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center for hope

More NC children living in poverty than in 2008

 

center for hopeThe number of children in North Carolina living in poverty has increased by 25 percent since 2008, according to a report to be released Tuesday, even as the nation recovered from the recession.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation report, which studies factors related to children’s well-being, noted several worsening financial conditions in the state since the recession, but also saw improvements in healthcare and education. The foundation is a private philanthropy that makes grants to nonprofits to respond to issues that negatively affect children.

About 566,000 children, or one in four in the state, live in poverty, according to the report. Two other measures of financial stability – children whose parents lack secure employment and teens who are not in school and not working – also worsened since 2008.

North Carolina ranked 35th overall in the report for child well-being. The state tied with Texas and Kentucky for the 11th highest child poverty rate in the country. The federal poverty level for a family of four is $24,250.

Laila Bell, the director of research and data for the non-profit NC Child, said that the recession was a trigger for some of the changes, but state legislation contributed to the problems.

As an example, she cited the state allowing the earned income tax credit to expire in 2014. Republican lawmakers at the time said eliminating the tax credit, along with other changes, was meant to simplify the system and to spread the tax burden equally.

Bell said the challenges are even larger than the report indicates because it takes the income of twice the federal poverty level to adequately provide for children.

Measuring by that standard, about half the children in North Carolina live in poverty, or more than a million children, Bell said. Children of color are twice as likely to live in poverty, she said.

Nola Davis, 37, is staying in the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope shelter near uptown with her three children, ages 2, 3 and almost 11. She said her family moved there in October after losing its home and living in a hotel for about a year.

Davis recently found a job with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and her children’s father works at the airport.

She said she has continually been rejected by landlords for housing despite being able to pay the rent.

“Once they find out you’re here, it’s such a stigma coming from a homeless shelter that nobody wants to rent to you,” she said. Davis and her family recently found a landlord willing to rent to them, and they hope to move in next month.

‘A heavy burden’

Poverty impacts many areas in a child’s life, Bell said. Children in poor households have less access to fresh foods, high-quality schools and green space. Over time, these children may be less prepared for school, impacting their education.

“Coming to school with that on your shoulders is a heavy burden,” said Susan Hansell, executive director of A Child’s Place.

Children living in poverty also spend less time in school because they normally have to use school buses to get home, she said. “They’re not able to take advantage of after-school programs,” she said.

Homeless children can also experience a higher degree of anxiety and depression, Hansell said.

Though poverty affects children at any age, those in early stages of development are particularly susceptible, Bell said.

Davis said her oldest daughter can’t understand all of the circumstances that led to living at the shelter.

“How do you explain that to a child?” she said.

Bell said North Carolina lawmakers could improve conditions for kids in the state by supporting the health of mothers before and during their pregnancies. Better healthcare, possibly through expanded access to insurance for low-income women, can help prevent low birth weight babies.

The state government could also invest more in early childhood education, a key to children’s development and future success in school, Bell said.

Charlotte has a network of support groups and non-profits that can help children and families in poverty, Hansell said. A Child’s Place advocates for homeless children and their families, helping them find healthcare and educational support.

Not all the factors in the Kids Count report worsened. All health measures improved, and three out of four education measures improved. About 94 percent of the state’s children are insured, more than at any point in the state’s history, Bell said.

In education, the report found more fourth-graders are proficient in reading, more eighth-graders are proficient in math and more high school students are graduating on time.

 

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Boys and Girls Club kicks off Adopt-A-Child campaign

KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo –

LAWTON, Okla._The Salvation Army’s 5th annual Adopt-A-Child campaign is underway, and local officials have their sights set on beating last year’s goal of $38,000.

By adopting or sponsoring a child at the Lawton Boys and Girls Club, Salvation Army Lieutenant Israel Roseno says you help ensure their education, safety and success in life.

“The higher risk hours for kids are after school all the way until their parents get home, which is 6:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m., and that’s the time where we, the Salvation Army, step in and they receive quality education, activities, nutrition, access to our computer lab, we provide a safe environment where otherwise they would be at home unsupervised, which could escalate to problems, gang related, drug, pornography, poor nutrition, you name it the list goes on and on,” said Lt. Roseno.

