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.
Hurricane season in Virginia runs from June 1 through November 30th the greatest impact in Virginia are the I’s Ike, Isabelle and Irene and it seems that rarely does a storm with an A name even get mentioned. Well, Arthur was all over the news last week so we figured this would be good time to talk disaster preparedness in this week’s Salvation Army News Update.
The Salvation Army is active year-round in thousands of communities across the United States and
over 125 countries across the world and when disaster strikes, The Salvation Army can often respond promptly and stay longer than other organizations because of our place already in that community. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared in the event of a disaster.
Here in Central Virginia, we recently teamed up with reigning Mrs Virginia International, Cheryl
Nelson, to share tips on disaster preparedness. Cheryl is an Emmy-nominated TV host, reporter and
meteorologist who is passionate disaster preparedness.
Cheryl came out to our most recent Community Meals picnic night on Tuesday, July 8. She gave a
presentation to our shelter residents and then visited with the folks who came to the community meals dinner.
We hope to be working with Cheryl more and want to be able to keep you up to date in the event of a
disaster so grab your mobile phone and text STORMRVA to 51555 to subscribe to our disaster related text messages. We’ll only send updates when severe storms are headed toward Central Virginia and provide tips on staying safe and where to find relief.
Friday, June 6 is the 70th anniversary of D-Day when allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy during the epic and defining battle of World War II and June 6 is also National Donut Day and we’ll tell you how donuts, d-day and The Salvation Army are all connected in this week’s Salvation Army News Update.
In both World Wars I and II, The Salvation Army sent officers and support to provide ministry to the troops on the front lines of battle. That ministry included counseling, attending to spiritual and medical needs and what they were so often remembered for, serving donuts. One soldier said:
I don’t know what we boys would do if not for The Salvation Army. Those women certainly have courage to come right out there in the trenches, and they’re so good and kind. They not only give us donuts but they bring us salvation.
And this Friday, June 6, which is both the anniversary of D-Day and National Donut Day, your purchase of donuts at a Martin’s store will support The Salvation Army’s work with homeless and struggling veterans in our community. A portion of your donut purchase at Martin’s will help to support work with men like Joseph.
Donations online at DonutsOfHope.org also supports work with veterans like David and Dennis who both served in Vietnam but support of Donuts Of Hope also provides resources to empower youth in Church Hill, keep families stay in their homes and serve meals to hungry folks in our community every day.
Donuts of Hope is a wonderful opportunity to learn about The Salvation Army’s tradition of service on the front lines, whether those front lines be overseas on in our backyard.
Dennis is a veteran who served our country during the Vietnam War.For more than two years, he has been a full time employee with McGuire VA Medical Center. He maintains an apartment in Richmond. His willingness to overcome significant adversity is an example.
“2011 was a changing year in my life; it started out depressing but turned into amazing.”
After his military career he began working in hospitals where he remained until 2008 when he was laid off after 15 years as anesthesiology technician.
“More people were coming out of school with nursing degrees and the tech positions were getting squeezed out.”
Without a steady paycheck Dennis lost his home and was forced onto the streets. Depression set in and Dennis found himself turning to external sources for comfort.
“I became clean the day I entered The Salvation Army in fall 2011. I didn’t want alcohol anymore. God led me to the Army and the Case Managers helped me get perspective and overcome the challenges caused by my choices and how I was living. My faith is very strong and that is what keeps me going. The generosity, the compassion of the donors I’ve experienced personally and I see every day amazes me.”
Dennis’ Case Manager helped him secure a place in the Comprehensive Work Therapy program at McGuire VA Medical Center where he has worked full time since 2012.
“You can’t think negative, you won’t get anything done.”
Mother’s Day can be a difficult time for mothers in trying circumstances who find themselves living with their children in a shelter but thanks to generous and compassionate supporters, this Mother’s Day was a bit brighter for mothers in The Salvation Army shelter.
Through the grace of God, Sabrina is a changed woman. She used to argue people to the ground, and still not stop. Not anymore though. She came to The Salvation Army Shelter with her teenage daughter and left before her allotted time was up. She had earned a job and found an apartment for her and her daughter in less than the allotted 60 days and got out with her head held high. See her story and the compassion of local folks who brought flowers and gifts to the women and children in The Salvation Army Shelter on Mother’s Day.
Joseph is a military veteran living in The Salvation Army Men’s Shelter in Richmond. He was discharged over 30 years ago, struggles with substance abuse and incarceration caused him to seek The Salvation Army’s services. He’s optimistic and on the right path now though.
Stratford University will soon be involved with the Community Meals program and we spoke with a Chef from the Culinary Arts program about their involvement and we have an interview with a military veteran living in The Salvation Army’s Richmond shelter.
The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club is preparing themselves and their members for the annual Youth of the Year competition and we have an interview with the 2010 winner about his experience and we’ll offer some more information and insight to our rapid re-housing program in this week’s Salvation Army News Update.
The Youth of the Year competition in Boys & Girls Clubs of America is the premier recognition program for Club members and promotes service to the Club, community and family, academic success, public speaking ability, life goals and strong moral character.
The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club here in Richmond has been an instrument of change for all who have come through its doors since 1970 including our 2010 Youth of the Year winner, Jatain McLane.
Jatain is now a rising senior at VCU studying history and still active volunteer at The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club.
You may have read a report in the Times-Dispatch recently about a statewide 100-day challenge from October to January on rapid re-housing; the process that gets families and individuals out of a shelter and into permanent housing usually within 30 days. And while The Salvation Army was not part of the 100-day challenge due to the short time we’ve been offering the program we do have some related note-worthy program information to share.
Our homeless prevention programs provide empowering case management to men, women and children while they’re with us and in the last six months we have exited 32 men and 12 families, which is women and children, from our shelter programs to permanent housing and 5 households have been able to stay in their homes thanks to our rent and mortgage assistance. Of our total number of men and women exited, 44 men and four women secured employment. And also in the last year in Petersburg we excited 79 men to permanent stable housing and of them 60 secured full-time employment.
You may recall Anthony, a gentleman who came to our shelter in July 2013 after getting behind on his finances and leaving a difficult living situation with his mother. Anthony was just one of several men to benefit from the rapid re-housing aspect of our homeless prevention programs.
And we presently have at least two more men who will be leaving our shelter program for permanent housing as part of the rapid re-housing program. Thank you for watching this episode. Please share this link on your social networks and subscribe to this channel on YouTube. This has been a Salvation Army News Update.
This Salvation Army News Update features a recap of highlights of The Salvation Army’s work in 2013.http://youtu.be/nAxJhvdFSbU