The Salvation Army shares joy serving its communities

Savannah, Georgia: The Salvation Army in this Atlantic coastal city has opened its Community Center to students attending school “virtually,” by computer, this fall. Classes begin at 7:30 a.m., Monday through Friday; after-school activities also are available to families whose parents might still be at work. “At our Community Center, we are strictly adhering to social distancing guidelines, and PPE (personal protective equipment) regulations are in place for the safety of children and staff,” the corps said in an Oct. 7 Facebook posting. “These programs are available at an affordable cost.”

Knoxville, Tennessee: “Knox Pod” is The Salvation Army’s virtual learning pod for Knoxville students enrolled in digital learning this year. They’re in classrooms at the corps Monday through Friday, with help from staff and students from the University of Tennessee. But Knox Pod is about more than just online schoolwork; it’s an opportunity for fun field trips over fall break. The DEFY Knoxville Trampoline Park gave the group an incredible discount, and Buddy’s Bar-B-Q donated sandwiches and chips for lunch. Another outing took the kids to a putt-putt course, and a third, to Main Event game center. Lunches have been donated by local restaurant partners – in addition to Buddy’s, they include O’Charley’s, Golden Corral and Mellow Mushroom. “Our #KnoxPod has been incredibly blessed with generosity from area businesses to make Fall Break a BLAST,” the Knoxville Command said in a Facebook posting.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina: The Salvation Army surpassed all expectations and raised $2,175 with its Giant Red Kettle event at the Carolina Classic Fair Oct. 1-4. The annual fair, observing social distancing guidelines, turned the event into a “drive-thru fair.” The community turned out, and attendees were able to order food from vendors as they progressed through the circuit and enjoyed virtual entertainment from their cars. Wait times for food became rather lengthy at times, slowing the pace for attendees making their way through, but the wait helped Salvation Army fundraising efforts. A Loose Change Toss into the Giant Red Kettle became an entertaining diversion for patrons as they made their way through the circuit, tossing coins from their cars and sometimes hopping from their cars to get a closer shot. Staff from WBFJ radio helped by walking along the lines of waiting cars with kettles in hand to solicit donations. The Army far exceeded its expectations of raising $400 to 500 over the weekend.

Fairfax, Virginia: The Landmark Corps Praise Team opens with song the very first Potomac Young Adult gathering of the new Salvation Army Potomac Division on Oct. 11. Lt. Colonel Mark Israel brought a message on the theme, “Through It All,” based on Isaiah 41:10 (NIV): “So do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Worship through song, testimony, prayer and God’s word was followed by a meal and an epic volleyball tournament. “Thank you to the Landmark Corps young adults for hosting and planning a great night for us all,” the Potomac Division Youth Department posted to Facebook. “Thank you to Lt. Colonel Israel for sharing from God’s Word and those who shared their gifts and talents. We can’t wait for the next one! Mark your calendars for Jan. 11!”

Chattanooga, Tennessee: A volunteer team from Operation: Selfless Service turned out for street outreach day Oct. 3 at the McCallie Avenue Corps to prepare 150 care packages for homeless residents. In the days leading up to the distribution, the group had a collection drive for food items, such as fruit cups, snack packs and granola bars; and hygiene items including toothbrushes, toothpaste and deodorant. D’Andre Anderson of Operation: Selfless Service posted to Facebook: “What was one of my takeaways? Being able to find the small victories in the midst of a storm. Being able to see these individuals in their space and making the best of what they had really opened my eyes to know that there is so much work to be done in Chattanooga. I am thankful for The Salvation Army of Chattanooga for facilitating and given us a chance to make this event happen.”

Davidson County, North Carolina: The Salvation Army of Davidson County, North Carolina, recently received a helping hand from one of its neighbors. Budget Blinds of Lexington and Salisbury, North Carolina, presented a gift of $5,000 to Lieutenants Wayne and Claudia Meads and the Army to be used to help meet needs in the area in this difficult year.

Norfolk, Virginia: A group from the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) donated their time to assist with the upkeep and beautification of H.O.P.E. Village, a residential housing program operated by The Salvation Army’s Hampton Roads, Virginia, Area Command. The program offers a full spectrum of supportive services to homeless women and women with children.

Newnan, Georgia: The staff of The Salvation Army Service Center wears pink on Oct. 14 in recognition that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  “We want to remember those that have lost loved ones and those that are survivors,” according to a center’s Facebook page. Stephanie Rohling from Piedmont Newnan Oncology (far left) spoke that morning at the center about breast cancer.