‘It’s a new day at the Atlanta Temple Corps’

‘It’s a new day at the Atlanta Temple Corps’

By: Brad Rowland

“It’s a new day at the Atlanta Temple Corps.”

On Wednesday, July 1, Captain Ken Argot, corps officer, uttered that phrase as part of the ribbon-cutting and grand opening of a new day center. Though the opening ceremony was delivered in a virtual manner due to COVID-19 restrictions, the atmosphere was festive in nature, with genuine excitement about the work that has already been done and the work that lies ahead.

Captain Argot thanked partners in the community as well as internal support staff and volunteers. He praised Reggie Gilbert, an Atlanta Temple employee, as the location’s “ambassador to many in the homeless community,” and Gilbert certainly wasn’t alone in garnering accolades.

“None of this would be possible without the work of Caleb Louden,” Captain Argot said. “Caleb had the vision to create this opportunity. He wrote the grant, set the parameters and developed the initial partnerships.”

For nearly a decade, The Salvation Army operated a program titled “SALT’D,” an acronym for showers and laundry time with devotions, and the new day center signals an expansion of those efforts to a fully developed five-day program. Louden, who now works as an employee at territorial headquarters while remaining a soldier at Atlanta Temple, shepherded the development of the day center while serving as a Salvation Army mission specialist, and he spoke glowingly about the endeavor.

“This is a great day for The Salvation Army Atlanta Temple Corps,” Louden said. “For a couple of years, I had the privilege of helping to lead what we called SALT’D. It’s amazing to see this day finally here and to celebrate with you all what really is a new day for our day center.

“For many years, people experiencing homelessness found themselves living under the bridges along the Peachtree Creek, unseen by so many in our community and unseen even though they were living in unsafe, unhealthy conditions. They were, to a large degree, ignored. Over 10 years ago, some of our soldiers and officers made it their mission to go out to these people, and to serve them … They began to reach out to these individuals, offering material needs and friendship, and beginning relationships. It is that moment in the life of the corps that led to SALT’D, which has been one of our ways to serve the community and pursue our mission.”

Under the leadership of Jessica George, social services program manager, the new day center will operate Monday through Friday from 9-11 a.m., offering showers, laundry services, clothing, food, agency referrals and more. Plans are also in the works for classes to be offered at 11 a.m. each day, with topics such as simple budgeting, health and wellness, music, ESL, art and more.

Representatives from the community gathered alongside Lt. Colonel William Mockabee, Georgia divisional commander, and Major Bob Parker, Metro Atlanta area commander, for the ribbon-cutting. In addition, many spoke in praise of the community partnership, with Alan Goodman, president of the Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce, saying the organization is “thrilled to be partners with The Salvation Army.” The day center expansion was aided by a generous grant from Dekalb County, with Melvia Richards, housing manager for Dekalb County, expressing her support.

As of the start of July, the center is now open and operating, with many coming through the doors immediately in search of physical assistance, emotional support or simply a warm greeting. The theme of a “new day” permeates the program’s existence, as those who come are simply given a chance to recharge and gather the provision needed to press on.

“These are the stories that describe, for me, so beautifully what we are all about here,” said Louden. “That is helping people, through relationships and material support, attain their goals in life and encounter God’s transformative word … This day center is a place of rest, a place of refuge for people who are weary and so very burdened. May God bless this new day center, and may it be a place of rest, belonging, transformation and love.”


Positive COVID-19 test shuts Kroc Center summer camp

Positive COVID-19 test shuts Kroc Center summer camp

By: David Ibata

With the guidance of the Shelby County, Tennessee, Health Department, and out of “an abundance of caution,” The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Memphis announced it had temporarily suspended its summer camp program after a camp employee tested positive for COVID-19.

The employee’s most recent shift was June 22, and the Kroc Center was notified of the positive COVID-19 test result July 1, according to an email announcement to center members. Camp was closed July 2 and will resume July 8.

