By Bruce Longino
I have learned about the wonderful work The Salvation Army does from Bob Kesterton. Bob hired me to work for Mingledorff’s 43 years ago. Bob got Mingledorff’s people involved in the good works of The Salvation Army over twenty years ago. We volunteered to ring the bell for donations through the Red Kettle and buying gifts for children in need on the Angle Tree during the Christmas season.
Starting over five years ago I became aware of the work The Salvation Army does year round at their food banks, boys and girls clubs and homeless shelters. My involvement was in making HVAC improvements to their facilities working with Chris Durand, Director of Facilities, Metro Atlanta Area Command.
Several weeks ago, Chris told me he was worried because their warehouse was running out of food. He said they had shipped out 53 ballets of food to their Atlanta food banks and the warehouse was becoming empty. At about that time I received my “stimulus check” from the federal government. I thought, what better way to stimulate the economy than to buy food for The Salvation Army. Thankfully many friends in the HVAC industry caught on to the extreme need for donations needed by The Salvation Army. Their donations matched mine many times over.
After this happened Curtis Parrot called me. He asked if he could help spread the word about the need for donations to The Salvation Army to buy food for people in need around the USA. The result is this article. I have asked Nichole Owens, Communications Director, The Salvation Army Metro Atlanta Area Command to talk about what The Salvation Army does around the world and the additional need that COVID-19 has created.
The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human need in His name without discrimination. The Salvation Army is also the largest social services organization in the United States, serving an estimated 23 million Americans each year.
The Salvation Army is present in every zip code in the United States, and in 130 countries around the world. To quote Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta Area Commander Major Bob Parker, “At every minute of every day, someone is being helped by The Salvation Army.”
Most people know The Salvation Army by the red kettles and bell ringers they see at Christmastime, but the Army is so much more.
In Atlanta, The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta has three, core focus areas: homelessness services – our Red Shield Shelter is a 320-bed facility for individuals and families in downtown Atlanta; youth enrichment – The Salvation Army operates three Boys & Girls Clubs in metro Atlanta that provide educational and character building programs for youth; and anti-human trafficking – our Haven Atlanta program is a drop-in (non-residential) facility that provides support and resources for women working to escape human trafficking.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta has continued to respond to increase requests for assistance, particularly in regard to our food pantries. As the economic fallout from COVID-19 becomes more evident, we anticipate and are preparing to respond to increased requests for financial emergency assistance.
To donate to The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta’s ongoing COVID-19 relief efforts, visit www.salvationarmyatlanta.org or mail a check to The Salvation Army Metro Atlanta Area Command P.O. Box 930188 Norcross, GA 30093.
To learn more about The Salvation Army International and to donate outside of the Atlanta area visit https://www.salvationarmy.org/.