People Coming Together to Support Down East Communities in NC

MOREHEAD CITY, NC (September 20, 2018) – As you drive for miles and miles on Highway 70 East toward the coast, there are a few common sights: massive trees plucked out of the ground; power poles leaning over as if the slightest touch will send them down the rest of the way; and power lines strung like streamers across country roads. You’ll also find community after community of people working together to help each other in this time of need after Hurricane Florence left her mark.

This is “Down East.” In these communities – places like Davis, Harkers Island, Atlantic and Cedar Island – there aren’t many services. Most of the communities have a church, a volunteer fire department, maybe a school and a few homes. Residents lack water, gas or supplies and are in essence, cut off from the rest of the county. There’s not much cellular coverage out here, so even making a phone call is a tall order. Needless to say, access to help has been sparse.

Every day, The Salvation Army has been loading up food in its mobile feeding kitchen, and making the trek (about 35 miles) from Newport to Davis to offer lunch. In addition, the crew has been making stops in other communities like South River, Atlantic and Cedar Island. On several days, they travel back to Newport to reload and return for dinner.

These areas could be without power for a month or longer, so a hot meal is a welcomed sight. In Davis, the volunteer fire station is the hub of activity.

“Each day, when we pull up, there’s usually a line waiting for us,” said Sarah Smith-Ruiz, a member of The Salvation Army team. “The people here are so appreciative. We have the opportunity to provide food, prayer, a kind word, and they are so thankful.”

The needs have been so great in the other parts of the county, help hasn’t been able to come Down East. The Salvation Army has met some immediate needs though, and people like Marty Hiatt are rallying the troops to provide other help.

Hiatt (known locally by many by the nickname “WAHOONBOX”) lives in Morehead City, which faced its own devastation from Hurricane Florence. In fact, a tree went through his Hiatt’s condo. But, he recognizes it’s on another level Down East.

“I had to help,” Hiatt said. “It easily could have been me.”

At one point in his life, it was him. As a younger man, Hiatt had an encounter with The Salvation Army. He was going to lose his car if he couldn’t come up with $95.68. He was struggling to make ends meet. The Salvation Army met his need. The officer told him all those years ago, “Just pay it forward when you can.”

Now, Hiatt is a well-respected and successful sport fisherman based in Morehead City. He’s in a position to pay it forward, which has now been doing for years. He went down to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, but this time it was close to home. He had to do something for his neighbors who were hurting.

“Help me bring relief to this community,” he urged in a video posted to his Facebook page earlier this week. “I need truckloads, truckloads, truckloads.”

Ask and you shall receive.

The donations rolled in, literally by the truckload, to the Davis Volunteer Fire Station 52. Food, water, MREs, wipes, paper towels and cleaning supplies – all for the residents of Davis and these underserved Down East communities.

“What I’ve witnessed the last 5 days is unbelievable American heroics! Everyone here is in wet clothes either from sweat or rain,” Hiatt posted. He’s a “get-it-done” type of guy, so you can easily see how moved he is by the support he’s received.

This day, Hiatt isn’t a fisherman. Instead, he is directing traffic, showing people where to offload and place pallets of cleaning supplies and paper products. In between, he helps people load items in their cars and greets others with a handshake and a smile.

The people Down East have endured hurricanes before. Yes, Florence took its toll on communities like Davis. But, The Salvation Army and people like Marty Hiatt are helping them move forward today and will be there to help them again tomorrow.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index ( The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

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Be A Salvation Army Bell Ringer this Holiday Season!

By taking time out of your busy holiday schedule to ring the bell at a Salvation Army red kettle this Christmas, you’re helping raise money to fund our initiatives all year long. Thanks for all you do to fight for good.

The Salvation Army of Florida Sends Equipment and Personnel to Texas

Tampa, Fla (August 27, 2017) – The Salvation Army of Florida is sending an Incident Management Team comprised of emergency disaster services professionals along with additional equipment to assist in the Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery efforts in Texas.