Co-workers who had close contact with the infected employee were contacted and directed to be tested and to self-quarantine, per recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other Kroc programming and areas were not affected.

“While disinfecting is part of our daily routine, we will also take this time to deep clean the program areas utilized by camp,” the Kroc Center said.

The center noted such precautions as requiring employees and campers to complete a COVID-19 questionnaire and have their temperature taken before entering; denying entry to those with symptoms or who were exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days; cleaning and sanitizing multiple times daily; regular handwashing; and having employees wear personal protective equipment.


transMission standard ‘Stand Up’ reimagined, reworked

transMission standard ‘Stand Up’ reimagined, reworked

By: Brad Rowland

Since its release as part of an album titled “The World For God” in 2009, “Stand Up” has been a fixture for transMission, The Salvation Army’s contemporary worship outfit in the Southern Territory. The song, written by Marty Mikles and inspired by a traditional hymn titled “Stand Up and Bless the Lord,” is often requested when the group leads worship, and the song is both upbeat and energetic.

More than a decade after its original release, though, transMission collaborated with Swedish recording artist Samuel Ljungblahd and Ronnie Murchison on a reimagining of the song. Eventually, the new arrangement came to light in video form at the conclusion of the commissioning and ordination service for the Messengers of the Kingdom.

The video and audio recording, produced remotely with the exception of drums, was inspired both by the virtual circumstances and Ljungblahd himself.

“Because people were needing and wanting videos like this for their corps and ministries, we were asking, ‘What should we do?’ and thinking about next steps,” said Bernie Dake, assistant territorial music secretary. “From there, we just felt like we wanted to do as much as we could and, in talking to Samuel (Ljungblahd) about how they are dealing with COVID-19 overseas, he mentioned how he thought we should produce ‘Stand Up’ in this format. But we didn’t want to just reproduce what we already had, and I asked him if he was willing to sing on it. We then expanded it, reaching out to Ronnie Murchison and others to put their energy behind it, and it all came together.”

With haste, the project expanded, eventually including musicians from all corners of the United States and the world.

“After sharing it with some of our peers that have participated in transMission in some way over the years, things expanded. We quickly realized that it was becoming something of an homage,” Dake said. “Some of the parts changed, for example, and it was more of a tribute, or a reimagining, to the original song, more than a replication. We haven’t been able to record the song live in a way that we thought represented what we were hearing in our hearts and minds, so we thought this was our one chance. We gathered friends from all over the world, from different territories and right here at home, and we had a lot of fun in worship.”

Much of the arrangement centered on the original but with a few key tweaks. Jonathan Alfredsson, a piano player who often accompanies Ljungblahd, sprinkled in his own flavor to the keyboard part. Victor Morales, a Salvation Army musician from Puerto Rico, added energy with electric guitar, and Darryl Crossland, assistant divisional music director for the Florida Division, put together an updated brass arrangement to match the changes. Finally, Dake reached out to Natalie Ragins, a renowned organ player, to add a particular flourish to the piece of music.

“We met Natalie, who Samuel had met when he opened for Kirk Franklin, previously and she was so gracious and loving,” said Dake. “I haven’t seen her since, but we called her and told her we were redoing a song that could use some of her special touch. She was more than happy to help, and I think that was really the icing on the cake.”

The video, which can be seen below, is available for download on Ministry Toolkit, as well as streaming on YouTube and Facebook. In the first two weeks after its release, the video reached more than 14,000 viewers, clearly garnering an audience that enjoyed the new look and feel.

Many were moved by the new version of “Stand Up,” including the song’s original author in Mikles, who played acoustic guitar for the recording. Dake describes Mikles as “blown away” by the reimagining, saying it is “truly a blessing” to receive that level of feedback from the individual that penned the song.

During this challenging time, the idea to re-record the song may have been simple on the surface, but the collaboration has already been fruitful. While the song itself is more than a decade old, its impact continues and, with this release, could be refreshed and shared with a new audience.

