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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.

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.

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.

Dennis – A Veteran Overcoming Adversity

Dennis is a veteran who served our country during the Vietnam War.

Dennis

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.”

Project WARM Volunteers Remember Program Founder & Celebrate Success

Each winter, The Salvation Army works with volunteers from a program called Project WARM (Wood Association of Richmond Metro) which provides quality firewood to families and households who heat their homes with wood burning stoves. The founder of the program, Lou Wilson, recently passed away at the age of 84. Mr. Wilson began the program in 1976 and was a great friend of The Salvation Army.

In 1976 Lou Wilson saw a news segment of a single mother who was taking apart furniture and burning clothes to keep her children warm with their wood burning fireplace. A believer that service to humanity is the best work in life, Wilson began cutting, splitting and delivering firewood to households in similar situations. As awareness of his efforts grew, so did the demand for firewood but his volunteer base grew as well. And soon Project WARM, had partners like the City of Richmond and The Salvation Army, in 1989 the Richmond and Tuckahoe Jaycees joined the effort and that’s when George, Kay and Steve came to know Mr Wilson.

Mr Wilson’s son Marc and grandson Jonathan run the Project WARM program in the Roanoke/Salem, Virginia area.

Also, The Salvation Army’s Social Services Manager loves the Project WARM program and volunteers for their passion to serve and the compassion they show when delivering the firewood to the families identified by The Salvation Army. Project WARM volunteers log some 700+ volunteer hours a year and deliver firewood in their own vehicles on their own gas.

Before his work with Project WARM, Mr Wilson had served in the United States Navy and retired in 1966 as Chief Petty Officer after 29 years of service. Lou and his wife Mary Ann were married 39 years and Mary Ann is active member of The Salvation Army Advisory Board. The Wilson family asks that gifts in his memory be made to either the Virginia War Memorial Education Fund or The Salvation Army.

To learn more about Project WARM or other Salvation Army programs and services please visit us at SalvationArmyCentralVA.org.

Military Veteran in Salvation Army Shelter is Optimistic About Future

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.