Winchester - New Salvation Army leaders on the job

New Salvation Army leaders on the job

 Even at a young age, Rachel and Jared Martin knew they wanted to serve others.

The Martins arrived in Winchester last week to head up the local Salvation Army at 300 Fort Collier Road. Monday was their first day on the job. The Martins, who are lieutenants in the international charitable organization and Christian church, succeed Capts. Kelly and Regina Durant, who are now located in Prince William County.

“I grew up in the Salvation Army and the Salvation Army church,” said 38-year-old Jared, who was raised in Independence, Missouri, and represents the fourth generation in his family to be involved with the Salvation Army. “I was volunteering even when I was a kid. My first paid job was with the Salvation Army when I was 16.”

The Martins, who have been married for 14½ years, have served as leaders within the Salvation Army organization for about a decade. Prior to coming to the Winchester area, they served in Culpeper and Maryville, Tennessee.

They met while they were students at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois. At the time, Jared was volunteering and working at the Salvation Army in Kankakee, Illinois.

“On campus he was known as ‘Mr. Salvation Army’ because he wore his uniform a lot,” said Rachel, 37.

“She was studying social work, I was studying religion,” Jared said. “And one of the first things that she said is that she wants to be involved in a Christian social services agency. I said, ‘I know one of those.’”

A short time later, Rachel began volunteering with the Salvation Army.

“We felt God was very directly telling us this is the way he wants us to invest our lives,” said Jared. “The calling of the Salvation Army officer is to win people to know Jesus as their savior, to be a friend of the friendless, to live a life of kindness and service that is self-sacrificial, one that is full of faith. And I think that’s a calling that’s amazing.”

The Martins, who have three children — Anna, 13; Judah, 11; and Knightley, 8 — arrive in Winchester at a time where the demand for the Salvation Army’s services has risen, but revenue streams have been gutted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

About 15,000 people receive help annually from the local Salvation Army. The organization operates a 48-bed emergency shelter at 300 Fort Collier Road, where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily to those in need, totaling about 42,000 meals each year. Financial assistance to help pay utility bills is also available.

The Martins said job layoffs resulting from the pandemic have brought more people to the Salvation Army for help.

“There is a significant need for people who have the capacity to give to stand up and make sure we are able to continue that mission for those who are homeless and those who are in need of utilities assistance,” Jared said.

Currently, the shelter only has 40 beds available due to social distancing requirements, though the Martins say the shelter is not at full capacity at the moment.

In March, the local Salvation Army had to temporarily close its thrift store at 320 Weems Lane in Winchester to adhere to social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The store’s closure led to a significant loss in revenue for the nonprofit, forcing the layoffs of several employees.

But the the store is expected to reopen at 9 a.m. today. Jared said the reopening is something the Salvation Army has been working on for awhile.

“We laid off people from the store when the store closed,” Jared said. “As soon as we were in a spot where it was safe to open the store, the first thing that we did is contact the people and gave everybody who’s qualified the opportunity to step back into their jobs.”

Rachel said she wants to improve the Salvation Army’s interactions and outreach with the local community.

And Jared hopes people will turn to the Salvation Army in their time of need.

“We hope this is a place of hope where people will be able to come with their brokenness and find healing in every area of their life — spiritually, physically, emotionally,” he said. “That somebody who has been destroyed by this world will be able to find refuge and a shield to protect them.”

— Contact Josh Janney at

Salvation Army Fredericksburg Has More Space

Salvation Army Fredericksburg Has More Space

Fredericksburg Salvation Army has more space for its administrative and social service offices. They’re still on Lafayette Blvd and still in the same shopping center as the Family Store (and Paul’s Bakery) but in a bigger building at 2014C….more

Rain or Shine Student Volunteer Demonstrates Caring for his Community

The COVID-19 pandemic has touched all our lives, but the isolation and restrictions are especially hard for children and teens. While school systems turn to virtual classrooms, other learning opportunities are encouraged – and welcome — including service learning. Students at St. Vincent Pallotti High School in Laurel, Maryland, were encouraged to put into practice the values and knowledge gained in the classroom by reaching out to all those in the community who find themselves in need. School administrators recently shared information about The Salvation Army of Prince George’s County.