“I thank the Lord for a constant reminder that we don’t know, when we’re creating something, how it can and will be used,” Dake said. “God continues to prove his faithfulness and he uses things to his glory in spite of ourselves. Sometimes we are too close to it to realize the impact, but to see others aiming to produce resources and worship alongside us, is really humbling. It’s amazing, really. To God be the glory.”


Waynesville, North Carolina, Corps increases capacity to serve community

Waynesville, North Carolina, Corps increases capacity to serve community

By: Major Frank Duracher

Nearly doubling the square-footage of the Waynesville, North Carolina, Corps building, a special ceremony was conducted by the North and South Carolinas divisional leaders, Lt. Colonels Jim and Linda Arrowood. The dedication was part of a two-fold event held during a Sunday worship service honoring Majors David and Debbie Cope, who retired from active service as Salvation Army officers after 35 years.

“There hasn’t been an improvement to the building here since 1965,” Major David Cope said. “The older portion of the building was not handicapped-accessible, nor was it client-friendly. People coming to see our social worker had to sit in the hallway, so we knew our guests needed the privacy and respect they deserve.”

An elevator now makes the entire facility accessible, and the additional 4,000 square feet of space will be used for regular programming, but also for seasonal outreach such as Christmas intake and distribution and emergency disaster relief operations. “The extra space can also be used for shelter in times of emergency,” Major Cope said.

“God is good and has provided this wonderful blessing, but now I have to turn it over to a younger generation,” Cope mused, referring to the incoming corps officers, Majors Michael and Susan Rodgers.

During the dedication ceremony, the Divisional Commander read Scripture from 2 Samuel 7:22: Sovereign Lord, You are God…the house of Your servant will be blessed forever. Colonel Arrowood then thanked the Waynesville Advisory Board, community supporters and volunteers for the hard work done to make the building renovation and extension possible.

“This place is inviting to everyone,” he told the audience. “It is a place for the whosoever; a place of inclusiveness; a safe haven for everyone. It is a place where The Salvation Army can meet human need without discrimination in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

If we do this one heart at a time, Colonel Arrowood observed, “What an impact this building will make in this community!”


COVID-19 and World Refugee Day: Salvation Army Meeting Needs of Displaced People Internationally

Atlanta, GA: June 20 was the UN’s World Refugee Day. The Salvation Army International held a special screening of Displaced, its new documentary which tells the stories of refugees entering Brazil – particularly those fleeing Venezuela for northern Brazil – and hears from some of the many relief agencies supporting them. Watch the video by clicking this link:

Refugees, asylum seekers and forcibly-displaced migrants are among the most vulnerable groups affected by COVID-19. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reports that there are currently 71 million displaced people around the world, and 134 refugee-hosting countries have reported local transmission of coronavirus. It is in this context that The Salvation Army is stepping in where possible to provide additional support for these individuals who have already suffered enormous hardship.

Venezuelan refugees living in temporary camps and on the streets in Boa Vista, Brazil, have been receiving support from The Salvation Army – working in collaboration with the country’s military, UNHCR and other aid agencies – for two years. With the advent of COVID-19, additional meals and hygiene kits have been distributed from The Salvation Army’s Bridges Project in the city, in order to help those for whom finances are perilously tight. Refugees who used to eke out a living selling water, sweets or snacks in public areas or at road junctions are unable to achieve an income because of restrictions of movement. Additionally, refugees are facing the problem of being evicted from abandoned public buildings that were being used as shelter. The Salvation Army has been helping to register vulnerable people and continues to provide psychosocial monitoring. As well as food, other basic items such as mattresses, fans and gas canisters are being offered.
In the south of the country, The Salvation Army’s Centro Integrado João de Paula in Joinville is helping refugees from Haiti and Venezuela who are experiencing difficulties with the economic effects of regulations to manage the spread of coronavirus. Many work in informal jobs that have ceased because of the pandemic, again leaving them without a basic income. Food parcels have been distributed to around 35 vulnerable families, to ensure a reliable source of nutrition. As in Boa Vista, assistance with official paperwork is being offered, along with hygiene and cleaning kits.
The challenges of maintaining good hygiene in the context of a refugee camp are considerable. Four thousand families (representing more than 20,000 individuals) being supported by The Salvation Army in the Kyangwali refugee settlement, Uganda, have minimal financial support and are unable to purchase basic supplies. Salvation Army team members, already engaged in a water, sanitation and hygiene initiative in the settlement will provide each person with his or her own bar of soap in order to help prevent the spread of disease. With the cramped conditions on site, any transmission of COVID-19 would be extremely dangerous.

