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.


Kroc Center

Summer Camps at the Salvation Army Kroc Center

summer camps

The Salvation Army Kroc Center in Suisun City is offering a lineup of summer camps.

Grade K-6 children can participate in themed day camps that include enrichment activities, swimming and other physical activities, a daily devotional, field trips, and many other fun choices, Kroc officials said.

The goal is for participants to acquire new skills, learn new concepts, and make friends, all while enjoying their summer vacation in a safe, nurturing, and educational environment. Children will have opportunities to “add-on” additional activities (sport camps, field trips, swim lessons) for additional fees.

Early bird registration for premium camp is $165 a week and for regular camp, $130 a week.

Late registration (3 days prior to week of camp) is $190 a week for premium camp, and $150 for regular camp.

Camps schedules and themes include:

June 8-12: Swim Camp

June15-19: Puttin’ on the Hits

June 22-26: Sports Camp

June 29-July 3: Camp Construct: Legos!

July 6-10: Urban Music

July 13 -17: Survival!

July 20-24: Music Camp

July 27-31: Camp Del Oro (ages 7-12)

Aug. 3-7: World Expo

Kroc Center

Hampton Roads Kroc Center – The Salvation Army is about to celebrate it’s 1-year anniversary.


The Salvation Army is about to celebrate a big anniversary, and it’s bringing in NFL Hall-of-Famer Emmitt Smith to lead the charge.

“We’re glad he’s coming to share the message of hope for young people to do the right thing. Build character,” said Major Stephen Long of the Salvation Army.

The Hampton Roads Kroc Center is at 1401 Ballentine Blvd. in Norfolk in the Broad Creek area. It’s a massive, positive place for children and families to get involved in programs together — from weight lifting at the gym to fitness classes to basketball to swimming in the giant indoor water park. There are music classes and character-building classes.

But the part of the Kroc Center that’s the favorite of 8 year-old Tye Austin might surprise you — church services.

“It’s fun and I like the service,” Tye said. “I learn how to behave better and how to respect parents better.”

Learning Christian values and becoming better individuals is something they value at the Kroc Center. Each year they hold a black-tie fundraising dinner to help families with membership fees. Last year’s dinner raised $96,000 and they hope to top that that this Thursday by bringing in the Super Bowl champ, who got his start in athletics participating in programs at the Salvation Army community center where he grew up.

salvation army

Gov’t of Liberia Gives $140K to The Salvation Army’s William Booth High School for Facelift

liberia salvation army

Monrovia — The Government of Liberia on April 8, 2015 presented a check in the amount of one hundred forty thousand, one hundred and fifty-five United States dollars (140,155), to the administration and officer in-Charge of the Salvation Army’s William Booth Junior & Senior High School that was gutted by fire on March 4th 2015.

Presenting the check on behalf of the Government, Liberia’s Assistant minister for Budget and Development planning Hon. Augustin K. Blama said restoring the burnt structure and providing furniture to enable the 983 students get back to classes are the result of the government commitment to providing education to all regardless of the sector.

He said, that the project is expected to be completed within 3o-days and believes upon completion it will change the narratives of warehouses and computer rooms and library been used for classrooms “it is imperative for our student at William Booth continues to learn in a conducive and healthy atmosphere free from fear of fire and crime” he added.

Minister Blama also encouraged students of the William Booth School to always seek to strive for the top and to report any suspicious activity that might affect their institution. He said the government remains steadfast in its continual commitment to educating the future generation of this country.

For her part, the Minister of Education Hon. Etmonia Tarpel expressed her frustration and disappointment over the burning of the school infrastructure. She, however, encouraged the family of the institution to be strong and keep the good work on going. ‘Those that did the act thought they were reigning evil upon this school, but let it be known that God has turned the evil into blessing” she added. She said the government will support your effort to the fullest in ensuring that our students are free from this unacceptable encounter.

