Salvation Army provides physical, spiritual nourishment

May 13, 2020 | by Brad Rowland

Salvation Army provides physical, spiritual nourishment

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.

Denton, Texas: The workers at The Salvation Army outdoor food pantry in Denton observe social distancing guidelines as they prepare to distribute food to their neighbors in need. The Denton Corps operates the outdoor pantry on Wednesday and Friday afternoons.

Athens, Georgia: Members of The Salvation Army Athens Corps – properly outfitted in personal protective equipment – delivered Easter bags to children in the community.

Sanford, Florida: In Seminole County, Salvation Army care packages are being issued through a drop-off program, with food, water, activities and other personal items. Boxes are also being distributed to a local assisted living facility for seniors.

Memphis, Tennessee: Want to borrow a gym? The Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center on April 21 sent out this email offer to members: “Want to do BodyPump or Grit Strength from home, or simply want to have barbell equipment around to increase muscular strength and endurance? We are making some of our group exercise equipment accessible to you until we are able to resume normal programming. You must have opted in to reactivate your membership, be participating in online personal training, or be enrolled in our virtual small group classes starting on 4/27. If you qualify, contact us for details.”

Columbia, South Carolina: Volunteers at Transitions Homeless Shelter were in short supply due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the Columbia, South Carolina, Corps Men's Fellowship Club stepped up to serve dinner for homeless people. The men came ready with their protective gear, ready to serve on the front lines.

Suffolk, Virginia: The Salvation Army corps assembles and serves restaurant meals for the community twice a week. This effort provides about 100 meals per day in partnership with the "Love Local, Buy Suffolk" initiative. As cars drive alongside the building, volunteers from a neighboring church, The Mount Suffolk, safely hand over hot meals to hungry neighbors. One of those faithful Mount Suffolk volunteers is Jeffrey Johnson. Born and raised in Suffolk, Johnson considers himself a "people person." He was ready to serve when the call for volunteers was made by his pastor, the Rev. Karl Wilkins. "He has been serving faithfully since the start of all this," said Captain Shauntrice Williams, Suffolk corps officer. "He loves the Lord and helping people. The smile on his face shows that he loves what we are doing here in Suffolk."

Atlanta, Georgia: The Salvation Army on April 20 announced a new partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Atlanta and the Atlanta Public Schools. Every Monday in April and May, the schools will provide meal packages for families of students who attend The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Atlanta. Each package provides breakfast and lunch for five days. Families pick up the meals through drive-up food pick-ups at each of the Army’s three metro-area clubs. An estimated 200 families will be blessed by this partnership.

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