In South Africa, an emergency shelter for homeless people supported by The Salvation Army in Marabastad, Pretoria, since the beginning of the lockdown is specifically for asylum seekers. With winter setting in, and the unusual prospect of snow forecast for Johannesburg, hot meals are an important component of The Salvation Army’s response. The shelter – a former jail – initially planned to accommodate 250 asylum seekers awaiting the correct papers to be legally registered. It is currently assisting 350 men, women and children, including local homeless people.
Refugees and other migrants in Tijuana, Mexico, are among those most affected by coronavirus in the region. Many have travelled for hundreds of kilometres from Central America and beyond, to reach the border with the USA where they remain until their plea for asylum can be heard. Most are living in crowded shelters or in makeshift tents on hard ground, so circumstances are harsh. The Salvation Army’s Casa Puerta de Esperanza in the city has been distributing small care packages and cartons of beverages in order to make a difference and provide hope.
Migrant populations in the Middle East are receiving food parcels and grocery vouchers. Many laborers from throughout Asia and Africa are brought into the region to work in the field of construction, domestic work or cleaning services. During the pandemic many of them have gone either unpaid or on a partial salary, and are a segment of the population that is constantly being overlooked. The Salvation Army’s region-wide efforts will serve more than 1,500 migrant laborers. In Kuwait, The Salvation Army is working with national embassies and consulates, as well as Kuwait City’s International Community Center. The gift card distribution being coordinated by The Salvation Army gives migrant families access to essential food and hygiene supplies for 30 days at a time. Similar voucher schemes in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates also seek to ensure that migrants have a reliable source of food while economic turmoil means their livelihoods are on hold.
Spain has been particularly badly hit with the COVID-19 virus, and the most vulnerable people are immigrants who do not hold the same rights as Spanish citizens. All Salvation Army corps (centers) in the country have developed food distribution programs, with a focus on ensuring those without the right paperwork – and often at risk of exclusion – receive the necessary assistance.
In Greece, The Salvation Army’s Omonia and Victoria Square day center, Athens, has reopened with a new, carefully thought-through layout to provide humanitarian assistance to refugees and asylum seekers while still ensuring the mandatory social distancing for the safety of the service users and staff. The center is the hub of The Salvation Army’s response to migrants in the city, with three other agencies providing support under the same roof in order to provide wraparound care for those in need. Service users have been sharing their stories of lockdown and looking forward to the ‘new normal’.
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About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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To Battle We Go: Local officers are the backbone of The Salvation Army

To Battle We Go: Local officers are the backbone of the Army

By: Dr. Steve Kellner

The first contact most new enlistees have with a member of any military service is with non-commissioned officers – sergeants, petty officers and chiefs – NCOs for short. From the recruiter to the drill sergeant, to the squad or section leader, NCOs provide the close-up leadership to soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen in training and combat. They are the bridge between commissioned officers and the frontline troops and are primarily responsible for the actual execution of the mission.

NCOs are able to do this because they have come up through the ranks and understand and can communicate well with those in the lower ranks. By contrast, most commissioned officers in the military have never been enlisted members. Commissioned officers must also of necessity be generalists, while NCOs are often very experienced experts in a more narrowly defined skill set, usually the skill set the lower enlisted troops are attempting to master.