Roseno says it costs the Salvation about $300 to sponsor a child. He says every dollar counts, and that for every one dollar donated, $0.84 goes directly toward their mission.

The Lawton Fort Sill Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club averages between 65 and 70 children each day. The extra money raised in this campaign will help provide those children with extra nutrition, after school programs, sports, character building programs and transportation to get them to the Salvation Army.

If you would like to make a donation, you can make a credit card payment over the phone by calling 580-355-1802.

Original Article: http://www.kswo.com/

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Basketball as a ministry: Salvation Army in Pensacola sends basketball team to tournament

Dulcinea Cuellar is the Divisional Communications Director for The Salvation Army Florida Division.
Basketball as a ministry
Love Bettis, top row and third from the left, has dreams of walking in the footsteps of the athletes who have come before him at The Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army in Pensacola has a long, rich history of honing young athletes:
Dallas Cowboy great Emmitt Smith.World champion boxer Roy Jones, Jr.Super Bowl champion Doug Baldwin.Washington Redskin running back Alfred MorrisAnd now Love Bettis.
Wait? You haven’t heard of him?Of course not, he’s 12.

Love is part of The Salvation Army of Pensacola’s Emerald Coast Soldiers, an afterschool and summer basketball program.

Coach Dwayne Kelly helms the group of sixth and eighth grade boys. Since the program began four years ago, the teams have amassed dozens of trophies and championships. The eighth grade team plays 37 regular season games, while the sixth grade team plays 50.

Recently the team traveled to ESPN’S Wide World of Sports at the Walt Disney World complex to participate in the AAU National Championship. The eighth grade team competed against more than 30 teams from around the country and finished 11th place. The less experience sixth grade team participated in an international invitational.

Basketball as a ministryKelley said this was the first time many of them have left Pensacola.

“Many of our kids are from the neighborhood,” Kelley said. “For some of them, this is their first real time out of the Florida panhandle.”

Along with basketball, Kelley and several assistant coaches, also teach the boys about consequences – the coaches regularly check student’s report cards. A failing grade means a boy sits out a few games until his grades improve. Oftentimes, that means coaches sitting with the student and going over homework assignments.

Kelley also encourages the each boy to volunteer in the community. Most recently, several team members drove to Gulf Breeze, Fla. to help hand out supplies and meals to residents who were impacted by flooding in April.

“We are really more of a family, then a basketball team,” said 14-year-old D.J Kelley. “We run our program so that it’s more than basketball.”
And for Love, the sixth grader? He has dreams of walking in the footsteps of the athletes who have come before him at The Salvation Army.

“Who knows, maybe there are scouts in the bleachers,” he said with a smile. “And we have a better chance of going pro.”

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See Love At Work!

By  Lt. Col. William Mockabee, National Secretary for The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO).
mockabee-smaller-150x150The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO) releases its annual report for 2013 today, with the theme of “Love Works”. Read the report to witness first-hand The Salvation Army’s work in local communities around the world. You will see how SAWSO programs encourage the growth of small income-generating activities for villagers in India’s Central Territory, and provide business skills, literacy training, a school and a safe places to stay to women in Mumbai’s red light district and their children. Discover how another program fights polio in Angola through education and supporting national immunization days. Watch traveling youth drama groups perform skits in villages while local pastors engaged the crowd, encouraging them to go for voluntary HIV screening and testing in Zambia. Celebrate the lives of fishermen in Japan as they are rebuilt with equipment and vehicles to replace those washed away by a tsunami.

You are invited to download and view the entire report here.

sawso annual reportDear Friends,
Love works!

At The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO), we believe this is true for three reasons.

Love is effective. I have personally witnessed the transformation that love can bring about in the lives of individuals and communities while travelling to several countries to support international work, and while serving for three years in Sri Lanka. From my perspective as leader of SAWSO, I’m given the daily gift of glimpsing the breadth and scope of the work The Salvation Army does on a global scale. There is no greater blessing than knowing that a loving God is using us as a tool, and that He gave us the power of love to transform lives of people living in poverty, women and children living in powerlessness, or people brought low by an unforeseen disaster.