The Florida equipment includes: two bunkhouses, two shower trailers, one generator and a Ford utility truck.

Last year, Salvation Army teams from Texas came to help Florida recover from hurricane Matthew. 

“We are honored to reciprocate representing with the heart of Floridians during this unprecedented disaster,” said Kevin Smith, Emergency Disaster Services director for The Salvation Army of Florida.

Flooding remains a major concern for the coming days with torrential rain forecasted as the storm stalls over south Texas and southern Louisiana.

The Salvation Army is preparing for the largest mass feeding in U.S. history in the wake of the catastrophic flooding.

“Mobile feeding units from all over the country are mobilizing as we speak,” Smith said.  “Our advanced disaster recovery units of mobile kitchens, shower units and bunkhouses are just pieces of a massive puzzle that will require a whole community effort across Texas.”

A large number of Texas Divisional resources are already on the ground serving throughout Texas.  Additional resource requests are being made by the moment. 

Lt. Colonel Ken Luyk, Florida Divisional Commander has directed that all Florida disaster resources be ready to respond to support any requests from Texas.

Nine Florida mobile kitchens standing by ready to be deployed to Texas within in the next few days as priority areas of service are determined.

To make a financial donation to support the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts please go to or call 1-800- SAL-ARMY. You may also mail checks to The Salvation Army, PO BOX 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301. Please designate “Hurricane Harvey” on all checks or via text by texting STORM to 51555.

At this point, in-kind donations are not being accepted.  Used clothing and used furniture are seldom required during an incident.  However, these gifts are vitally important in supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Family Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825).

For the latest emergency disaster services news, please visit and follow the disaster services team on Twitter @SalArmyEDS.  You may also visit or @salarmyfla on Twitter for the latest information on how Florida teams on involved in the relief and recovery efforts in Texas.


About The Salvation Army 
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to

Pope says Salvationists and Catholics meet at peripheries of society


History was made with the first private audience in the Vatican with Pope Francis and the General of The Salvation Army.

General André Cox met the Pope who said that theological differences do not impede the witness of a shared love of God and neighbor. He also spoke of his first encounter, as a 4 year old, with Salvation Army Officers which, he said, stirred in him a sense of ecumenical outreach beyond the teachings of the Catholic Church in that era.


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Love is in the air: Salvation Army’s three Valentine’s Day heartwarmers

Love is in the air: Salvation Army’s three Valentine’s Day heartwarmers

Love is at the heart of everything the Salvation Army does, writes media officer Michael Tighe, whether it’s helping the homeless, reuniting missing family members or supporting those dealing with addiction. So on this special day, here are three heartwarming stories from within our own ranks ..

Courtship International – Commissioners Clive and Marianne Adams

Our first couple are none other than our Territorial Leaders, Commissioners Clive and Marianne Adams. Their story begins more than 24 years ago, when both of them were a long way from the office they hold now – not just in terms of time, but geography too.

Commissioner Clive Adams was based in South Africa, and Commissioner Marianne was based in Norway. It began with a simple picture in a paper when he saw a picture of Marianne and decided, with some needling from a friend, to write to her.

“The first letter was more of a joke,” says the now leader of The Salvation Army in the UK and Republic of Ireland. “It was a test to see whether she’d like my sense of humour, and luckily she did!”

One letter was replied to, and then, quickly, the two found they were corresponding with each other – in the days before email – across two continents, several times a day, writing at all times, in all frames of mind. But there was reluctance on the part of both of them to get involved romantically.

“I just didn’t want to get married,” says Commissioner Clive Adams. “Our work in The Salvation Army is all about people – I really valued my private time and didn’t want to have to spend it dealing with someone else! I needed it for myself.”

However, he was soon unable to fight the inevitable. “I found myself running on the beach in South Africa one day and it dawned on me that I was in love with this girl. When we’d written, we’d done so at all times – when we’d felt happy, sad, frustrated, and I realised that I was in love with Marianne. So I rang her up and told her so.”

