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All-Virtual Southern Territorial 2020 Ordination and Commissioning service

The Ordination and Commissioning service of the Messengers of the Kingdom session will take place in an all-virtual setting for the first time in USA Southern Territory history. On Saturday, June 13 at 10:00 am EDT, a live service will stream on the territory’s official YouTube page.

Please keep the Messengers of the Kingdom session in your prayers.

Source: southernspiritonline.org

Salvation Army responds with food, supplies and hope

Salvation Army responds with food, supplies and hope

The Salvation Army in the Southern Territory mobilizes to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. As families face sudden joblessness and financial crises, and vulnerable homeless residents seek shelter from the disease, corps and commands come up with creative ways to serve people in need and welcome stepped-up support from their community partners.

Alexandria, Virginia: Commissioners Willis and Barbara Howell, Southern territorial leaders, visited the nation’s capital to see the work being done during the coronavirus crisis. Commissioners Howell witnessed the sewing of face masks at the Landmark Corps, which ministers to the growing Korean American population in Northern Virginia. The group is working to create 5,000 face masks to distribute across the community. The Landmark Corps, like many others in the Washington, D.C., area, also continues to distribute food to help families facing financial hardship, who are not working as a result of the pandemic.

Greenville, South Carolina: The Salvation Army of Greenville, South Carolina, received $5,000 from the Hargrove Foundation, the charitable link of the Hargrove Family of Companies. These funds will support The Salvation Army of Greenville’s COVID-19 relief efforts. The Greenville Corps is providing grocery assistance boxes to families in need and vulnerable populations. The Salvation Army emergency homeless shelter, which houses 143 individuals, was operating at full capacity and did not admit new residents for a time. As state restrictions have begun to ease, new residents are being admitted on a limited basis. Families and individuals in need may also apply for rent and utility assistance through The Salvation Army’s social services office. The Hargrove Family of Companies is based in Mobile, Alabama, and recently opened a Greenville location.

Midland, Texas: Captain Jeremy Walker, Midland corps officer, delivers love, encouragement and more to families in Odessa and Midland during this challenging time of social distancing. Included in the care packages were Sunday school material, a little refreshment, some fun family games, toilet paper and prayer.

Germantown, Maryland: Shivali and Anish Chikkaswamy of Montgomery County, Maryland, raised about $1,000 in donations to help others during the current COVID-19 crisis. The two high students used the money to create Red Shield Care packages that will help the hardest-hit families in the community. They dropped off their donation at The Salvation Army Montgomery County Corps Community Center located in Germantown last week.

Charleston, West Virginia: With the help of United Way of West Virginia employees and The Salvation Army employees and volunteers, 310 hot spaghetti meals and many cases of water and boxed prepared meals were given to those in need. “How blessed we are that God provided what was needed to make this happen,” the corps said in a Facebook posting.

Owensboro, Kentucky: In celebration of National Salvation Army week, Lori Coghill Thurman and Captains Aaron and Rebekah Abram and their children of The Salvation Army Owensboro Corps visited all of the Owensboro Fire Department stations, two Daviess County Fire Department stations, the Daviess County Sheriff’s Office and the Owensboro Police Department to drop off some Rolling Pin Pastry Shop doughnuts. It’s the corps’ way of saying thank you for all that these men and women do for the community. Captain Aaron and the Abrams children, Honor Junior Soldier Alexis and Junior Soldier Alexander, deliver doughnuts on May 15 to Sheriff’s Lieutenant Nick Roby.

Athens, Georgia: Captain Erik Henry accepts a $15,000 check on behalf of The Salvation Army from the Athens Area Community Foundation and United Way to support the Center of Hope emergency shelter. “Thank you for helping us ‘Do the Most Good’ for people in need,” the corps said in a Facebook posting.

Source: southernspiritonline.org

Hampton Roads Kroc Center Corps reaches out with ‘drive-up’ church

Hampton Roads Kroc Center Corps reaches out with ‘drive-up’ church

By: Brad Rowland

Though some shelter-in-place measures are softening across the country, restrictions still exist in many jurisdictions, prompting Salvation Army corps to be creative in reaching out to their congregations. The emergence of virtual church services has been key in this outreach but, on Mother’s Day in mid-May, the Hampton Roads Kroc Corps Community Center in Norfolk, Virginia, utilitized its resources to put on a “drive-up” church service on its property.

