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Volunteering

Our Volunteers Are Awesome!

October 3, 2017

In case, you haven’t heard… we have some of THE BEST volunteers ever!!!

We have had rooms in both of our shelters renovated, thousands of meals served at the hands of volunteers, work done in our thrift stores, and soon thousands of hours of help with our Thanksgiving Meals, Angel Tree and Red Kettle programs.

We can’t say it enough- THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all you do for The Salvation Army in Northwest Arkansas.

Take a peek at just a FEW of the amazing people behind our services and projects this year!!

Want to be one of these awesome people this Christmas Season?? Call 479-521-2151 for more info! We have many spots still open for Thanksgiving Day Meal, Red Kettle Ringing, and Angel Tree! To check out some of our ongoing opportunities that are available year-round, visit us HERE!

Volunteer Luncheon 2017

April 10, 2017

Once again, we had an incredible time thanking our amazing volunteers and honoring them for their work with us this past year!!

Whether bell ringing, serving meals, putting on a food drive, helping with Angel Tree, working in our thrift store or giving back in a myriad of other ways- we are grateful for their service. Our volunteers truly do MULTIPLY our services in NWA- we could not do our work without them.

Check out pictures from the event below along with this year’s award recipients!

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KETTLE AWARDS

Top Individual Bell Ringer, Fayetteville Amy Bain
Top Group Bell Ringer, Fayetteville Holiday Island Community Church
Top Individual Bell Ringer, Springdale John Tackel
Top Group Bell Ringer, Springdale J.B Hunt Transport, Inc.
Top Individual Bell Ringer, Rogers Aubrey Patterson
Top Group Bell Ringer, Rogers J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc.


COMMUNITY AWARDS

Angel Tree Partner of the Year | Legacy National Bank

Angel Tree Partner of the Year is awarded to an individual or group who goes above and beyond during the Christmas Season to ensure that the Angel Tree Program is a success. Whether through volunteerism, donation of resources, or angel adoption, this award recipient is caring for the under-served children in our community. This year’s Angel Tree Partner of the Year award goes to Legacy National Bank. Their team gave extensive hours to aiding with the application process, volunteered at the warehouse, and have begun creating a curriculum for financial classes to be offered for our Angel Tree families. Their partnership has blessed our program, and we know it will continue to do so.

Community Resource Award | Razorback Food Recovery

The Community Resource Award is presented to an individual or group who chooses to support The Salvation Army with a unique resource necessary to the success of our programs. Last year alone, our varying programs and services provided 88,000 meals in Northwest Arkansas, which would not be possible without generous donors. However, this past year, we had the blessing of connecting with a very special organization dedicated to reducing food waste and ending hunger in Northwest Arkansas, Last year alone, they rescued and donated 10,471 pounds of food to our Fayetteville Shelter. We are so grateful for Razorback Food Recovery and are thrilled to present them with this year’s Community Resource Award.

Community Partner Award | Kevin Fitzpatrick

The Community Partner Award is presented to an individual or group that has shown great support through volunteerism, financial gifts, and the unique meeting of needs throughout the year. This year, we are thrilled to present the Community Partner Award to Dr. Kevin Fitzpatrick. Dr. Fitzpatrick in an incredible mobilizer to others in our community, desiring that Northwest Arkansas better understand the issues of homelessness and poverty. His research provides much-needed data to help non-profits like us more effectively serve our clients. He is constantly finding groups to come serve with us and spreading our message. We are grateful for his work in this community and his support!

Volunteer Individual of the Year | The VanSlooten Family

The Volunteer Individual of the Year Award is presented each year to one individual or family who has shone in their commitment and service to The Salvation Army. This year, we are proud to honor the VanSlooten Family. They are a wonderful family, committed to service and always willing to go above and beyond. They serve meals consistently: we know we can count on them to be there. They encouraged their church to adopt one of the family rooms in our shelter, and their son Andrew painted the men’s dorm for his scout project. Andrew gathered his family, school friends, and church to help with the project, and the Scouts purchased all the supplies for painting including the paint. We are so grateful for all the ways they have served our Bentonville Shelter this year.