Commissioner Marianne nearly burst out laughing; “I said to him ‘Don’t be ridiculous, we’ve never even met, how can you love someone you’ve never met?’That’s when he said to me, ‘Don’t you love God?”

Following this particular hurdle, the next obstacle that Commissioner Clive had to overcome was the rules of The Salvation Army at that time – the couple had to meet, figure out a way to serve the organisation whilst based on two different continents, and serve out a six month engagement notice period before getting married. They arranged an extended holiday, and Marianne flew to South Africa to meet Clive, with no idea what she was in for.

“I was standing in the airport, with a photograph of this girl, waiting to see if she would show up, when I felt a tap on my shoulder,” says Commissioner Clive. “I turned around and it was a magical moment. We spent some glorious time driving through South Africa, and she got to see the country I had been writing about.”

When the two met with Clive’s leaders in the South African Territory, they were advised to seek out a neutral territory, and to serve the six-month notice period before marrying. In this time they contacted the UK and Republic of Ireland Territory and prepared for their appointments hereIn the meantime, they continued to correspond to see out their engagement.

Commissioner Marianne recounts the impact this had on many things, including the proposal; “He had to post the ring, and then he rang me when he knew it was arriving so I could open it and he could ask me to marry him at the same time! It was very unusual, but we were used to it by then and it just seemed to work for us.”

They married and moved to the UK six months later, and progressed to become the leaders of the UK and Ireland Territory of The Salvation Army. Twenty-four years and two children later, they are still clearly as in love as ever, and let us in on their secret.

“It’s humour,” says Commissioner Clive. “You need to be appreciative, say I love you, give each other space and all those things, but at the end of the day, if it isn’t fun, what’s the point? Life is hard. If you find a partner you not only love but can laugh with, you can face any of the challenges it throws your way.”

The Long-Serving Couple – Majors Ernest and Lily Ablett

Major and Major Ernest and Lily Ablett have been married for 67 years. Both officers in The Salvation Army, Ernest, 96, has been preaching for 80 years and Lily, 95, still visits lonely members of their community.

Lily said: “I first saw Ernest when we were ploughing a field while I was out with a friend. I lived opposite a little chapel that I occasionally visited in Barnby, Suffolk, when I wasn’t attending the church in Beccles with my parents and brother. My friend noticed that Ernest was due to preach in the chapel the next week so I went along especially to see him.”

Both served in the Second World War – Ernest spent four years in the Royal Norfolk Regiment mainly stationed in India, and Lily spent three years in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the woman’s branch of the British Army. She was initially a switchboard operator but soon moved over to play in the Army (military) band which travelled around the UK and into war torn areas of France and Italy to raise morale of the troops there.

They married just after the war ended on 6 June 1946 and two years later signed up to train to be officers (ministers of religion) in The Salvation Army. They have served in Wales, North England, London and Essex, where they have now retired to.

Lily’s advice for a long and happy marriage is to give and take, and that arguments are normal. Ernest says simply: “Always keep to your marriage vows!” And their advice to Christians is: “Always trust in the Lord. If you are experiencing doubt, keep trying because the Lord will never let you down.”

The Television Couple – Captains Jo and Stephen Moir

Stephen and Jo Moir are captains in the Cumbernauld Salvation Army and have been together for 16 years. They met while working at Booth House in Whitechapel, London – Jo was a project worker while Stephen was the deputy manager.

The couple, who feature in a BBC Alba series called The Minister’s Wife, had been friends for a number of years before going on their first date.

She explained: “It wasn’t love at first sight, more like friendship at first sight. We went to the same Salvation Army (Regent Hall) together for years and worshipped together.”

When asked who made the first move, she replied: “Steve of course! He asked me to dinner and we ended up going to a little Italian restaurant in Dulwich. It was lovely.”