The Kroc Center remains closed to the public during this time, as fitness centers were not included in Phase One of Virginia’s statewide reopening plan. That reality, coupled with restrictions on church gatherings and the enduring desire for public safety, led the corps body to explore other avenues for worship in previous weeks.

“Typically during this time, we’ve been sharing some of the other virtual services and joining together with others in worship online,” said Lieutenant Nathan Bridges, senior Kroc Center officer. “We’ve also been following up and corresponding with our congregation, sending weekly packets and the ‘Church in the Box’ type of thing. That helps in terms of individual outreach but, without a chance to really gather, we all miss being together.”

In advance of Mother’s Day, the corps held a similar drive-up service for Easter, enjoying success and hearing feedback from soldiers and attendees on the value of the gathering. That continued for the Mother’s Day service, as a powerful audio system was deployed to assist in ensuring all that arrived would be able to hear the service through the rolled-down windows of cars and trucks.

During the service, soldiers and staff distributed children’s activity packets to keep young people occupied, and materials were also included to allow for youth to construct homemade crafts to give to their own mothers in honor of the holiday. Roses were also disseminated to each mother in attendance, with a tribute built into the service that involved a special poem and prayer time.

“This is obviously a socially distant way to come together,” Lieutenant Bridges said. “Even if you can only see each other and talk or listen through a car window, it’s still an awesome opportunity. It was a great time to see everyone.”

The remainder of the service closely mirrored a typical Sunday morning gathering for Hampton Roads, with the corps praise and worship band leading the congregation in singing and a devotional message from Lieutenant Crystal Radi, officer for program development. When the service concluded, additional creativity was needed in order to collect the offertory, with cars encouraged to follow a one-way line to the exit and kettles, with the lids removed, utilized to gather monies in a socially distanced manner.

While the timetable for reopening is essentially dictated by the state, the center finds ways to make contact with its members and soldiers on a regular basis amid the chaos created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Live fitness classes and “workout of the day” posts via social media help members to stay fit, with a homework help hotline and online arts lessons in place to provide a creative outlet. Food service also continues, with The Salvation Army delivering approximately 850 meals per week to senior housing facilities in the region and a drive-thru food pantry service, averaging approximately 500 food boxes per distribution, in operation each Thursday.

The current landscape is challenging in myriad ways but, while other factors exist to force physical distance between individuals, the drive-up church service stands as an initiative that provided a much-needed oasis for many.

“One of the big takeaways, both for us and the congregation, was how good it felt to be together again, even under these circumstances,” said Lieutenant Bridges. “People were able to sing along and worship together, getting that sense of community again, and that was truly a blessing.”

Source: southernspiritonline.org

Salvation Army Hub in Ashford Helping Northeast CT

The Salvation Army has seen an increased need for food in Northeast, CT due to the COVID-19 crisis and is responding. Salvation Army staff and volunteers at the hub, located in Ashford, CT, organize donations of food and food purchased through monetary donations into emergency food boxes, which are distributed throughout the area.

The Salvation Army emergency food boxes have gone a long way to aid in addressing the growing need for food resources. “The hub has been running since May 5th, and we’ve been able to provide about 400 boxes every week to go out throughout the various communities,” said Lieutenant Bramwell Applin of The Salvation Army.

A portion of the emergency food boxes will be distributed to homebound individuals and families by The Salvation Army’s Service Unit, located in Columbia, CT.  Many seniors are taking precautionary measures and are staying home. “There are seniors with health issues who have to stay at home,” said Debby Smith of The Salvation Army Service Unit. “They can’t go out in public so we’re trying to keep those people safe.”

Volunteers have played a key role in helping underserved communities. “We have volunteers from across the state and have a great partnership with the American Red Cross which has been sending some volunteers to help out,” Lieutenant Applin said. “That has really been the story of this COVID response – partnerships between different agencies, communities, organizations and it’s been a really wonderful thing to see and be a part of.”

In the United States, one in six people live in poverty, and more than 550,000 are counted as homeless. These populations severely lack access to proper care, hygiene, updated information, and medical resources, which makes them more susceptible to the virus. This is where The Salvation Army comes in. The Salvation Army is uniquely positioned to meet needs in times of disaster and during the COVID-19 crisis through its Emergency Disaster Services. “I’ve been doing disasters for about twenty years now and started actually with the World Trade Center disaster,” said Mike Orfitelli, current logistics volunteer and former Territorial Director of Emergency Disaster Services for The Salvation Army’s Eastern Territory. “I have to say in all of those years, I’ve never experienced anything quite like this. This is very unique, very unusual and something that we will remember for a long time.”

