Posts

Future of Community Meals

Dear Friends,

We hope you had wonderful Christmas and are enjoying an equally wonderful 2016 so far. High among our blessings in 2015 was your continued support our community feeding program, Community Meals. Your cooking and service made it possible for us to serve 50,000+ meals over the course of the year and we are grateful for your support.

We are taking this opportunity to update you on Community Meals and its future. Recently we have experienced a rise in violence during our breakfast and dinner service to the community. Within the last week, several altercations have taken place, some resulting in personal injury and others in property damage, leading us to serve the meals carryout rather than dine in, simply out of danger to our shelter residents, volunteers and staff. In 2015 we also had to call the police over two dozen times to report incidents and request assistance.

Additionally, we have experienced issues with client confidentiality and safety as a result of allowing close to 150 individuals into our building to receive a meal. The use of the cafeteria and staff time during the Community Meals service has also hindered the service we aim to provide for our shelter residents whom come to us expecting transformational programming to help them in their journey toward self-sufficiency. However, because of strained staffing and lack of space, we have been unable to provide this service to the level our residents deserve and we expect of ourselves.

With that said, we will be ending our service of the Community Meals program. Friday, January 29 will be the last day of breakfast service and Saturday, February 27 will be the last day of the Community Meals dinner.

Mid-way through 2015 we began review of the Community Meals program and whether the growing number of calls to the police, property damage and staff strain justified continuing the service at the cost of serving our shelter residents. We concluded that our mission, “To preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in His name without discrimination”, was not being applied among our shelter residents appropriately while we continued Community Meals.

We had hoped to have serve meals further into the New Year, however, due to the rise in incidents such as mentioned above, we feel no choice but to completely end the program on Saturday, February 27.

We will continue to serve breakfast and dinner to our shelter residents, a number of about 60, seven days a week. We pray that you can continue to support our feeding efforts and respect the decision to close the Community Meals service. Within the week our Volunteer Coordinator, Joanna Brown, or a member of our staff, will call you to discuss this. We will also be working on a list of other organizations who offer feeding programs to the community and communicate that to you, should you wish to continue with this type of support.

Thank you again for your support and God bless,

Major Timothy Carter
Area Commander, The Salvation Army Central Virginia

Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club and Councilwoman Newbille Share News of Club Renovation

On Tuesday, July 21, The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club welcomed Councilwoman Cynthia Newbille, of the 7th voter district, to meet with nearby residents of the Club and share the news of the renovation project to begin at the Club in the fall of 2015.

The proposed renovation will add 7,000 square feet onto to the facility, allowing for enhanced programming for members but also allow for extended hours and programming to serve all members of the community. All parts of the Club will receive upgrades, computers, fitness equipment, HVAC, kitchen to be renovated, aquatics center upgrade and locker rooms redone. post_plan7.21.15

The first phase of renovation will include upgrading the aquatics center. Replacing the pool and mechanicals to make operable year-round, expand locker rooms, renovate kitchen and upgrade HVAC.

The renovation to The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club is expected to bring programming and possibilities for youth members but also for their families and our community.

Construction on phase one of the three phase project will begin in the fall and conclude in time for the aquatics center to be open for summer camp in 2016.

A Veteran’s Unconditional Love

We look forward to recognizing those who have served, sacrificed and demonstrated the pinnacle of patriotism.

As we understand the depth of those experiences, let us aspire to the values our service men and women learn and share with their families and communities upon return: loyalty, duty, respect, honor and unconditional love.

Rodney is a loyal marine. He was not spared life’s struggles, but, he now practices the traits of unconditional love with the homeless and others who may be faced with challenges.

The power of unconditional love was exemplified as The Salvation Army Lassies and Volunteers worked 18 to 20 hour shifts to operate 1,000 canteens on 26 battlefronts during World War I. That compassion etched a place in the hearts of thousands of ordinary soldiers who gratefully received help and comfort in their darkest hour.

Jesus led with unconditional love and taught us it will have the final word.

This Memorial Day please allow us to thank you for rekindling the spirits of our veterans with your involvement and showing them their worth to the One who matters.

Giving Tuesday

Kelli talks about how making a gift to The Salvation Army on Giving Tuesday can make a difference in the lives of our neighbors in need.

Salvation Army Tri-Cities Holds Christmas Kickoff

Local politicians including Senator-Elect Rosalyn Dance and Delegate M. Kirkland Cox gather at The Salvation Army Christmas Kickoff at Southpark Mall in Colonial Heights on Saturday. The event marked the beginning of the Red Kettle campaign and Christmas season in which The Salvation Army expects to serve close to 1,400 children from the Tri-Cities with Christmas gifts and raise nearly $100,000 to support year-round services.