Volunteer Group of the Year | First Christian Church and Waterway

Our final award will be presented to the Volunteer Group of the Year. This award is given to a group that has given an incredible number of hours to The Salvation Army, enabling us to better serve this community because of their continued commitment. This year’s recipients have continually reached out, asking to serve us and fulfill needs that arise.  They have served meals, brought much-needed supplies like food, coffee, laundry detergent and more. They have been a welcome part of our serving family and so committed to helping the homeless in Benton County. A huge thank you and congratulations to First Christian Church & Waterway for your commitment and service this past year!

Volunteer Luncheon 2016

May 13, 2016

Volunteers are an integral part of who we are here at The Salvation Army!! We absolutely could not carry on without the generosity and sacrifice of each individual and group that has walked alongside of us this past year. That is why honoring them is such a blessing for us!

This year we had over 9,000 volunteer hours served in our various programs. Whether that be serving meals, ringing bells, deep cleaning shelters, or organizing in the thrift store, each and every hour given has changed this community!

It was such an honor to celebrate our amazing supporters this week!
Here’s a peek into the afternoon.

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We had the privilege of honoring a few individuals and groups who really went above and beyond! Check out the recipients!!

KETTLE AWARDS 2015

Top Individual Bell Ringer for Fayetteville: Laura Bennett
Top Group Bell Ringer for Fayetteville: Fellowship Bible Church in Fayetteville

Fayetteville
Top Individual Bell Ringer for Rogers/Bentonville Area: Wayne Cooper
Top Group Bell Ringer for Rogers/Bentonville Area: Benton County Sheriff’s Department

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Top Group Bell Ringer for Springdale: J.B. Hunt Transportation Inc. Services
Top Individual Bell Ringer for the Springdale: John Tackel

Springdale

Community Resource Award- Edwards Children’s Trust
The Community Resource Award is presented to an individual or group that chooses to support The Salvation Army with a unique resource necessary to the success of our programs. Each year, a warehouse for Angel Tree gift sorting and distribution must be obtained, and this year’s recipient graciously provided that space free of charge (and has done so for three years)!!

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Community Partner Award- SamsClub.com
The Community Partner Award is presented to a business or corporation that has shown great support through volunteerism, financial gifts, and the unique meeting of needs throughout the year. This year, we were thrilled to present the Community Partner Award to the team at Samsclub.com! They provided our shelter guests with Christmas gifts, deep cleaned our shelter, supported us financially and spread awareness of our mission throughout their community.

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Volunteer Individual of the Year- Sharon Gregory
The Volunteer Individual of the Year Award is presented each year to one individual who exemplifies commitment and service to The Salvation Army. This year, we proudly honored a woman who faithfully serves at our Bentonville Shelter each and every Monday, cooking and serving the dinner meal for our residents.

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Volunteer Group of the Year- Fellowship Bible Church in Fayetteville
This award is presented to a group that has given an incredible number of hours to The Salvation Army, enabling us to better serve this community because of their continued commitment. This year’s recipients continually reached out, asking to serve us with any and every need that arose. They rang bells for four weekends, painted our Fayetteville Shelter, did maintenance around our property and are still asking for ways to serve. A huge thank you and congratulations to Fellowship Bible Church in Fayetteville for their commitment and service this past year!

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A final recognition that we could not go without mentioning! To Bart Sego and the team at Fellowship Bible Church of NWA, a HUGE thank you for the use of your facilities! You guys made the event a breeze!

We hope to see you at our Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon next year!!
Want to know how to get involved? Check out our volunteer webpage.

Chain Reaction Bike Ministry

April 27, 2016

It was such a blast having First Christian Church & Waterway out to our Bentonville Shelter earlier this month! They are doing some awesome things in the community, and I am going to let Peggy Hicks, Outreach Coordinator, give a little insight into who they are and why they serve!

Tell me a little bit about First Christian Church & Waterway!

First Christian Church & WaterWay are focused on being Disciples of Christ’s love – exemplifying that love to ALL within our walls, our community and our world. We are an inclusive place of worship where everyone is welcome at our table wherever they may be in their journey of life and faith. Reaching out to our community and world with tangible expressions of Christ’s love is a huge part of our calling and identity as followers of Jesus. Our Outreach Ministries play a central role in the life of our church, giving us ways to live into our faith, as well as a means of showing the world what Christ’s love looks like.