In a brief remark, the Officer-in Charge of the Salvation Army Col. Gabriel Kathuri extend his gratitude to the government for rapid intervention to solve the unexpected distraction that have reduced our classrooms to warehouse, library computer lab etc. He said, with God, they shall bounce back and even shine brighter than before. Col. Kathuri at the same time encouraged those that cause this disaster to come out and confess.

The Salvation Army’s William Booth Junior & senior High School was gutted by fire on March 4, 2015, thus posting a serious hindrance which to a greater extend has prevented the institution from carrying out its normal academic activities.


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:


Dillard’s Stores and The Salvation Army Drive to Do Good


It’s no secret that it has become unseasonably cold for many parts of The United States. And with the temperatures continuing to drop, it’s time to bundle up.

This year, as you transition to your warmer wardrobe, consider freeing up some space in those cluttered closets and drawers by donating any jackets and coats you no longer wear to help support families who cannot afford proper winter attire.
Thanks to the generosity of Dillard’s Department Stores, The Salvation Army is helping to fill this need. This Saturday, November 22, select Dillard’s locations will host a one-day coat drive benefiting The Salvation Amy- and they need your help.

Visit one of the 86 participating stores this weekend and bring in any gently used coats and receive a token of appreciation from Dillard’s.
Just by clearing out your closet, you can make a huge difference in someone’s life.

If there is not a Dillard’s in your area, you can always donate gently used or new coats to your local Salvation Army Family Store. Just visit and find the closet location near you.
A special thank you to Dillard’s for their generosity and support of The Salvation Army’s mission to Do The Most Good!
Dillard’s,The Salvation Amy, coat drive


Coats for Kids seeks outerwear, financial help

coats for kidsIf you didn’t clean your closet in the spring, organizers of the Coats for Kids drive hope you will organize it soon.

Donations of new or gently used coats, hats, gloves and scarves are being accepted through Nov. 7 for the annual collection.

It’s not just young children being served by this collection. Coats are needed for infants through high school students, so sizes youth 0 to adult 3X are sought.

More local businesses are offering collection space for the coats this year.

Those who don’t have a coat to give but who want to donate money can submit a check to the G101.3 radio station, 2301 W. Main St.

Armstrong Cleaners & Formal Wear again is donating cleaning services.

Families can apply for a coat through the Salvation Army Citadel at 700 S. A St., Richmond, which is handling coat distribution.

Last year, 912 coats were collected, including 136 new coats. Other gifts included 81 pairs of gloves, 38 scarves and 79 hats.

In 2012, about 600 coats were donated.

Manpower is the title sponsor with G101.3 the host for the local collection.


Where to give

Coats and accessories may be dropped off at First Bank and West End Bank locations, plus:

  • Manpower, 500 E. Main St.
  • RMD/Patti, 36 S. Ninth St.
  • Richmond Power & Light, 44 S. Eighth St.
  • Best-One Tire & Service, 100 N. Seventh St.
  • Williams & Keckler LLC, 808 S. A St.
  • Armstrong Cleaners, 1019 N. A St. and 651 N.W. Fifth St.
  • Subway East (4340 National Road E.) and West (1726 National Road W.)
  • Georgia Direct Carpet, 5200 National Road E.
  • Buffalo Wings and Rings, 500 Commerce Road
  • Natco Credit Union, 4 Glen Miller Parkway and 582 S. Round Barn Road
  • G101.3, 2301 W. Main St.


To learn more, call (765) 966-2664.


Community Events


Changing the Coffee Culture

coffee culture

Salvos Coffee works to decrease labor exploitation and increase sustainability.

By Faye Michelson – 

Imagine coffee cherries grown without fertilizers or pesticides in the rich volcanic soil of Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) pristine Eastern Highlands and picked, pulped, washed and sorted by hand in remote villages, then dried in the sun for three days.

The Salvation Army works with coffee farmers and their families in this remote part of the world to ensure they receive a fair price for their harvest.

coffee culture 2“Coffee growers would walk for days with 30 kilograms [66 pounds] of coffee beans in bags on their backs to get to a roadside to sell, only to get ripped off,” said Luke Soper, business development manager for the PNG Territory. And so the Salvos Coffee program—initiated and developed in 2007 in PNG as a Community Advancement Reform Enhancement—assists 700 growers and their 3,500 family members in growing, harvesting and preparing beans for sale.

