts

In an effort to fight hunger in America, the Salvation Army says it is getting into the grocery business. The nonprofit is looking to open grocery stores in and around food deserts to help bring nutritious, low-cost food to people who might otherwise have difficulty accessing it. The first such grocery opened this week in Baltimore.

The Salvation Army’s new grocery store is called DMG Foods, which comes from the organization’s motto, “Do more good.” According to The Shelby Report, the grocery is open to all shoppers, regardless of income, and it has extra coupons and giveaways for customers who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

The first store is located in a 7,000-square-foot warehouse, and it sells national brands of nonperishable items as well as a house brand called Best Yet. The store has an on-site butcher and a deli, and it sells prepared meals and salads that are reportedly being put together by the Maryland Food Bank, which will also offer cooking demonstrations.

In addition to functioning as a regular grocery store, the Salvation Army says DMG Foods will offer nutritional guidance and meal-planning, shopping education, and workforce development. DMG Foods is being called the first non-profit supermarket, and if the Baltimore location goes well, the Salvation Army hopes to open more DMG Foods stores in other food deserts all around the country. For ways an individual can help, here are 60 ways to help fight hunger in America.

Red Kettle Campaign Raises $144.5 Million

ALEXANDRIA, Va.March 7, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Salvation Army’s iconic Red Kettle Campaign collected $144.5 million in 2017 thanks to the support of donors and corporate partners. The money raised will help The Salvation Army provide food, shelter and social services to nearly 25 million Americans in need this year.

“The country faced many hardships last year after multiple natural disasters, making 2017 an even more important year for giving,” said Lt. Col. Ward Matthews, community relations and development secretary for The Salvation Army’s National Headquarters. “We’re humbled by the generosity that will allow The Salvation Army to continue serving America’s most vulnerable populations in 2018.”

In addition to the $144.5 million raised in red kettles and through corporate partners, online donations through totaled $45.4 million, a 26% increase over 2016.

The Salvation Army enjoyed a jam-packed holiday season with initiatives new and old. Starting from the top:

The Salvation Army began the season by issuing a call for action, asking Americans to join the Fight for Good, the official theme of the 2017 Red Kettle Campaign. Joined by a few notable citizen soldiers who each chose their own battle in the Fight for Good, The Salvation Army rallied supporters to designate their contributions to support cause areas that fight hunger, provide shelter or ensure Christmas assistance for those in need.

Trick-shot artist and YouTube phenomenon Brodie Smith hosted a fundraiser to fight for hunger relief and teamed up with professional skateboarder Tony Hawk to raise awareness of the need for donations this holiday with a Red Kettle skateboarding trick-shots video.

Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones fought to keep families safe and warm during the holidays with a fundraiser dedicated to sheltering the homeless. When she was a child, Lolo and her family benefited from The Salvation Army’s shelter programs, and she made a special appearance on the show Steve to talk about what it means to help others during the holidays.

Author and social-good ambassador Chris Strub, who was the first person to livestream from all 50 states, called attention to the many faces and challenges of poverty as he chronicled his 25-state #FightForGoodTour on his social media platforms and YouTube channel.

Jerry JonesCharlotte Jones Anderson and Red Kettle Kickoff performer Thomas Rhett, along with Commissioner David Hudson, The Salvation Army’s new national commander, kicked off the 2017 Red Kettle Campaign with a satellite media tour at AT&T Stadium the day before Thanksgiving. The Dallas Cowboys also showcased #FightForGood on national television just before Thomas Rhett’s LIVE halftime performance. The campaign kickoff marked the 21st year the Cowboys organization has partnered with The Salvation Army to launch the iconic campaign during the nationally televised game. Since partnering with the team, the Red Kettle Campaign has raised more than $2.4 billion.

Leading up to and on #GivingTuesday, Nov. 28, The Salvation Army was seen and talked about during national media appearances on The Today Show with Tony HawkAccess, Access Live, Buzzfeed’s AM to DM, WGN Radio, Mornings with Maria and Steve. The week of Christmas, TheToday Show aired a segment featuring The Salvation Army’s Door of Hope program in San Diego, Calif.

Corporate partners also contributed greatly to the success of the 2017 Red Kettle Campaign.

Red kettles outside of 6,400 Walmart and Sam’s Club locations across the U.S. collected $43.3 million, which contributed about 30 percent of the $144.5 million total. The Kroger Co. hosted Red Kettles at more than 2,700 locations across the country, raising a total of $18.2 million, or about 13 percent of the $144.5 million total. Red kettles at roughly 770 JCPenney stores collected a total of nearly $2.3 million for the campaign, 1,718 Walgreens locations raised $2.5 million, 600 Big Lots locations raised $905,000 and 68 Bass Pro Shops locations raised nearly $440,000.

Hanes and The Salvation Army teamed up once again to provide socks to those in need. As part of their annual sock drive, Hanes donated 75,000 pairs of socks to The Salvation Army, bringing the total number of socks donated over the past nine years to more than 2.4 million pairs.

Between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, Dr Pepper Snapple Group donated a portion of sales to The Salvation Army for every specially marked 7UP, Canada Dry and Squirt two-liter bottle, 20-ounce bottle and 12-pack sold.

Calling on snackers to not only give thanks during the holiday season, but to give back, Frito-Lay North America donated to The Salvation Army with every bag sold of its new Tostitos Yellow Corn Bite Size tortilla chips. Donations totaled $300,000.

UPS ran its Wishes Delivered campaign and included The Salvation Army in its select group of charity partners to each receive $33,000. For every wish submitted with the campaign’s hashtag, UPS donated $1 and shared stories of the people and organizations who are solving problems to make a difference in communities.

During the holidays, more than three million people rely on The Salvation Army to provide them with warm meals or toys for their children on Christmas Day. Donations made to the red kettles help The Army provide more than 10 million nights of shelter and 56 million meals a year, along with substance abuse recovery programs, after-school programs and emergency shelters for children and families in need. In all, The Salvation Army is able to help nearly 25 million people each year, thanks in large part to people’s generous donations.

From its humble beginnings as a program started by a Salvation Army captain in San Francisco in 1891, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable campaigns in the United States. It provides toys for kids, coats for the homeless, food for the hungry and countless social service programs year-round. To learn more, visit

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.