Three years later, in 2001, the young lovebirds tied the knot and now have two daughters, Grace (10) and Erin (7), with a baby due in the next few weeks.

Jo smiled: “It’s been 13 years of married bliss. Seriously though, we get on really well. I think what makes us good together is that the same things are important to us.

“Plus Steve makes me laugh till my face hurts and is always telling me how beautiful I am.”


Original Article:

inmates salvation army holiday program

Inmates the ‘backbone’ of Salvation Army holiday program

inmates salvation army holiday program

An inmate from the Bristol County House of Correction on the Sheriff’s Inmate Work Crew program sorts toys at the Salvation Army in New Bedford on Monday to help with the increase in work due to the holiday season.

John Sladewski/The Standard-Times

NEW BEDFORD — So, how helpful are the guys in red suits around The Salvation Army?

“What they do, you can’t even measure it,” Maj. Gilbert Parkhurst said.

“We wouldn’t be able to do any of (the Christmas help) without them,” Maj. BethEllen Parkhurst said.

“They’re unbelievable. Just incredible. They do anything we ask them to do,” volunteer Sandy Medeiros said.

They’re not talking about special volunteers or guys dressed in Santa Costumes, but a group of six inmates from the Bristol County House of Correction.

These prisoners are shuttled from the Dartmouth jail to The Salvation Army building on Purchase Street every morning during the holiday season. From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., they do everything from emptying the trash bags to stocking pantry shelves to carrying large boxes of clothes, food and toys. Monday afternoon, they unloaded a massive truck full of toys — the first delivery of the year to The Salvation Army, paid for with funds raised from the Neediest Families Fund.

The inmates provide manpower, often necessary to unload trucks full of heavy donation boxes — and they do it with a smile.

“They’re really the backbone of the whole operation behind the scenes,” said Costa, who has been with The Salvation Army in the city for more than 30 years. “I can’t say enough about those gentlemen. The community should know that these guys have good hearts and they’re doing it with a smile on their faces.”

The inmates are part of the Sheriff’s Office’s Inmate Work Program, which takes those behind bars out into the community doing a range of community service, from removing graffiti to refurbishing public buildings and preparing baseball fields for upcoming seasons.

They are under the direction of Lt. Bob Johnson, a city native and 23-year veteran of the sheriff’s office who has been supervising inmates’ work at The Salvation Army for almost 10 years.

“I’ve never had a single incident,” Lt. Johnson said. “We’ve unloaded thousands of pounds of food. You can’t beat the 12 hands I bring along.”

The inmate crews doing work at The Salvation Army and other places are all serving sentences of 10 months or less. Lt. Johnson said there are no sexual or violent offenders. All have been tried and convicted, none is awaiting trial, and all are in for non-violent crimes.

Acushnet resident Samuel DesRoches is one those inmates working at The Salvation Army. DesRoches, who is in for burning a motor vehicle, said that seeing the struggling people who come in for Christmas help or food donations helped him appreciate what he has.

“We get to help a lot of people, and these people are really struggling,” DesRoches said. “It definitely helped me appreciate my life a lot more and appreciate the smaller things, and to be a better person when I get out.”

“It’s a nice opportunity to see that this box of food I packed is going to help a family in need,” said inmate Paul Lindstrom, a Providence native who is in for operating under the influence. “The people here do such a great job. It just makes you want to work even harder seeing what they do here.”

Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson said it’s not necessarily about the work they do while they’re in jail, but the impact it has when they get out.

“It gives them the confidence that when they get out of jail, they can make the community a better place,” he said. “This gives them a chance to help others and know they’re making a difference. We’ve had inmates get jobs at places they’ve done service at.”

At the end of the holiday season, the inmates are treated to a special appreciation lunch in the break room at The Salvation Army.