“I didn’t know much about The Salvation Army, until my school shared a list of organizations that needed help. Since I couldn’t go someplace and volunteer, I thought I could go get groceries with my mom and drop it off,” shared St. Vincent Pallotti freshman Preston Fero. “I miss being with friends and being at school, but I think about people out there who are missing a lot more than that, and don’t have food at home. I’m glad The Salvation Army is there for them.”


For the past two weeks, rain or shine, Preston has arrived at The Salvation Army of Prince George’s County with a couple bags or boxes of food for their food pantry. “He always includes cookies or a treat,” said his mom Bonnie. While he does get credit for service hours, he keeps coming back, with a box of food and a smile.


Every Week is “Volunteer Week” at The Salvation Army

Organizations around the nation celebrate volunteerism during National Volunteer Week, April 19-25. The Salvation Army sees the difference volunteers make in the lives of hungry, homeless, and hurting people every day. Often just knowing someone cares means the world to a person in need. Here are a few ways in which Salvation Army volunteers have taken to the front lines throughout Virginia and the Washington. D.C. metro area, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in recent weeks:

  • Volunteers gathered at The Salvation Army Hampton Roads Area Command warehouse – at safe distances – to assemble “Happies for the Helpers” bags. Partnering with our friends at AT&T, this small gesture was created to say thank you and bring a smile to those who are working on the front-line to combat COVID-19 every day. The bags were delivered to several area hospitals.

  • Each Tuesday and Thursday, The Salvation Army Suffolk, Virginia assembles and serves restaurant meals for their community. This effort provides about 100 meals per day in partnership with the Love Local, Buy Suffolk Initiative. As cars drive alongside the building, teen and senior volunteers from The Mount Suffolk church safely hand over hot meals to hungry neighbors.

  • A few weeks ago, Patrick began serving at the high-risk shelter that opened in Richmond at The Salvation Army Central Virginia Boys & Girls Club. A full-time contractor, Patrick’s projects have slowed down as a result of COVID-19 so he wanted to use his extra time to give back where he sees a need in the community. Now a regular, Patrick helps temporary housing clients in the fitness studio, serves meals, cleaning — wherever help is needed.

  • Each day Anthony catches the Fairfax Connector bus to get to The Salvation Army of Fairfax. He is not seeking assistance or clocking into a full-time job, instead he is a faithful volunteer who ensures that people in the community have the items they need to weather the COVID-19 crisis. Anthony manages the assembly and distribution of food bags that are packed to feed a family of four for 4-5 days. He also prays with those receiving food, offering them additional comfort.


The Salvation Army National Capital & Virginia Division offers heartfelt thanks to all our dedicated volunteers.


Salvation Army of Savannah receives $20,000 from International Paper Foundation, Landings Landlovers

The Salvation Army of Savannah has received two International Paper Foundation grants totaling $10,000, from the company’s Savannah and Port Wentworth mills to assist those who are most in need in our community during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release from The Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army also received a $10,000 donation from the Landings Landlovers club, according to a statement from the club.

Part of the International Paper Foundation funding will support the Salvation Army’s nightly meal service which welcomes anybody who needs a meal to collect the prepared food from 4:30 to 6 p.m. daily at its Center of Hope, 3100 Montgomery St.

These grants will also help in the development of a range of programs, the release stated. Many services offered by this local nonprofit organization will need to be expanded as the community emerges from the critical stage of the current crisis.

“We are pleased to be able to support The Salvation Army during these unprecedented times,” said Jay Wilson, mill manager for the Savannah Mill, and Doug Johnson, mill manager for the Port Wentworth Mill, in a joint statement.