For those who need assistance: Emergency food distributions are held at Salvation Army locations on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Please call ahead.

The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) department is coordinating with state and local leads to determine gap feeding needs for vulnerable populations across the state. With the growing need, EDS is continually working to secure the food from multiple sources and assemble and then distribute hundreds of these food boxes to hard-hit areas each week.  

The Salvation Army has introduced an Emotional and Spiritual Care Hotline for anyone in the US to call during the pandemic. Its hours of operation are 9:00 am to 9:00 pm EDT. By calling 844 458-HOPE (4673) trained Salvation Army Officers and employees are available to talk, advise, and above all pray for individuals, families and situations. Anyone who is feeling lonely, isolated, or fearful of the coronavirus outbreak can call the hotline number to reach a friendly and reassuring voice.

To donate:
For Connecticut: Text GIVECT to 71777
For Rhode Island: Text GIVERI to 71777

For more info:
ctri.SalvationArmy.org

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 www.SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

High school junior volunteers extraordinary service during COVID-19 crisis

Jordan Reaves, 17, volunteers many hours in the Hendersonville Corps food pantry.

High school junior volunteers extraordinary service during COVID-19 crisis

By: Major Frank Duracher

Jordan Reaves is a junior attending North Hendersonville High School in North Carolina. But with the onslaught of the COVID-19 crisis, both his school and the store where he worked shut down per orders from the state’s governor.

Sitting at home, he soon realized he was bored and needed something constructive to do.

“I was still studying online, but I still had a lot of free time – too much, in fact,” Jordan, said. So, he decided to volunteer somewhere to help his community cope with the effects physically and psychologically because of the coronavirus.

“My grandmother used to work at The Salvation Army years ago (in the Missing Persons Department at THQ), and I know something of the Army and what they do, so I called the local corps,” he said.

Emily Sherlin, social services director, answered the phone at the Hendersonville Corps. Emily quickly accepted Jordan’s offer to volunteer as much as he was needed.

Jordan jumped right into the Army’s response to COVID-19, packing food boxes, unloading trucks laden with food donations and repackaging fresh fruit and vegetables.

“He also did a lot of menial stuff around the corps building, like cleaning toilets and trimming bushes,” said Major Brian Gilliam, corps officer. “Jordan really did anything we asked him to do!”

“It felt so good everyday to see the relief on people’s faces when we helped them,” Jordan said. “I knew they were happy, and that made me happy.”

Jordan said that he will especially remember one client’s response when he handed a food box to the young mother.

“She tearfully looked up at me, and it was a very touching moment for both of us,” he said.

“Jordan is quite refreshing, in that he sought out an opportunity to serve people in his community,” Major Gilliam said. “Such character and self-motivation are rare these days. I am encouraged by his thinking of others beyond himself, especially with his work ethic and willingness to do whatever is needed.”

Jordan’s plan after graduation next year is to attend medical school at Duke – possibly with a future in surgery, “because I like to work with my hands.”

Source: southernspiritonline.org

Where pandemic isolates, The Salvation Army steps in

Where pandemic isolates, The Salvation Army steps in

The Salvation Army in the Southern Territory mobilizes to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. As families face sudden joblessness and financial crises, and vulnerable homeless residents seek shelter from the disease, corps and commands come up with creative ways to serve people in need and welcome stepped-up support from their community partners.

Nashville, Tennessee: Salvation Army Social Services Director April Calvin (left) and LifNav Outreach Coordinator Tiffany Ladd pick up items to deliver for the Nashville Command’s encampment program. The outreach provides food and supplies to some of the community’s most vulnerable neighbors. Regular visits are being made to homeless encampments across the city “to fill a hole in the service safety net that has developed due to COVID-19,” Major Ethan Frizzell, Nashville area commander, told NewsChannel5, Nashville. “We know that it is important for everyone to shelter at home, and this includes our neighbors experiencing homelessness. By bringing resources directly to them, we can help them in following the CDC safety guidelines.”

Rome, Georgia: The Salvation Army Corps gave “a huge virtual hug” on Facebook April 30 to the Berry Alumni Virtual Work Week Face Mask Crew. More than 150 beautiful and comfortable masks were delivered to the corps, providing a measure of safety for our staff, guests and neighbors. “Thank you for your servant’s heart,” the corps said.

