The Salvation Army reaches out where help is needed

Knoxville, Tennessee: One Monday a month, The Salvation Army Knoxville Area Command joins the East Knoxville Free Medical Clinic to bring food and services to populations in need. The Army on July 13 loaded up its canteen with box meals purchased at a special non-profit rate from Jason’s Deli to deliver to 125 neighbors at Magnolia Methodist Church. Churches and organizations take turns providing food different weeks for the program, said Major Sarah Nelson of the Knoxville Area Command. “This is an instance where we are happy to enhance the services of a community partner, by adding a supplemental component – food,” Major Nelson said. “We’ve heard stories about how this free clinic has literally saved people’s lives. Some individuals have shown up, off the street, extremely sick and were quickly sent to the hospital in an ambulance. Additionally, there is a retired doctor who is able to dispense some medications through his ‘mobile pharmacy,’ which is possible because of a certification he obtained when he served in the Hurricane Katrina aftermath.”

Valdosta, Georgia: The Salvation Army partnered with Second Harvest of Georgia, the South Georgia Partnership to End Homelessness and the Re-Generation Rescue Mission to host a drive-thru cookout and toy giveaway on Father’s Day weekend, Saturday, June 20. Vehicles were lining up 2 1/2 hours before the noontime event. “We were able to serve 500 grilled chicken lunches and 200 hot dog plates,” Lieutenant Chris Thomas told the Valdosta Daily Times. Volunteers assisting with the event included local Rotary Club members and Southern Circuit Judge James G. Tunison, who serves on the Valdosta Advisory Board. “We also provided one new toy for each child in the household. It was our desire to celebrate Father’s Day by giving fathers – and mothers, too – a break from having to care for their children by providing a new toy to play with,” Lieutenant Thomas said. “We realize that this has been a tough time for everyone, with children being at home when many parents are unemployed now having to care for their children.” A similar cookout and toy giveaway was held in May, on Mother’s Day.

Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas: The Salvation Army is partnering with Reliant Energy to help keep the heat at bay in Texas. The North Texas Area Command has opened cooling stations across five counties encompassing the Dallas-Fort Worth area to help people cope with high temperatures. The Army and Reliant are operating 12 cooling centers in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis and Tarrant counties. Some locations include outdoor cooling facilities, while others provide supplies, including box fans and bottled water, as part of their drive-thru grocery service. Each location is safety-conscious, taking extra sanitizing measures and enforcing social distancing and use of masks, gloves and hand sanitizer.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Workers from Elevation Church in Winston-Salem donated their time and effort to trim the shrubbery at The Salvation Army Center of Hope; they also donated cleaning supplies that will be used at the shelter and Boys & Girls Club. The cost savings of the supplies and having the landscape maintenance done by volunteers will cover the expenses of two families for a week in the shelter. Sometimes things that seem small can be huge in the life of a family in need.

Charleston, West Virginia: Salvation Army volunteers and employees work hard, stuffing hot dog buns, cooking up tubs of beans and getting things packed to go and ready to serve June 26 at the East End Bazaar, an open-air artisan market in Charleston. Five hundred free meals were provided to people in need in the East End and West End, thanks to community partners working together to serve the city.

Memphis, Tennessee: The Salvation Army of Memphis & the Mid-South is providing hundreds of vulnerable families with food bags and Kroger gift cards, thanks to a $77,777.77 grant from the Toyota USA Foundation. The funds are part of $2.5 million in total grant funds from the foundation to non-profit organizations across the country to support emergency relief efforts in response to the COVID-19 crisis. They particularly target food assistance in multi-cultural communities in urban hotspots, where CDC statistics show COVID-19 disproportionately affects Black and Hispanic residents.

Columbus, Georgia: On a sweltering summer day in middle Georgia, The Salvation Army of Columbus had its first “Pop Drop” on Sunday, July 19. Corps cadets helped pass out refreshing ice pops and family bags filled with goodies and devotionals. “It was a hot, hot day, but we were happy to spread the love of God to the families of the community,” the corps posted on Facebook. “We will be heading back out again on Aug. 2. Keep your eyes peeled for our canteen!”