Military services have always had sergeants and petty officers. In the last century or so, however, the importance of this level of leadership has been fully recognized, and the idea of a separate professional NCO “corps” is axiomatic in every successful service. The services know, as the saying goes, that “NCOs are the backbone of the Army.”

Local officers are The Salvation Army’s version of NCOs, providing stable, long-term leadership in the corps. No corps can function effectively without strong local officers, and the Salvation Army devotes a great deal of space in its Orders & Regulations to their qualifications and responsibilities. Like NCOs, local officers usually serve within a fairly narrow specialty, and they provide the week-in and week-out front-line leadership in all corps-based ministries. And while they can’t vote their officers out of the pulpit as in some churches, local officers exert an authority and influence as great or greater than lay leaders in any other denomination.

Of all the negative trends experienced by The Salvation Army during my lifetime, the most serious is the depletion of our local officer corps. Because our corps officers move so often, stable local leadership is more critical to the Army than to any other church. And local officers can provide the kind of specific ministry expertise that a corps officer may not have, or may have but not have the time to devote to a specific ministry. In many corps today the corps officers are stretched thin, forced to fill roles that local officers used to fill, with predictably poor results.

If our corps are ever to regain momentum and reach their full potential, our officers and remaining local officers will have to redouble their efforts to train a new generation of local officers. They will likely be very young, but that’s who we have to work with now. If properly trained and cared for, they can do the job perfectly well. The very survival of The Salvation Army as a movement may depend on this, because “Local officers are the backbone of the Army.”

Source: A new way for Salvationists to give A new way for Salvationists to give

By: Dan Childs

New options for the giving of tithes and offerings are available to Salvationists in the Southern Territory. The website provides a means for online giving to the corps of one’s choice.

A component of the Corps Management System, was originally intended for rollout in the corps later this year, but it was decided to make it available when the COVID-19 pandemic caused the closure of corps throughout the territory, thus complicating the customary giving process. The Corps Management System, which helps regulate attendance, memberships and giving, has been implemented across the territory over the past several months.

“People have been saying for years, ‘I don’t write checks anymore. I wish I could tithe electronically,” said Major Jerry Friday, territorial mission and cultural ministries secretary. “The need for has been there – the Army knew that and made it part of the Corps Management System. COVID was the motivating force. We wanted everyone to be able to continue to tithe.”

The site, used by many churches and denominations, asks the giver to set up a personalized page to be used whenever a donation is made. allows the giver to direct his or her tithe to the corps of their choice and offers the option of drawing the funds from a designated bank account or charging to a specified debit or credit card.

The corps is charged a small fee for each donation it receives, but the giver has the option of paying the fee as the donation is made. The amount of the fee varies according to the card used by the giver to make the donation. Other options are available, including the ability to set up a schedule for tithing if desired or to give by text message. Also, offers an option for mobile kiosks where congregants can donate in the corps lobby or other convenient locations.

A receipt is emailed to the giver after each offering, and a year-end statement is provided as well.

The website includes a detailed Help section that addresses topics that help both the giver and the corps administrator.

Would you like to know more about tithing and its importance in the Christian walk? A recent Salvation Army Words of Life podcast recently addressed tithing in “The Hustle,” an 11-week series on finance that is available at


Salvationists continue the fight against disease, hunger

Salvationists continue the fight against disease, hunger

As communities across the U.S. reopen after weeks of COVID-19 shutdowns, the needs are as great as ever. The Salvation Army is in the thick of battle against hunger, homelessness and poverty and continues to support our first responders.

Baltimore, Maryland: Maryland posted this to one of its Facebook pages on June 9: “The Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism Team is overwhelmed by the compassion and generosity of Marylanders. Thank you to The Salvation Army of Central Maryland for the opportunity to directly serve 2,020 meals to our neighbors impacted by #COVID19. #MarylandStrong AmeriCorps members commit to service and do this work every day.” — Director Nicki Fiocco

Collier County, Florida: The Salvation Army helped to provide meal service for a three-day testing of residents for COVID-19 at the Collier County Public Library. The Army and Three60, a local market, fed first responders and workers as they administered more than 1,000 tests. The Salvation Army served 420 meals in addition to snacks to test administrators.

