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 salvationarmyusa.org 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 salvationarmyusa.org

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 www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.