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How did you guys get started serving in the community?

Plan Be Sunday was created in 2006 as an opportunity to express that tangible love to our neighbors in need within our community. Each year on the Sunday after Easter, we have an abbreviated time of worship and then go out to Be the church. Over the years, teams of folks have picked up trash in parks, power washed homes in assisted living communities, completed outside lawn work , cleaned the inside of homes, worked at local food pantries and entertained the elderly at local nursing facilities – just to name a few Plan Be acts of service.

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What made you guys choose The Salvation Army?

The Salvation Army Emergency Shelter is one of a very few facilities in Benton County assisting the homeless in offering food, a place to sleep, counseling and referral services. It is a perfect fit for one of our Plan Be team projects this year.

We’re excited to spruce up the outside of the facility. After all, this is a place our neighbors are calling home for a short time while they find their feet again and work toward self-sustainability. Having a home that keeps us safe from the environment, fills our bellies and gives us a place to rest our head is the most important aspect of what that home provides. However, a home that is neat, clean and well taken care of inside and outside also provides us with a sense of peace and contentment; two qualities of living that are often missing from the day to day life of the homeless and qualities those of us not struggling with sustainability often take for granted.

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Tell me a little bit about your bicycle ministry!

Chain Reaction, our Bicycle Outreach Project, began at FCC & WaterWay in June 2015 as part of a larger organization started in Houston, Texas in 2009. Transportation is imperative to those seeking employment, maintaining employment or attending school. Unfortunately, owning a vehicle is costly and public transportation in Northwest Arkansas, although available, isn’t easily accessible or inexpensive. A bicycle not only cuts transportation costs to almost nothing but can cut transportation times to and from work or school by more than 50%.

Simply put, a bicycle can be the difference between working and not working, education or no education.

Our vision for the future of Chain Reaction is that we are able to provide a bike to anyone in need in Northwest Arkansas anytime they need it, as well as providing riding education, safety tips and bicycle repair and replacement.

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Live United Day

April 21, 2016

LU Thank You

Live United Day was such a huge success thanks to the amazing volunteers we had out from Samsclub.com and Fellowship Bible Church in Fayetteville this past weekend! It is such a joy to see people from all walks of life, careers, and cities come together to serve a greater purpose!!

Samsclub.com Bentonville
Our Samsclub.com team deep cleaned our Bentonville Shelter- what champions! They scrubbed baseboards fearlessly, cleaned out greasy ovens cheerfully, and even put some elbow grease into the dorms and bathrooms!

Live United

Fellowship Bible Church Fayetteville
On Saturday we had an amazing team out from Fellowship Bible Church in Fayetteville! Their team never gave up on that massive expanse of fence we had to paint. They stayed 1.5 hours longer than scheduled so that they could finish painting almost 800 feet of fence!! We are so grateful for their hard-work and commitment to making our facility a welcoming place in the community!

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We love this community and we loved the opportunity to serve alongside you guys!!

Vai Talau

December 16, 2015

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Vai is a senior at Fayetteville High School. He is a member of the FHS wrestling team and works hard in school! He loves to hang out with his friends and wants to make a big difference for the hurting and broken in his community.

If you were one of Santa’s reindeer, which would you be?
I would definitely want to be Rudolph. Because one, that’s the only reindeer I know. And because he is different; he’s an exception in the group of reindeer. Everyone made fun of him, but he is the difference maker!

Does your family have a traditional holiday food that is unique?
We cook duck instead of turkey. Duck to me is like a finer chicken- it’s amazing! Once I ate it, I was hooked. We roast it, just like a turkey, but it’s a duck.

How would you describe yourself in three adjectives?
Compassionate: It’s how I was raised. I have a lot of sympathy for people- my heart really goes out to them. I really do enjoy helping others.
Reckless: Cause I am young! I don’t really make dumb decisions but I think [being reckless] is a part of being a teenager.
Funny: Not to be cliché, but I think I’m funny!

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Who is your role model and why?
Definitely my mother, because she perseveres through everything. She motivates me every day. Even though she drives me crazy sometimes, I still love her to death. She’s made it through it all, really. Through impossible [situations], she made it possible. I really look up to her for what she has come through, what she is doing for our family, and for raising me to be the man I am today.