Work done with love reflects God. We are acutely aware of how God has uplifted us, and given us hope and purpose. At SAWSO, we proactively seek out opportunities to help others experience these same blessings. We aspire to always be active catalysts for lasting change.

The fullest fruits of love, inspired by God, can only be brought about through maximum effort. From our most closely held internal processes to field work in the most distant and remote villages, SAWSO team members work diligently with, and in service to, all of our stakeholders, donors, partners and beneficiaries.

We thank all of your for joining us in our commitment to achieving sustainable results, maximizing resources, and multiplying our effectiveness through collaboration.
Love, then work. That is the way to do the most good.

May you recognize God’s love in your lives and may you enjoy discovering ways to share it.

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Walmart & Salvation Army To “Fill the Truck” with Toys for Children in Need

Fill the Truck

Starting this Saturday, November 29, select Walmart stores across the country will kick off the second annual Fill the Truck Toy Drive, which will collect hundreds of thousands of toys for children in need in partnership with The Salvation Army.
Shoppers visiting one of the 3,500 participating stores on November 29, December 7, and December 15 will have the opportunity to drop of new, unwrapped toys at the trucks or bins to be distributed to assist parents in providing joy to their children on Christmas morning.

“Walmart has been such a big supporter of The Salvation Army and we are so appreciative of all the hard work they put into Fill the Truck,” said Major Ron Busroe, National Community Relations and Development Secretary for The Salvation Army USA. “This year, Fill the Truck is reaching even more customers and our hope is to provide more children with a Christmas toy that they would not receive otherwise.”

In one day at last year’s inaugural event, generous shoppers donated an amazing 135,000 toys and 10,000 coats for American children in need.

For more than 40 years, Walmart has been an essential partner of The Salvation Army. In addition to these events, the Walmart Foundation – whose mission is to create opportunities so people can live better around the globe – is once again helping us combat hunger through a $1 million donation to support The Salvation Army’s feeding programs, which provide nearly 60 million meals each year to individuals in need.

This Thanksgiving and beyond, The Salvation Army give thanks for Walmart, our valued partner in Doing the Most Good.
See you Saturday!

Read the official press release at www.SalvationArmyUSA.org

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The Newest Youth Education Town Opens in Arlington, TX

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After three years of hard work, The Gene and Jerry Jones Family North Texas Youth Education Town (YET) opened Monday morning in Arlington, Texas.

Under the operation of The Salvation Army, the facility is intended to provide a safe haven for children to improve their skills to live life to the best of their abilities. YET centers offer programs to enhance a child’s physical, social, psychological and spiritual well-being.
Since Super Bowl XXXVII in 1993, the National Football League has donated $1 million to establish Youth Education Centers in every city a Super Bowl is hosted. Arlington held the big game in 2011 and is recognized with the gift of this new center. Funds were also contributed to this project by The Gene and Jerry Jones Family Arlington Youth Foundation and the Super Bowl XLV Host Committee.

The ceremony included Cowboys owner and general manager, Jerry Jones and his family, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Arlington mayor Robert Cluck as well as The Salvation Army’s new National Commander, Commissioner David Jeffrey. Also included in the festivities was Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith and career Cowboy Daryl Johnston.

Appropriately, there was even a ceremonial touchdown run.

For information about becoming a member, volunteer, or to donate, please visit: http://www.salvationarmyyet.org/p/About/205

Posted by Jackie on Friday, October 18, 2013 ·

Help Keep a Child Warm this Winter, by Donating a Coat

coats-for-kids

Fall is now in full effect and with winter slowly creeping around the corner, many are starting to prepare to bundle up.

This year, as you transition to warmer clothing, consider decluttering   those bulky winter coats your children no longer wear, and help The Salvation Army keep underprivileged children warm as the temps continue to decline.  Just imagine that feeling of opening your coat closet and actually placing your swiffer in with ease rather than dealing with the daily battle for room with those space eating coats.  And the cherry on top-it’s for a great cause!

The Salvation Army’s annual Coats for Kids program is in full swing and locations nationwide are calling for donations of winter coats and jackets for families that cannot afford proper winter attire.
Just by clearing out your closet, you can make a huge difference in a child’s life.

