In his declaration of the weeklong observation, President Dwight Eisenhower described the Salvation Army as a longstanding symbol of “wholehearted dedication to the cause of human brotherhood.”
“In time of war, the men and women of this organization have brought to those serving their country far from home friendliness and warm concern. In the quieter days of peace, their work has been a constant reminder to us all that each of us is neighbor and kin to all Americans,” Eisenhower said.
Today, the Salvation Army dedicates the week to showing appreciation to the volunteers, donors and program participants who make its services possible.
Captain Michael Cox, commander of the Johnson City Salvation Army Corps, said “This is an opportunity for us to say thank you to those who are donors and volunteers and program beneficiaries, those who help us and also those who participate in our programs. That’s really what National Salvation Army Week is about.
“National Salvation Army Week is us saying thank you to all those people, because without them our programs we would not be here. Without all of those people, our programs would not happen.”
Last year, the Salvation Army Center of Hope in Johnson City provided more than 75,000 hot meals to men, women and children in need and more than 8,200 nights of shelter to men and women who were homeless.
At any given time during the year, the Center of Hope’s veterans per diem program conducted in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provided transitional shelter and support services to 15 to 18 homeless military veterans who were working to re-establish their ability their maintain their own homes.
At Christmas, with help from hundreds of Angel Tree shoppers, the Johnson City Salvation Army provided toys and warm winter clothing for more than 2,000 children whose families were unable to provide those gifts.
More than 6,200 adults, seniors and children participate in the Center of Hope’s character-building enrichment programs last year. And through the Salvation Army’s social services offices, another 6,200 men, women, children and seniors received food boxes, rent and utility assistance, clothing and household items with a combined estimated value of nearly $160,000.
Cox said the funding, support and material gifts that made all those services possible came from contributors to the annual United Way of Washington County fall fundraising campaign, from those who donated items and shopped at the Salvation Army Family Store on South Roan Street, and from those who bought gifts for children, volunteered in the Angel Tree program, rang the bells and dropped money into the Salvation Army red kettles at Christmas.
A look at the Johnson City Salvation Army Facebook page reveals many other meaningful gifts made throughout the year:
• Young Professionals of the Tri-Cities carrying in coats collected in their Share the Warmth drive.
• United Way Week of Caring Volunteers painting the exterior of the Center of Hope and adding new landscaping outside the Salvation Army offices.
• Senior Program members re-potting the plants that decorate the Salvation Army offices.
• Girl Scouts delivering care packages for homeless women purchased with cookie sale proceeds.
• Fresh flower arrangements fashioned by the city’s garden clubs for the Center of Hope, nursing homes and other places where people need a little extra beauty and encouragement.
Phyllis Cornett, the new donor relations and volunteer manager at the Johnson City Salvation Army spent National Salvation Army Week returning some those kindnesses, delivering doughnuts to community organizations and spreading the word about the many ways people can be involved in the Salvation Army’s charitable programs.
Cornett invited anyone who wishes to learn more to call her at 423-926-2101. More information is also available at www.salvationarmyjc.org and at the Salvation Army Johnson City Tennessee page on Facebook.
For others who wish to contribute, donations to the Salvation Army may be made at the website or by mail to P.O. Box 1715, Johnson City, TN 37605.
Email Sue Guinn Legg at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.