Savannah, Georgia: The Salvation Army partnered with Chatham Parkway Toyota and the Toyota/Lexus Minority Owners Dealership Association on May 22 to deliver more than 200 food packages. The deliveries went to senior citizens without transportation and unable to purchase food safely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of a nationwide initiative in which TLMODA gave away 4,800 food boxes in 17 states and 24 cities, The Salvation Army and Toyota and Lexus dealership staff distributed boxes of nonperishable groceries to the TSA Senior Ministry, Senior Citizens Inc., the Isle of Hope Methodist Church community outreach and senior residents of Rendant Apartments. “Chatham Parkway Toyota/Lexus has demonstrated their commitment to this community and to those less fortunate during this time of crisis,” Major Paul Egan of the Savannah Corps told the Savannah CEO business newsletter.

Martinsville, Virginia: Responding to the coronavirus pandemic’s economic crisis, and supported by a hefty donation, the Martinsville Corps opens a food bank each Thursday. The “Thank God It’s Thursday” food bank is for whoever needs food, with a limit of one visit a month per family, according to Salvation Army Lieutenant Bradley Mumford.

Meridian, Mississippi: On National Donut Day Friday, June 5, The Salvation Army partnered with Shipley Do-Nuts to serve more than 300 frontline workers at local hospitals and police, fire and EMT departments.

Charleston, West Virginia: The Salvation Army corps posted this to Facebook on June 19: “Partnerships are vital in serving those in our communities. Today, The Salvation Army, United Way of Central West Virginia, Kanawha Valley Collective and Cabin Creek Health Systems gave out 475 hot meals and over 200 food boxes on the West Side of Charleston. Together, we are making a difference.” Earlier in the week, staff and volunteers of The Salvation Army and the United Way delivered food to 87 households, and four pallets of food boxes to the Hungry Lambs Food Initiative to feed another 140 families.

Deland, Florida: Salvation Army staff and volunteers distribute personal hygiene and comfort kits to homeless men and women in the area

Albany, Georgia: Salvation Army corps members celebrated National Salvation Army Week May 11-17 by visiting with community partners, leaving treats and thanking them for their service. Those visited included police, firefighters, the Phoebe Putney Health System and Southern Point Staffing.

Hampton, Virginia: Gloucester Toyota and the Toyota Lexus Minority Owners Dealership Association partnered with The Salvation Army of the Virginia Peninsula to help distribute food boxes, PPE kits and paper products to 240 families across Gloucester and Mathews counties.


Salvationists Serve at Atlanta March Against Racism

“The Salvation Army believes that God’s love is all-encompassing and it urges us to reject racism and discrimination. The Bible commands us to ‘be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.’ We are committed to fighting racism wherever it exists and will speak up wherever we encounter it. As we pray for God’s will to be done on earth as in heaven, The Salvation Army will work toward a world where all people are loved.” – The Salvation Army Statement on the Death of George Floyd and the Ongoing Protests Across the United States, June 2, 2020.

Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the liberation of African-American slaves at the end of the Civil War, coincided this year with rallies around the country against hate and racism. And amid the signs and banners as thousands marched through downtown Atlanta, Georgia, the crimson-and-blue flags of one group stood out.

“People were asking us, what does ‘Blood and Fire’ mean?” said Captain Ken Argot, corps officer of The Salvation Army Atlanta Temple Corps.

“The flags were a wonderful witness,” Captain Argot said. “They’re a reminder that we’re a marching Army, going into battle, to places where darkness is. They gave us the ability to say, The Salvation Army is not just about providing social services; the theology behind it is we are freed by the blood of Christ, and the Holy Spirit infills us with his passion and fire to do his will.”

