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.


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.”

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

Salvation Army works to change the lives of those in need

Sinclair Broadcast Group, including ABC13, is partnering with the Salvation Army in a campaign called “Sinclair Cares: Your Neighbor Needs You.”

The Salvation Army works around the clock to provide food and shelter for those in need.

Last year, 20-year-old Zoe Vaughns left her home in Seattle for college.

“I was going to Liberty and just, you know, life happened, life got in the way and I ended up needing place to go,” Vaughns said.

She turned to the Salvation Army in Lynchburg.

“I was initially really scared to come here, because I’d never been homeless in my whole entire life and this was a whole new experience,” Vaughns said.

It was a new experience that took away her initial fears when she reached out for help.

“My greatest fear was being on the street and since the day I got here, I haven’t been on the street,” Vaughns said. “Just a place to lay down and call home in a way.”

For the past three months, the Salvation Army has worked to get Vaughns back on her feet. They even helped her get a job .

“They’re doing everything they can to help you progress and become the best you that you can be,” Vaughns said.

During the coronavirus pandemic, staff is taking extra precautions to keep their residents safe when taking in new people.

“If they come in from out of state, we have to look at it at little differently, but we’re doing the best we can at providing shelter, at providing the meals,” Social Services Manager Veronica Washington said.

The organization feeds twice a day. They serve breakfast from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and then dinner from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“Just like they say ‘Do Good’ and they really are doing good,” Vaughns said. “They’re here to help and get you on the right track.”

To give some perspective on donations:

  • A $10 donation feeds a person in need for one day.
  • A $30 donation provides one food box containing staple foods for a family of four.
  • A $75 donation will allow a family of 4 to stay in a hotel for one night.
  • A $250 donation can provide a hot, to-go meal to 100 people.

Sinclair Broadcast Group will match up to the first $100,000.

To donate to the Salvation Army, Sinclair Cares “Your Neighbor Needs You” relief fund, CLICK HERE.

Nonprofit founded by former Redskin delivers food to community

89 Ways to Give Foundation, a nonprofit founded by retired Washington Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss, has begun offering food assistance and other forms of community outreach amid COVID-19.

“I want to help the community and give back as much as possible so we decided to assist families with food,” Moss said in a prepared statement. “We don’t want anyone to worry about a basic necessity such as food.”

The organization has donated and delivered fresh food and other amenities to local families in need while maintaining proper social distance practices.

According to Carmen Felder, the foundation’s president, one delivery comprised toys and gifts for an eight-year-old boy whose family did not have the means to throw a large celebration.

 “He was so overjoyed that he drew us a thank you picture,” Felder said in a prepared statement. “It was a priceless moment, being able to help this little guy have a special day.”

89 Ways to Give has collaborated with several nearby companies for this effort, including Salvation Army Fairfax and Sysco. The nonprofit ultimately donates all surplus supplies to Mobile Hope and local churches.

Those wishing for more information on food assistance or to volunteer can visit

Salvation Army Hampton Roads Senior Food Delivery

The Kroc is part of the “One Army” commitment in the Hampton Roads Area Command that covers Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Portsmouth. At the Area Command campus on Raby Road, a daily drive through food pantry has been mobilized. “Our food pantry has seen a 75% increase in the number of individuals and families seeking assistance in the past two weeks,” said Area Commander Major James Allison. “Our inventory is running low with the increased demand for assistance and decrease in the food donations.”

The Salvation Army Kroc Center’s Ministry team, in partnership with the Food Bank and Mercy Chef to Seniors, delivered meals to the homes of senior citizens as well as senior high-rises in our community. “Our hope is that these meals provide relief to our neighbors in need during COVID-19,” said Lt. Bridges.

Financial donations to The Salvation Army Hampton Roads Area Commands will be used to purchase the most needed food items and provide financial assistance for programs that our neighbors in crisis are facing. Donations will help those struggling to handle the effects of COVID-19 in Hampton Roads. Online donations can be made at, or call Grace Ramos at 757-965-9007.


“Together, we all make a larger impact on the needs of our community,” said Major Allison.

Salvation Army Hampton Roads Happiness for Helpers

While it came as no surprise when The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Norfolk, Virginia, heard that medical staff at the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital (SNGH) were facing increased demands on their physical and mental health. The Kroc Ministry Team responded to that need by creating and delivering “Happies for Helpers.” The gift bags were filled with snack items they had at the Kroc Center that were intended to be used for upcoming events that had been cancelled.

“The nurses said that this small gesture by The Salvation Army brought so much joy and excitement to their team, being able to select a familiar and comforting snack,” shared Lieutenant Kelsey Bridges from the Kroc Center. “We thanked them for loving their neighbors and assured them of our prayers that the Lord would build them up in strength and courage.”