Love Kitchen Visits Salvation Army and Tri-Cities Service Center gets Cleaned Up

Little Caesars Love Kitchen

On Sunday, September 21, the Little Caesars Love Kitchen, a 52-foot a pizza kitchen on wheels which travels across the continental United States and Canada meeting the needs of the hungry, the homeless and disaster survivors, visited The Salvation Army to serve dinner during the Community Meals program. Plus, the West End Community Church (above) volunteered that evening to serve salad, dessert and serve the pizza.

Tri-Cities Clean Up

On Saturday, September 20, 40 soldiers from Fort Lee & Combined Arms Support Command volunteered at The Salvation Army Tri-Cities Service Center in Petersburg, VA helping spruce up the property and rearranging the office.

Their Life Will be Like a Watered Garden, And They will Never Languish Again

We have just a couple quick notes for you today, so stay right there and we’ll get to this week’s Salvation Army News Update.

First off, The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club is preparing to celebrate its 60th Anniversary of investing in futures and developing youth in the Richmond area. Please take a minute and visit Celebrating60.SalvationArmyCentralVA.org to check it out and RSVP for the event on Tuesday, September 30. There will be an open house beginning at 4pm and brief program stating at 5pm with the event ending at 6pm. We really hope you can make it.

Also, this past Saturday the Club welcomed folks from Renew Richmond, a non-profit committed to spreading the word and opportunities for living healthy in low income areas along with a couple dozen volunteers from Fort Lee to the Club at 3701 R Street to develop an urban community garden.

Finally, The Amazing Raise hosted by the Community Foundation is coming up on Wednesday, September 17 and 18th and here with a brief word about it is our volunteer Tim who you might remember from a news update about a month ago.

Again, we’ll be communicating via email and social media over those two days on ways to support The Salvation Army in the Amazing Raise and opportunities for gifts to mean even twice as much. With that said, we’ll take a break from the tradition news update next so we can share some great stories of compassion and hope during that time. We’ll see you back on September 24.

Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club Begins Urban Garden with Help from Renew Richmond

The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club is working with Renew Richmond to develop and urban garden on the Club’s property of 3701 R Street in Church Hill that will grow fruit and vegetables for the community and provide programming for area residents.

The garden, at its peak, is intended to be cared for and nurtured by community members and serve as a gathering place for those in the area of The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club to participate in and learn about healthy and sustainable living.

“This partnership is just another example of the exciting things going on at The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club,” said Hugh Jones, the Club’s Executive Director. “John has been great to work with and is passionate about bring this program to our neighborhood and as an organization who invests in futures, we owe to our members and community to offer this.”

2014 marks the 60th anniversary of The Salvation Army’s relationship with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and operation of The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club in Church Hill. An event celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Club will be held on Tuesday, September 30 beginning with an open house at 4:00PM and brief program at 5:00 PM. Visit Celebrating60.SalvationArmyCentralVA.org to learn more.

Church Members Offer Ministry to Hurting Neighborhood

On Tuesday, August 5, The Salvation Army Richmond Citadel Corps offered ministry to the community nearby the Citadel Corps on Orcutt Lane in Richmond as part of the National Night Out effort to promote engaged communities and resistance to violence. There were two murders within just a few miles of the Corps in late June (See Story on WRIC.com).

“It is an important part of our ministry that we get out and spread the word of God,” said one Corps member. “Plus, this community is hurting and it’s important that they know we are here for them, praying for them and with them.”

During the event, volunteers from the Corps served food from the mobile kitchen, prayed with community members, offered activities and balloon animals while a small band from the Corps performed.

The Salvation Army Richmond Citadel Corps offers praise and worship opportunities throughout the week for all community members of all ages.

Salvation Army Offers Picnic Night for Community Meals Attendees

On Tuesday, June 24, The Salvation Army served the daily Community Meals dinner outside as part of Picnic Night. The idea of Picnic Night originated from The Salvation Army’s Advisory Board’s Social Services sub-committee. The purpose of Picnic Night was to free up the space of the cafeteria from 6:15 PM to 7:30 PM when it is normally occupied by community meals attendees and instead be able to offer a program for the residents of shelter which includes men, women and children.

The dinner service was offered from The Salvation Army’s mobile kitchen which is normally reserved for feeding during disaster relief. During the evening, Majors Timothy and Donna Carter visited with the attendees and offered spiritual ministry and an open ear while Case Manager Toni Hutchinson answered questions and provided insight on other Salvation Army and community resources. 187 meals were served, a new community meals dinner service record. The next Picnic Night will be Tuesday, July 8 at 6:15 PM.

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