Connections of Two Remarkable People

In the last month, The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club held their annual Youth of Year award ceremony and hosted Civil Rights Leader Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker for a discussion on youth finding their legacy. The two events are closely connected to the Club’s mission of educating and empowering youth who give back to their respective communities and we’ll share perspective on those connections in this week’s Salvation Army News Update.

Dove Arceneaux, a senior at Franklin Military Academy was recently awarded the title of 2015 Youth of the Year from The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club and in April will compete with other Youths of the Year from their respective clubs across the state to be regional youth of the year. Dove was also on hand at the Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker Finding Your Legacy event to present Dr. Walker with The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club Community Spotlight Lifetime Achievement Award and talked to us recently about some of the things she heard and a bit about herself.

And related to Dove’s comments on Club staff seeing leadership in her and through her work with younger kids after school at the Club, comedian Micah White talked about leadership during the panel discussion at the Dr. Walker Finding Your Legacy event.

In addition to education, Dr. Walker also emphasized the role faith played during the Civil Rights Movement and important role it plays in the lives of youth.

There was a ton of other great conversation around leadership, accountability, voting and leaving a positive impact on your community and we encourage you check that out on our website at

Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club hosts King and Queen in Me Ball

On the evening of Wednesday, December 10, 2014, The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club hosted their annual King and Queen in Me ball for the participants in the program. The King and Queen in Me programs are two small group programs within The Salvation Army Boys & Girls which works with young boys and girls on developing the spirit, soul, and body. The King and Queen in Me ball is the culminating event of the program.

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.

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 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 to learn more.

Unique Program at Boys & Girls Club Has Youth Ready for Back to School

It’s back to school time and that means the end of the fun and exciting summer camps at The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club and end of the fun & exciting STEAMtrix learning program held at the Club over the summer…a program that had the attention of Virginia’s Secretary of Education and Director of STEM and we have interviews with them in this week’s Salvation Army News Update.

Merci Best’s STEAMtrix program at The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club encouraged students to participate in science, technology, engineering, arts and math in addition to curbing a possible summer learning loss. Well, Merci also spread the word of her program even had the Virginia Secretary of Education and Director of STEM at the Club for the finale.

Dr. Healy said that the commonwealth presently recruits to fill STEM jobs from outside the state and that currently there are about 40,000 unfilled STEM jobs in Virginia. Both Dr. Healy and Ms. Holton also addressed what the STEAMtrix program was doing to help curb summer learning loss and have kids ready and excited to go back to school.

Big thanks to everyone who came out to support Merci and help her make this program possible for the campers at the Club this summer. Well, coming up in a couple week’s The Community Foundation will again host the Amazing Raise a 48 hour fundraising period for participating non profits to spread awareness and receive additional donations during particular periods over the two days. Here’s one of our board members, Mary Margaret Allen with a message about this year’s event.

In the coming weeks, we’ll keep you posted via email and social media on how can support The Salvation Army during the Amazing Raise and make a difference in lives in our community.

Virginia Secretary of Education Visits STEAMtrix Finale

The STEAMtrix program at The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club taught by Club Alumna Merci Best came to an end. The four week program culminated with visits from the Virginia Secretary of Education, Anne Holton and Virginia Director of STEM, Dr. Megan Healy, respectively.

“To have someone like Merci, a product of the Richmond Public School system and Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club back here to teach this kids that math can be exciting really speaks volumes to them,” said Secretary of Education Anne Holton. “Merci is a bright girl with a real go-getter attitude and it’s fun to watch someone doing something exciting and interesting.”

Merci wrote on her blog (The Best of Merci B) “The culmination of my pilot STEAMtrix program was an amazing success. Thanks for all your support throughout the journey.”

Watch the News Update with Merci’s Interview

Innovative Program at Boys & Girls Club Curbs Summer Learning Loss

Studies show that over the summer months, most students experience learning losses and more dramatically, low income students are shown to lose more than two months in reading achievement but this is where Merci Best an alumna of The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club is stepping in and we’ve got her story in this week’s Salvation Army News Update.

Merci Best began attending The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club before she could even walk, now at 19 years old she’s a rising sophomore at William & Mary and her passion for education and showing students the opportunities they have ahead of them is what has inspired her STEAMtrix program.

Merci loves to show students that they can have fun during the summer while learning and that African Americans, especially African American women, can hold leadership roles in the community and in these fields. Her program is coming to a close but she said the students have been grasping the core values of her curriculum and are seeing the opportunities ahead if they stick with their education.

As always, thanks for watching. Please continue to visit us online at to sign up for our weekly newsletter and see follow-ups from Merci’s STEAMtrix program. This has been a Salvation Army News Update

Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club Remembers Fallen Alums at National Night Out

The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club hosted a cookout with music from Lonnie B of Power 92.1 and activities as part of National Night Out, an effort to promote engaged communities and resistance to violence. Over 400 community members came out to the event which promoted communication among neighbors and a unified stand against violence in the East End community. Over the last decade, violent crime in the area has claimed the lives of nearly a dozen Boys & Girls Club alums.

Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club Members Visit US Capitol

Members of The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club enjoyed a trip to Washington D.C. on Wednesday, June 25 for a tour of the Capitol Building. The Boys & Girls Club partnered with Heroes and Dreams Group and a total of 31 Club members and Heroes and Dreams youth converged on D.C. to learn about the history of the Capitol and our Nation. The trip was part of civics and government programming at the Club and will include post-visit sessions at the Club to learn continue learning from the experience. Students participating in the civics and government programming at the Club also had the chance recently to visit Senator Mark Warner’s office (photos not taken).