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

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.

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.

Mrs Virginia Visits Salvation Army to Talk Disaster Preparedness

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.

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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Supporting Veterans on D-Day Anniversary By Purchasing Donuts

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.

Determined Mother Moves Out of Shelter & Mothers in Shelter Feel Love on Mother’s Day

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.

Community Meals Program Hits One Year Anniversary

The Salvation Army Community Meals program celebrates its one year anniversary of serving meals to hungry men, women and children in Richmond thanks to generous community support.

Salvation Army Takes Volunteers out to the Ballgame

The Hoops for Health and Healthy Living Festival at The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club is quickly approaching and we’ve got an interview with the event chair about this year’s event plus, The Salvation Army recently took some 200 volunteers out to a ballgame with the Richmond Squirrels.