About three dozen Salvationists served at the “March on Atlanta” organized by the OneRace Movement on Junetenth – Friday, June 19 – offering bottled water and prayer at a rally and worship service at Centennial Olympic Park. They then joined participants as they peacefully marched about a mile to the Georgia Capitol, where the state legislature was considering a hate-crime bill.

After the turmoil of recent weeks touched off by the May 25 death of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis police custody, “we knew we needed to respond,” Captain Argot said. “To not respond would have been complicit with everything that’s going on. And historically, The Salvation Army has always been on the front line against social injustice.”

The Salvation Army worked with the Atlanta-based Coca Cola Bottling Company-UNITED to acquire more than 14,000 bottles of water at a discounted price.

Joelle Miller, special events coordinator for the Metro Atlanta Command, put together a logistics plan for the park that called for two canteens – from Red Shield Services and the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center – and four tents with tables and water bottle coolers and barrels, as well as personnel to staff them. Officers, soldiers and volunteers from local corps including Atlanta Temple, Atlanta International and Atlanta Peachcrest turned out for the event.

For all, it was an inspiring if exhausting day. Captain Argot arrived at the park to help set up at 6:45 a.m. and did not leave until 4:30 p.m.

“The wonderful thing about this was, it was a true bringing together of Christians from across Atlanta,” Captain Argot said. “It was so positive to see The Salvation Army connecting to other people of faith, taking a stand wherever there’s inequity. People were kneeling and praying, people were confessing to each other, people were listening to each other’s stories – it was really fabulous.”

The conversations started on June 19 continue in corps social media pages, Captain Argot said.

“When we’re all stuck in our corps running programs, I think maybe we’re not aware of what’s happening in our community where we need to take a stand publicly,” he said. Juneteenth “was a great opportunity for us to reawaken The Salvation Army to a social movement to create change. It’s reawakening our commitment to social justice.”

(Shared with permission of The Salvation Army Southern Spirit)

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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Salvation Army COVID-19 Responses Large and Small Continue Thanks to Strategic Partnerships

Atlanta, GA: Around the world, The Salvation Army continues to respond to human needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The nature of the responses varies from location to location, depending on local needs and context. Whether a large-scale feeding program providing food for thousands of people, or a smaller community-based initiative addressing hygiene and sanitation, one thing is consistent: the love and care with which individuals are treated.