“We are thrilled that International Paper responded so quickly to our request for support during the COVID-19 crisis. The Salvation Army is working very hard to alleviate the suffering of those most seriously impacted by this unprecedented historical event.” said The Salvation Army of Savannah’s Maj. Paul Egan.

The Landings Landlovers donation

The Salvation Army of Savannah received a $10,000 donation from the Landings Landlovers club on Monday, April 20, to support its work the coronavirus pandemic.

The Landlovers, which was founded 45 years ago, held its biggest fundraiser, an annual flea market, just before COVID-19 became a threat in Georgia. The gift to the Salvation Army was possible because of funds brought in during the flea market.

Donations may be made directly to the Salvation Army Savannah at or call 912-200-3004.

All of savannahnow’s coverage of coronavirus is being provided for free to our readers. Please consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Savannah Morning News/ at

Volunteer Demonstrates his Love for his Community

Each Tuesday and Thursday, The Salvation Army Suffolk, Virginia assembles and serves restaurant meals for their community. This effort provides about 100 meals per day in partnership with the Love Local, Buy Suffolk Initiative. As cars drive alongside the building, volunteers from The Mount Suffolk church safely hand over hot meals to hungry neighbors. One of those faithful Mount Suffolk church volunteers is Jeffrey Johnson.

Born and raised in Suffolk, Johnson considers himself a “people person.” He was ready to serve when the call for volunteers was made by his pastor, Rev. Karl Wilkins. “My mother always said, ‘it’s not how much you know, it’s how much you care,’ and I care about this community and helping those who are less fortunate,” said Johnson. After finishing at his job as a hazmat truck driver, which he has held for 40 years, Johnson heads right to the Corps on Tuesdays and Thursdays for meal deliveries. “When I start something, I want to do what’s needed until the end. It’s been a real honor to work with other volunteers to glorify God.”

“He has been serving faithfully since the start of all this,” said Captain Shauntrice Williams with The Salvation Army Suffolk. “He loves the Lord and helping people. The smile on his face shows that he loves what we are doing here in Suffolk.”

Fort Smith Salvation Army Serves Responders During Pandemic

At the beginning stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mercy Hospital, Baptist Health Hospital, and Sebastian County collaborated to create a call center to screen questions, as well as to set up a testing site.  With the hospital staff working tirelessly throughout the day, both at the call center and testing sites, there was no time to leave for meals.  The Fort Smith Salvation Army stepped up services to help first responders and volunteers who are putting themselves at risk during this COVID-19 pandemic.

The Fort Smith Salvation Army is currently feeding the hospital staff and volunteers while the call center site is manned in 12-hour shifts, seven days a week. Meal service at the call center and the testing site began on March 24 and is ongoing, seven days a week including lunch, dinner, snacks, and hydration.  Since the beginning of service, 591 meals, 856 snacks, and 672 bottles of water have been provided to first responders.

Mardi Taylor, Senior Media Relations and Communications Specialist, Mercy Hospital of Fort Smith, says, “We have come to rely on their (The Salvation Army) assistance during this time to help our staff members get proper meals while they serve the community in this capacity.  The Salvation Army has led the way with this service, and we are appreciative of their efforts.”

Sebastian County  Department of Emergency Management and Public Safety’s Deputy Director, Travis Cooper, mentioned that the partnership with the Fort Smith Salvation Army began with tornado disasters, continued with last year’s historic flooding, and is still ongoing.   He went on to say, “Know that we are grateful.”

In addition to new ways to serve Fort Smith during this time of crisis, The Salvation Army continues its service to the homeless and vulnerable in the community. A to-go meal is served to the public every night at the Salvation Army Red Shield Diner all while observing current CDC guidelines and social distancing procedures.   Additionally, they continue to provide food and other emergency assistance.  Recently, they have begun opening their doors on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the homeless, who need hygiene facilities.  And, as always, the Salvation Army’s shelter in Fort Smith, continues to stay open to men and women and has a capacity of 50.

