The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary celebrates 70 years in Atlanta

Apr 26, 2022 | by Brad Rowland

The Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary celebrates 70 years in Atlanta

The Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary (SAWA) of Metro Atlanta celebrated its 70th anniversary on in March with a luncheon meeting and special program at Evangeline Booth College in Atlanta.

11 of the organization's 38 past presidents were in attendance, along with SAWA members, female cadets from Evangeline Booth College, and other special guests, including Commissioner Barbara Howell, territorial leader and president of women's ministries; Major Jan Harwell, territorial women's auxiliary secretary; and Major Teresa Newsome, Georgia divisional director of women’s ministries.

Cindy Theiler, a former SAWA president, shared the history of the Atlanta organization, that was founded in 1951. Due to Covid, the celebratory event was postponed by 12 months.

"The Atlanta auxiliary of today isn't too much different from The Salvation Army's women's auxiliary's humble beginnings in 1883 in the United States.” Theiler said. “Just like us today, the first organization in New York City held regular meetings, raised money and positive awareness for The Salvation Army, and helped the Army with its social work and programs.”

In 1951, a small group of women, predominantly from Peachtree Presbyterian Church, started the women's auxiliary in Atlanta. Past fundraising efforts have included rummage sales, a cookbook, fashion shows and auctions, and the Dogwood coffee.

Since beginning its Kettle Krush 5K run/walk in 2018, the event has raised more than $320,000 in four years. These funds have been distributed to support Salvation Army projects and programs throughout metro Atlanta to "krush" poverty, homelessness, and human trafficking, and support veterans and youth enrichment. This year's Kettle Krush event is scheduled for May 21 in Marietta Square.

"The dedicated women in this organization work tirelessly to support Salvation Army initiatives and we are so appreciative of all they have done throughout the years," said Captain Parker, who serves as the group's Salvation Army leader. “They are truly a blessing.”

During their remarks, Commissioner Howell and Major Harwell congratulated SAWA on its anniversary and presented an engraved glass "Bowl of Excellence" award to Allphin and Captain Kathy Parker, co-commander of the Metro Atlanta Area Command.

Howell praised SAWA for its "powerful, mission-moving women." While thanking its members, she also told them that "you have changed lives."

"While the women's auxiliary – like The Salvation Army – has seen many changes through the years, today's members serve with the same devotion and enthusiasm as the earliest members," said Mary Allphin, SAWA's 2021-2022 president. "We're so proud to be celebrating our 70th anniversary and look forward to the next 70 years ahead!"

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