“We get to sit down with them and tell them how much we appreciate what they’ve done for us,” Maj. Gilbert Parkhurst said. “Even while they’re working, I get a chance to talk to them, talk about their lives, what they’ve done and what they want to accomplish when they get out. We’ve even had some come back and help us out after they get released.”

By Jonathan Darling

Day One Down & Four Remain For World Record!

We are just past  the 24 hour mark of our World Record Bell Ringing contest and four bell ringers are still ringing strong!

This contest raises awareness for The Salvation Army’s 123rd annual Red Kettle Campaign while posing an exciting opportunity to set a new world record.

World Record Bell RingingContestant Andre Thompson of Tyler. TX is still up and going outside in front of Walgreens. He’s very motivated and physically still feels great!

Sprits are looking good so far, “I love this! My body is really holding up well”, says contestant Andre Thompson of Tyler, TX.  “I think the record is mine. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! In the end it’s mind over matter!”




World Record Bell RingingLt. Rob Lawler in Helena, MT is still smiling while ringing in NINE degree whether. Brr!





Captain Emily Jones of Compton, CA was the first to hang up her bell around 9:00 p.m  PT. She was ringing outside Walgreens.  The next contestant to lay down his bell was Quinton Green at 4:15 a.m PT. He was ringing outside of Walmart in Hanford, CA.


World Record Bell Ringing

We thank Captain Jones and Quinton for their valiant effort raising awareness for The Salvation Army!
Captain James Brickson is bringing joy at Northbridge Mall in Albert Lea. MN.

We are grateful for each of our participants. Their incredible effort will help The Salvation Army provide assistance to millions in need this Christmas and all year round.  So thank you!



Join in the conversation and support these volunteers with #Ringiton on Twitter.
And don’t’ forget to check back here for updates! Visit: and for all updates.
Keep up the great work!

Posted by Jackie on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 ·

Christmas Film, “Silver Bells” Highlights the Good Work of Salvation Army

Ready or not, Christmas is already in the air. Before you know it, you’ll be surrounded by a mound of Halloween candy and November will be on its way out.

But there’s plenty of time to get in the spirit and soak it all up!  Whip up some hot chocolate, snuggle up with the family and turn on Silver Bells, a Pure Flix Entertainment production that tells the touching story about a man and his journey to discover the true meaning of Christmas.

Bruce Boxleitner plays an ambitious businessman who gets in a scuffle that gets him sentenced to community service — manning a red kettle and ringing bells for The Salvation Army for the rest of the Christmas season.

At first he finds this humiliating, and in his self-pity determines to be the world’s worst bell ringer, but as he encounters the people behind the kettle, his life — and especially his relationship with his son — is changed by something as simple as ringing a bell.
We’re delighted The Salvation Army plays a pivotal role throughout the film as the family volunteers with the organization in various ways. With a great cast including Bruce Boxleitner, Kevin Downes , and Antonio Fargas , Silver Bells is a heartwarming reminder to reflect on the true message of Christmas and to celebrate love, faith and hope.

Catch the nationwide broadcast on UPTV on Saturday, November 30. Or, check it out on DVD and Blu-Ray today.
Is it too early to say “Merry Christmas”?

Visit to learn more. You can also join in the conversation with #SilverBells on Twitter and Facebook

Volunteers staff Salvation Army Clinic at the University of Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2013) – It should come as no surprise that “service, caring, and sensitivity to others” are listed among the University of Kentucky College of Medicine’s (COM) mission statement and values. Although all UK medical students have dedicated their studies and their futures to helping others, one group is already showing their community the importance of putting service into action.

A group of 20 UK College of Medicine students make up a volunteer team that staffs the University of Kentucky Salvation Army Clinic (SAC), along with supervising physicians. The clinic, located in downtown Lexington at the Salvation Army Center on Main Street, is a free medical clinic and is the oldest community service project run through COM. The mission of the clinic since its founding in 1986 has been to help serve the uninsured population in Lexington by providing free medical services and raising awareness of local health care resources.

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