Richmond, Virginia: Every Wednesday, the Central Virginia Area Command partners with AT&T and Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods in providing over 1,200 meals in the region for first responders. The first round went out April 22 to Bon Secours Richmond Health SystemVCU Health and the Richmond Police Department. Through a generous donation from AT&T, funding will also support meals from local restaurants to provide nourishment for Chesterfield County Fire and EMS.

Fort Worth, Texas: Residents at The Salvation Army’s Mabee Center wanted a project that would keep them busy while also helping others during the COVID-19 lockdown. They have now hand-made over 75 masks to help keep Mabee Center residents, staff and community protected.

Charleston, West Virginia: The Salvation Army thanks the United Way and Cabin Creek Health Systems for working together to feed 150 families April 29 in Dawes, West Virginia. “We ran out of food, so we will be coming back soon to make sure everyone is fed!” the corps said in a Facebook posting.

Bowling Green, Kentucky: A recent distribution of food boxes at The Salvation Army Corps met the needs of 219 families and 649 individuals. The corps thanks the generous contributions of Bowling Green and area communities for helping to make this distribution possible.

Savannah, Georgia: The One Hundred Children’s Foundation donated books April 23 to The Salvation Army Community Center for children who receive meals or in the corps’ after-school or summer programs. Their mission is to promote the health, education and well-being of children through financial support of child-focused outreach programs in Coastal Empire of Georgia and South Carolina. The Education Committee works year-round on opportunities to put books in children’s hands. Members enjoy reading to the children as well. “We are so thankful to them! It’s donations like these that keep our programs running and help us serve the community,” the corps said in a Facebook posting.

Source: southernspiritonline.org

Videos give toddlers a fun way to memorize Scripture

Videos give toddlers a fun way to memorize Scripture

By: David Ibata

Like many inspirations for ministry in The Salvation Army, Bethany Farrell’s arose from a need she saw in her own family: A way to encourage young children to memorize Scripture. Given the shelter-at-home and social distancing mandates of the COVID-19 outbreak, it would have to be virtual.

“I wanted to help my preschoolers memorize daily Scripture passages with some semblance of organization and structure. We’re all about the ABCs right now, so it just made sense to start there,” said Farrell, Southern Territory creative arts director. “I knew that if my family needed this encouragement during this time, other families would, too.”

So, Farrell and her coworkers at territorial headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, started producing “The ABC Scripture Memory Challenge with Ms. Bethany,” 26-plus short videos based on Bible passages and the alphabet and posted to YouTube and other social media. The series debuted the first week of May.

“We have created a special Scripture memory verse challenge especially for the tiniest people in your house – preschoolers, toddlers, those who are full of energy and running around your house right now and are capable and willing and ready to start learning Scripture,” Farrell said in an introductory video. “If you stick with us through the rest of the month, you’ll see a lot of fun and friendly faces who are going to share Scripture verses with you and challenge your kids to memorize them.”

“A,” for example, stands for, “Ask and it will be given to you” (Matthew 7:7); “B,” “Be kind to one another” (Ephesians 4:32); “C,” “Cast your cares on the Lord, and he will sustain you” (Psalms 55:22), and so forth. Click here to view the videos.

“These will help kids through these scary times, and their parents as well,” Farrell said, noting that as adults work through the verses with their youngsters, they can’t help but also learn them. “There will be the 26 letters and an occasional review. We’ve asked parents to send us videos of their children reciting the verses they’ve learned, and we’ll share those videos in the reviews.”

Each episode runs for less than two minutes, with five segments and a review going up each week for a total run of five weeks. Farrell enlisted creative arts people around the Southern and Eastern territories and co-workers in the territorial Youth and Music departments to also “star” in the videos – “people who are enthusiastic and who love the word of God and teaching it to children.”

The feedback has been positive, not only from families with young children, but adults who enjoy seeing Scripture communicated in an enthusiastic way.

“Another way this resource is being used is through digital corps programming,” Farrell said. “One example of this is the Atlanta Temple Corps, which uses these videos in their virtual youth meet-ups each week to encourage Scripture memorization.”

When the current series is finished, Farrell said, “after a little while, we may want to do Round Two, to give kids new verses to learn. Someone recommended a musical version, too. We’ll see as this comes to fruition what happens and what we might do in the future.”