All new or gently used coats can be taken to one of the many Salvation Army ‘Coats for Kids’ collection drives in various communities across the country. To find a participating Salvation Army near you, enter your zip code here.
If there is not a drive happening in your area, you can always donate gently used or new coats to your local Salvation Army Family Store. Just visit www.satruck.org and find the closet location near you or check out the easy-to-use Salvation Army Family Store App, available on the App Store and Google play, where you can schedule a pickup, find locations and get rewards.
As always, The Salvation Army is grateful for your donations and support!

Posted by Jackie on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 · Leave a Comment

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Former homeless teen recieves free car for being a “Spark of Hope”

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Brittnie Pemberton was just nine years old when she and her mother were homeless and living at The Salvation Army’s Door of Hope. Her father, sought help for substance abuse through The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Program (ARC). Throughout this trying time, this young lady never lost hope that her dreams would come true.
And on Tuesday afternoon, one did.

While living at the shelter, Brittnie participated in a project called “Pictures of Hope,” where she was asked to take pictures of her hopes and dreams, one of which included a snap shot of San Diego State University. That dream became a reality a few years ago when a donor endowed a four year scholarship for Brittnie. Also included in this list was a wish to one day get a car.
Brittnie, now 16, was shocked when Chevrolet surprised the teen by unveiling a brand new car.

The 2014 Chevrolet Spark was given to Brittnie for being a “Spark of Hope” for America’s youth. She is an incredible example of hard work and great compassion as she splits her time between school and volunteering at the homeless shelter where she mentors children who are currently going through the same thing she did. Her proud parents are back on their feet and are serving as cadets in The Salvation Army.

At the presentation this week, she was led to believe she was there to be interviewed about her family’s past and their experience living in The Salvation Army’s homeless shelter. She had no idea what was in store for her.

see more here

Posted by Jackie on Friday, September 27, 2013 ·

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Collects 10,000 Back-to-School Items for Students in Need

School is in full gear, and so are thousands of kids thanks to Krispy Kreme’s “Stuff the Bus” campaign which provided backpacks and school supplies to hundreds of children from low-income families across the country.

Throughout the months of August and September, participating locations collected supplies donations from their communities in exchange for a free Original Glazed Doughnut; an alluring incentive, if you’ve ever tried one. The supplies were distributed via The Salvation Army.

Annual school shopping can be an expensive feat, so we’re thankful for the supporters who stepped up to donate approximately 10,000 items for American families in need.

A huge thanks to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts for their generous support of The Salvation Army’s back-to-school programs.

Krispy Kreme employees in Louisville, KY


Sorting through donations at The Salvation Army in Akron, OH


Krispy Kreme employees in Knoxville, KY

Posted by Megan on Thursday, September 26, 2013 ·

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SA’s very own Mabee Babies shine in the NFL

For those of you who have bravely jumped into the world of Fantasy Football this year and endured the ever so stressful draft, I have something fun to share with you; you may have drafted an NFL star who was once part of The Salvation Army’s team.
Recognize anyone below?

The Salvation Army’s North Mabee Boys & Girls Club

Left: Robert Meachem- A Tulsa native and current wide receiver for the New Orlean Saints. Center: Chris Harris Oklahoma native and starting cornerback for the Denver Broncos. Right: Felix Jones- Tulsa native and Running Back for the Pittsburgh Steelers

Each one of these remarkable athletes once played football at The Salvation Army’s North Mabee Boys & Girls Club in Tulsa, OK where they first learned the sport, while also engaging in fellowship, character development, and other educational and recreational opportunities.

The North Mabee club is one of six Salvation Army safe havens in the city where underprivileged children find a sense of belonging and usefulness at the guidance of mentors and coaches.
But moreover, the North Mabee Boys & Girls Club is renowned for its recreation programs, which have proven to produce stars. Statistics recorded by the NFL and by The Salvation Army have revealed that athletes who play football as a member of the North Mabee club are 6.5 times more likely to make it to the NFL than a player from a Division 1 college team..
By the list of names above, I’d say it’s a pretty successful program.

After school programs of The Salvation Army are in full throttle. To volunteer with underprivileged children your area, or to find a center near you, please visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org.