The Fort Smith Salvation Army is blessed to be a part of a giving community.  When the call goes out for help, community volunteers, families and businesses are quick to respond and are helping to prepare and serve meals at The Salvation Army’s Red Shield Diner.  During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, The Fort Smith Salvation Army will continue to find ways to strengthen and give back to the community.

Captain Jonathan Gainey stated, “We are honored to continue serving the people in our community who are in need, as well as the staff and volunteers who work on the frontlines during this uncertain time.”

Click here to learn about The Salvation Army’s national response to COVID-19.

If you would like to help support The Salvation Army’s efforts, please go to or Click here to help The Salvation Army continue meeting needs in your community.


Cynthia Fuller | | (405) 830-6549

Salvation Army helping those most at risk during pandemic

The Salvation Army is working to help those most at risk by converting its Boys & Girls Club on R Street in Richmond into another shelter specifically for those most vulnerable to the virus, using a $40,000 grant from the COVID-19 response fund.

That fund was started years ago through community fundraising in case Virginia faced a crisis.

“A lot of our shelters…we are pretty much at capacity…we started to really target those individuals who are at a higher risk to the COVID-19 virus,” said Major Donald Dohmann of the Salvation Army of Central Virginia.

Dohmann said the Salvation Army was able to buy 150 new cots, linens, supplies and food to keep the new shelter going mainly for people over 60 years old or who have chronic health conditions.

The organization has also been taking in people from the dissolved Camp Cathy and other homeless shelters in our area that may be full. But that increased effort comes with increased costs like supplies, man-hours and food.

“Adding those meals and the cost and making sure we have good nutritional meals… definitely increased our expenses,” Dohmann said.

The Salvation Army will also launch a massive meal delivery mission next week to first responders and health care workers across Central Virginia. The Salvation Army, along with Ukrops, will prepare and deliver 1,200 meals each Wednesday to hospital workers, Richmond police officers and Chesterfield County Fire and Rescue.

“Something that those workers can just grab that are on the front lines and heat really quick and go back to work,” Dohmann said.

But the emergency funding is already running thin and will be depleted next week, Dohmann says. That’s why the COVID-19 response fund is continually asking the community for donations.

Volunteer Ministers and the Churches of Scientology Disaster Response Use Personal Skills to Help During the Pandemic

Personal stories of helping others during the pandemic are being shared by the Volunteer Ministers of the Church of Scientology in various parts of the country.

In the northwest, Rev. Ann Pearce and her Volunteer Minister team from the Church of Scientology in Seattle, WA, continue to work with their community, getting donations of food supplies delivered each week to local non-profits who work with the homeless population. “Organizations in the area including the Queen Anne Food Bank in Seattle have seen the number of individuals in need of basic food staples soar recently,” said Rev. Pearce. “Our volunteers have started a food donation campaign, delivering supplies to local groups weekly, and are also at work on a drive to get new socks donated as there is a need for them in the community.”

In the greater Seattle area from Mill Creek to Tacoma – some of the church’s volunteer seamstresses have been sewing hundreds of masks for distribution to non-profits who are on the front lines helping the public. “Health professionals are recommending saving surgical masks for medical staffs, so church volunteers are making reusable cloth masks for non-medical use as a health measure,” Rev. Pearce said.

Copies of the church’s booklet, “How to Keep Yourself & Others Well” are also being provided by the church as a simple training and prevention measure on cleaning and sanitizing to help keep the public safe and well. For a free copy of the booklet go to

Rev. Julie Brinker from the Church of Scientology in Nashville, TN, said, “With the Nashville community under a ‘Safer-at-Home’ order by Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee since late March, and the Mayor urging residents to wear masks in public settings such as visits to the doctor or grocery store, people are in need of masks. We wanted to help. A local volunteer minister seamstress stepped up in a big way to get masks to the people while also making donations of masks to emergency responders and nursing staff,” Rev. Brinker explained. “She turned her home into a ‘tiny cloth mask factory,’ and announced this to her Instagram following on April 2nd. Since this announcement she has received hundreds of orders for masks. She is most proud of how she’s been able to get masks to those who most need them on the front lines. Among those who are now proudly wearing her masks are Salvation Army volunteers who are out and about delivering goods.”