The purpose of this outreach is to bring to families peace and confidence in the Lord. “They’ll come out of quarantine richer, because they’ll have the word of God in the hearts and minds.”

Source: southernspiritonline.org

The Salvation Army Continues to Meet Substantial Need Caused by COVID-19

Atlanta, GA: The Salvation Army continues to respond around the globe to meet the substantial need caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Southeastern United States, communities are coming together for the greater good.

In Collier County, Florida, The Salvation Army recently provided assistance at a COVID-19 testing site. Three days of COVID-19 testing were administered by the National Guard and, in coordination with Collier County Emergency Services and the Health Department, The Salvation Army set up within the Collier County Public Library to provide assistance through meal service. In tandem with Three60, a local market, The Salvation Army served 420 meals, in addition to Gatorade and other snacks, while more than 1,000 COVID-19 tests were administered to local residents.

Earlier in May, a combination of Salvation Army officers, staff and volunteers in Atlanta, Georgia partnered with a local retail center, as well as Telemundo and the local food bank in putting together a substantial food giveaway. Pre-packaged food was distributed, and the Salvation Army made contact with more than 500 households, distributing copies of Cultura de alabanza, a Spanish-language album produced through The Salvation Army’s Soundcast network of audio programs. In addition, brochures including details on worship services at the Atlanta International corps, as well as information on emergency financial assistance and food pantry offerings were disseminated.

The Salvation Army is stepping in to provide aid for local youth in opening a daycare center at the Mabee Red Shield Boys & Girls Club in Metropolitan Tulsa, Oklahoma. The location is two-star certified with Oklahoma’s Department of Human Services, allowing operation in this capacity, and the building is cleaned every hour. In addition, masks are provided to follow CDC guidelines and wellness checks occur as children arrive. Youth enjoy a variety of educational and recreational programming, including the use of a computer lab, gymnasium and art room.

Part of a series of Blog Posts written by Brad Rowland, Staff Writer, Southern Spirit Newspaper

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 www.SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

Salvation Army delivers surprises to Cumberland kids

Salvation Army delivers surprises to Cumberland kids

By: David Ibata

Weeks had gone by in Cumberland, Maryland, since Victoria Leasure and Katherine Lick had last seen the children in The Salvation Army’s after-school program. So, to break the monotony, they loaded up “Big Blue,” the corps van, with a surprise for the kids and their families and took off.

“We wanted to do something for our kids since we cannot have programming due to COVID-19,” said Lick, who with Leasure runs the After-School Klub (A.S.K.) program for youngsters in kindergarten through fifth grade. “We decided to put together an activity box.”

Each box contained crayons, markers, colored pencils, a coloring box, a notebook, a couple fun pencils, a game (some got card games, and others, board games), chalk, loom bracelet kits, a Mother’s Day craft, balls, puzzles, paint activity, glowsticks and fun snacks. “Some boxes contained a slight variation depending on the age or gender of the child,” Lick said.

On Wednesday, May 6, Lick and Leasure delivered one activity box each to 27 families, for a total of 36 children, and a second box of non-perishable food for each household. They then uploaded photos of children and gifts to the corps Facebook page.

“We know how sad quarantine can make you feel, and we hope all our A.S.K. kids have brighter, happier days with their surprise boxes,” they posted to Facebook. “We can’t wait to see you all again, when the time comes.”

Source: southernspiritonline.org

The Salvation Army Midland Food Distribution at East St. Louis Community Center

ST. LOUIS, May 18, 2020 – The Salvation Army, the nation’s largest social services organization with more than 7,600 service locations across the country, is increasing efforts to meet human need. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the organization has evolved service delivery to ensure that immediate needs of community members, first responders, and government partners are met. 

The Salvation Army Midland Division is working closely with state agencies to address the COVID-19 pandemic. We remain in regular communication with local emergency management agencies and managers in local communities throughout the Midland Division, which includes Missouri and Southern Illinois. 

The Salvation Army staff and volunteers will distribute pre-packed food boxes and cleaning supplies to the public 9am-4pm on Saturday, May 23rd at The Salvation Army St. Clair County, East St. Louis Community Center 616 N 16thSt., East St. Louis.

This distribution was made possible by The COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, Edgewell Personal Care, Emerson, St. Louis Community Foundation, Tarlton, The Staenberg Group and the United Way.

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 www.SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org