In the USA, where one in six of the population was living in poverty even before coronavirus struck, The Salvation Army has served more than 7.7 million prepared meals to community members affected by COVID-19. On top of that, around 2.2 million food boxes have been distributed, with each box representing 20 individual meals. As well as this, the equivalent of more than 1.1 million nights of shelter have been provided, and emotional and/or spiritual care offered on request to more than 687,000 people. (Taken from USA National Statistics Report June 17, 2020). In many states, childcare is being provided for essential frontline workers, showering facilities have been created in major cities such as New York, and young people have been offered virtual programming and ‘at home’ day camp kits to provide meaningful activities during lockdown.
A partnership with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) Church has been particularly fruitful, bringing not just substantial financial support but also vital personnel reinforcements. Teams from both The Salvation Army and LDS Church have been working together in numerous locations across the US, all with the shared aim of meeting human needs with compassion and sensitivity.
Major corporations have also generously supported The Salvation Army’s COVID-19 response across the US, with financial donations and gifts in kind. Car manufacturer Toyota has granted The Salvation Army $700,000 towards emergency responses in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans and New York City. Airlink – a non-profit organisation supported by US aviation and logistics companies – partnered with The Salvation Army in order to provide staff and volunteers with 150,000 facemasks.
Ryerson Lundy, a start-up business owner in Evanston, Illinois, gave 100 per cent of profits from her bracelet sales to the local Salvation Army food pantry. Remarkably, the entrepreneur concerned is aged just six years old. ‘Ryerson learned how to make rubber band bracelets a few months ago and she thought starting a business to raise money to help others during COVID would be a good thing to do,’ explains her father, Thackston Lundy. He and his wife, Christy, suggested their daughter consider donating the money to a local organization providing food to those in need during the pandemic. ‘The Evanston food pantry was an obvious choice!’
‘We are so grateful to Ryerson and her family for this wonderful gift to The Salvation Army Evanston Corps Food Pantry. It will go a long way in helping the most vulnerable right here in our community,’ responded Captain Mary Kim.
In the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Coca-Cola Company has provided much-needed support to The Salvation Army, which is partnering with other agencies on the Caribbean islands to secure essential food and hygiene support. Hundreds of families and individuals have been affected by economic hardship resulting from the pandemic, and the provision of food, drink and cleaning supplies has been appreciated.
Salvation Army colleagues in Antigua benefitted from a share of a donation of 80 dozen eggs, thanks to local producer Hill Valley Farms whose director wanted to ‘give back to the community in need’. The freshly-laid eggs were distributed to vulnerable people on the island, in partnership with the Lions Club of Antigua and other local organizations.
Government partnerships have been strategic in The Netherlands where, following campaigning by The Salvation Army and other organizations at the commencement of the coronavirus crisis, a commitment to spending more than 200 million Euros on additional sheltering for homeless people has been made. A further agreement for 10,000 extra places for homeless people to live will be realised by January 2022. Dutch society has also helped The Salvation Army through the donation of hygiene kits for distribution among the homeless community. As well as this, partnerships with tech companies have enabled Salvation Army personnel to provide tablet computers to many of its service users from difficult family backgrounds – particularly young adults and children. This technology is enabling them to remain in touch and facilitating continued learning during a period in which education has substantially moved online.
The Salvation Army in Thailand has received a formal letter of appreciation from the Royal Thai Army. The team tasked with establishing The Salvation Army in the country has been busy supporting the military to care for those under quarantine regulations in the northern city of Chiang Mai. Priorities have included providing food, water, infection control supplies and equipment, as well as other support to COVID-19 sufferers and first responders in the armed forces.
Elsewhere in south-east Asia, Salvation Army teams from Manila and Quezon in the Philippines have distributed 550 food packs, water and some sleeping mats to stranded overseas workers at the international airport and nearby Villamor Golf Club. These people are waiting for their scheduled journeys to their home provinces and are temporarily sheltering outside the airport and at the golf club due to cancelled flights.
Cumulatively, emergency projects supported by The Salvation Army’s International Emergency Services team in London, UK, have now provided more than two million meals to people in need around the world. This has been made possible through the generous support of The Salvation Army’s territories around the world, by personal donations and by corporate grants. The Salvation Army’s World Service Office in Alexandria, Virginia, reports that ‘The UPS and FedEx Foundations have provided funding for nearly 30 projects in as many territories’.
One newly-resourced undertaking in Monrovia, Liberia, seeks to ameliorate the effects of coronavirus on the community right next to its command headquarters. Despite a curfew and prohibition on movement, Salvation Army personnel observed that the number of people on the streets adjacent to its offices was increasing, and that people were setting up stalls to sell produce on the street – there being no other means of them securing sufficient money to subsist.
Around 3,200 individuals in the Sinkor neighbourhood will now receive basic food parcels to ensure a reliable source of balanced meals during this time of lockdown, in order to minimise unnecessary social interaction and thereby stem the spread of the disease. Households will also receive soap and buckets to improve access to handwashing facilities.
Similar intervention is planned for the Sabatia, Gusii and Sondu communities in Kakamega, Kenya. Around 1,500 people – half of whom live in particularly vulnerable family groups – will receive supplies of maize, beans, rice, sugar and cooking oil.  
Major Chris Mulryne, The Salvation Army’s International Emergency Services Project and Finance Administrator, says: ‘We are grateful to our partners right around the world who are helping to meet needs on a scale that we have not seen before. Behind the numbers are individual men, women and children who are suffering, and often feeling desperate. It’s our responsibility to serve them in their time of need, and it’s an honour to do so. But we cannot do this on our own – we are indebted to all those who support our work practically and financially. Thank you.’
IHQ Communications
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About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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