In another part of Nashville, long time volunteer minister, Jennifer Pantermuehl, is working with the local hospital who put out a call for volunteers to help deliver food to those in need. Several times a week she takes her car and her pull cart to the hospital, picks up the donated food and goes door-to-door delivering it to those in need. “It is the least I can do for my neighbors here in our wonderful city. We have been hit with several disasters recently including a tornado and now the virus. My colleagues and I love to help and have worked out how to do this so we do not put ourselves or those we are serving in danger. Yes, we are wearing our masks and our gloves and give a wide berth to anyone we meet. The food is dropped on the door step, we step back, wave, give them a big smile behind the mask and wish them well,” said Jennifer.

The Volunteer Ministers (VM) program was launched more than thirty years ago, in response to an appeal by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard.

Noting a tremendous downturn in the level of ethics and morality in society, and a consequent increase in drugs and crime, Mr. Hubbard wrote, “If one does not like the crime, cruelty, injustice and violence of this society, he can do something about it. He can become a VOLUNTEER MINISTER and help civilize it, bring it conscience and kindness and love and freedom from travail by instilling into it trust, decency, honesty and tolerance.”

Volunteer Ministers have also trained and partnered with over 1,000 different groups, organizations and agencies around the world, including the Red Cross, National Guard, Army Cadets, Salvation Army, Boy Scouts, Rotary Clubs, civil defense and disaster management agencies, YMCAs, police and fire departments of dozens of cities and towns and hundreds more national and regional groups and organizations.


WASHINGTON , DC, USA, April 16, 2020 / — Written By Rev. Susan Taylor

Hampton Roads organizations still accepting donations during COVID-19

The stay-at-home order is keeping everyone inside and kicking spring cleaning off even earlier this year.

People are gathering up clothing and household items to donate. But what is open to give them away to?

A few organizations are still accepting donations during this time.

Major Matt Riley with The Salvation Army Hampton Roads Area Command said donations skyrocketed over the last few weeks

“With this virus, it has kind of amped it up with everyone being home,” Riley said.

Stay-at-home orders forced organizations to limit hours or close, but The Salvation Army is still taking whatever Hampton Roads residents have to offer.

The organization has trailers at their location on 1136 Lynnhaven Pkwy in Virginia Beach and 901 Eden Way in Chesapeake. Both locations have trailers and they are manned Monday through Saturday.

Donors can also stop by their Virginia Beach Boulevard location to drop off items during operation hours without ever leaving their car.

“All our men are wearing masks and gloves,” Riley said. “We are trying to stay with CDC recommendations.”

The United Way of South Hampton Roads spokesperson said Goodwill stores will accept drive thru donations as well at select locations. Catholic Charities are collecting infant and child clothing at their Virginia Beach Boulevard location.

A spokesperson for CHKD said that CHKD Thrift Stores are closed. The thrift store’s Facebook page asks that people don’t leave donations out in front of their locations for the time being.

Riley said donors can sanitize items.

“Wipe it down before it comes as best they can,” Riley said.

He also said be mindful about dropping off after hours.

“We don’t know what the weather is going to hold and sometimes people go through the stuff and it doesn’t make it to us,” Riley said.

The stores have a dual purpose: providing discounted goods and funding adult rehabilitation centers.

“They house these men that are coming and trying to get themselves straightened out from addictions and difficulties they have been having,” Riley said.

Riley hopes donations don’t stop so his guys can stay busy.

“Even though we are not able to open the stores yet, those donations alone keep the men busy,” Riley said. “It is a huge help.”

 Allison Bazzle