Soper’s job is to ensure the program is financially sustainable so that other aspects of The Salvation Army’s work with the farmers—such as health, hygiene, literacy, financial and agricultural education—can expand.

“Coffee growers who once would have had no other option but to sell their coffee for an unfair price at the roadside are now empowered,” Soper said. For instance, the program started a “passbook system” that releases profits to the growers when they want it until they have proper proof of identity or birth to open their first bank account.

Joseph Manase of the Kesawaka area wanted to become a pastor, but left school in fourth grade. When Salvos Coffee field officers went to his village they talked to him about resuming his education and showed him how to save money for school fees. He now attends high school with the money earned by his wife, who continues to work with Salvos Coffee in their village and also sends their children to school.

When the Ivoti people sold their coffee at a higher price than they expected they used the profit to buy roofing iron, coffee pulping machines and gardening tools. The Salvos Coffee team took them to a warehouse to buy the goods and helped arrange transportation of the equipment.

The program works through a cluster system centered around local Salvation Army churches in each participating village.

Community endorsement is vital for this project to succeed. We work to establish a rapport with the village headman and growers, because without that we can’t make headway.

“That’s very important; The Salvation Army is respected and trusted, and people understand we are there to help bring opportunity and fairness,” Soper said. “Community endorsement is vital for this project to succeed. We work to establish a rapport with the village headman and growers, because without that we can’t make headway.”

Salvos Coffee faces many community challenges, including domestic and family violence, so in addition to economics, the program also addresses resolving conflict and managing anger.

Soper divides his time between Sydney and PNG, a country that spans “tropical island to mountainous highlands.”

“One of the tough things, though, is living between a world of excess in Australia and extreme need in PNG,” he said. “We face many challenges—the ruggedness and the remoteness, and the cost of transportation.” Yet he said he finds reward in helping people in need. “It’s also important for me to be able to share with people in Australia—and my four young children—how well off we are and what we are doing in PNG to make a real and sustainable difference,” he said.

The Church Partnership Program provided funding to sustain Salvos Coffee for many years, and now the program must be self-sustaining. As Soper said, “Your purchase of our coffee helps fund a dedicated team in PNG to provide much-needed support services for remote, marginalized coffee growers and their families.”

See more at

This post was originally featured in The New Frontier Chronicle.


The Salvation Army Annual Report 2014



The Salvation Army Annual Report

“He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart.”

This verse from the Book of Isaiah is the foundation for The Salvation Army’s 2013 Online Annual Report’s theme, “Open Arms”, now available here. Commissioner David Jeffery, The Salvation Army’s National Commander, had this verse come to mind saying, “It’s a sweet image, a beautiful reminder of the Lord’s gentleness in caring for the vulnerable”.

The Salvation Army strives to follow the Lord’s example of caring and opening our arms and our hearts to anyone in need. And we’re proud to report that, guided by God’s love and your compassion and support, The Salvation Army served 30 million Americans in 2013!

Throughout this last year and with the help of 3.5 million volunteers, The Salvation Army:
Served nearly 60 million meals to the hungry
Provided over 10 million nights of lodging to the homeless
Sent almost 200,000 low income and disadvantaged kids to summer camp
Counseled 180,000 men and women with drug and alcohol rehabilitation

Also featured in the annual report is an inspiring video of The Salvation Army’ s Angel Tree Program which helps provide nearly 1 million disadvantaged children across the United States.
As it truly takes an army, our services would not be possible without your help and support and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for furthering our mission to Do The Most Good!
The Salvation Army is here for you. We welcome all with open doors, open hearts, and open arms.

Learn more through our annual report about The Salvation Army’s programs and services utilized by those in need in 2013.

Visit to read the 2013 Online Annual Report.