How did you get involved with The Salvation Army?
During the summer, I always drive past it going to my friend’s house. I’ve always had a calling to go help the homeless and get involved in the community. I got my friend Kelson and asked him if he wanted to embark on a new adventure with me. So we went out and signed up to do volunteer work at The Salvation Army.

My heart brought me to The Salvation Army: I got a call and I can feel it in my soul. This is what I want to do in life. This is an avenue that I want to pursue. I want to get into helping the community and then I want to be a voice for the people.

I would love to go to school to be a Human Right’s Attorney and a Psychologist. Put that together and I can help folks and defend them. I want to be someone they can go to.

The first time I served there we worked for a little bit alongside a staff member and then took a break. During that break, he told me his life story: how he was an alcoholic, how bad his childhood and family were, and how the program worked for him. He gave me a fresh perspective. He had it rough, and he makes me want to help. Every time I serve, we end up talking about our life stories, and every time it’s like a new light bulb in my head. It’s a humbling experience. It changes my perspective because I always talk to someone new.

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What is your #redkettlereason?

I want to make a difference in a corrupt society. I want to help give people a hand up, give them a hand that no one ever gives them. I have a call, and I want to be the hand that picks them up.

I love helping others! Giving someone hope they’ve never had before is great, because you know you helped that person feel better that day. You make a difference in people’s lives; that’s why I do it.

What advice would you give to another student who wants to make a difference in NWA?
Step out of yourself and consider [taking on] a fresh perspective. It’s hard in high school because the notion is that everyone is trying to jump-start their lives. They are wrapped up in themselves and are wrapped up in their lives. My advice is to really think about how you can help someone else. You can donate money. Or think about your skills: what can you do, build, or create to help another person? You can give people hope and purpose.

My role is to influence others, not force, but influence them.

You can create a spark in someone’s mind. The best way is to [serve] together with someone. It’s not about ‘you’ or ‘I’, it’s about us. It’s hard to get a revolution going, but my role is to demonstrate [service] so that they can join. I know a lot of kids that do want to help. It’s not conventional, but we want to make a change.

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Bill Copelin

December 10, 2015

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Bill is a Northwest Arkansas native and has been working at JB Hunt for 30 years! He began as a Management Trainee in 1985 and is now the VP of Transportation. He and his wife have one son and are avid supporters of The Salvation Army! He currently serves on the Advisory Board.

If you were one of Santa’s reindeer, which would you be?
Blitzen- it’s the only one I can remember besides Rudolph!

What Holiday song lights up your holiday season?
So I like two more traditional songs: “White Christmas” and “Silver Bells”. But I also love “Silent Night”. And “Oh, Holy Night”. Mariah Carey really sings that well!!

How would you describe yourself in three adjectives?
Predictable: Because I see the relevance of doing things a certain way that give you a better outcome. So I trace those steps just about every day.
Persistent: If I believe in something, my passion goes with my vision.
Strategic: I am more of a big picture and ideas kind of guy!

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Who is your role model and why?
As a Christian, I would say Jesus is my role model. It builds my faith just hearing his words, “only believe”. He makes it simple, and then he goes out and does it to show us that it’s possible. And I think it can be done. In my life, I have seen instances where miracles took place, and it’s through everyday people.

That’s part of what I really like about The Salvation Army. Their services offer an environment where people are generally more relaxed. Needs are more apparent, and regardless of the gifts you’ve been given, there’s a place for that gift. They find where it interacts with the needs in the world. We all have needs that must be met, and only the Gospel can do that.

How did you get involved with The Salvation Army?
One day I was here and I was going to lunch. I felt a prompting of the Holy Spirit to call the Salvation Army Corps in Springdale and offer to take them lunch. I called, took their order and showed up.

I really thought I would go in for 10 minutes and go on my way, and my day would be complete.

But when I walked in there, they told me that the electricity went out in their kitchen that day, and they would have had to do without lunch. “It’s so interesting that God put it on your heart to bring us lunch”, the officers said. I looked around and saw the people being served and the officers, and I could see that there was more than enough to go around in trying to reach the needs. So one thing led to another and here I am… 10 years later!

I went home and told my wife about it, and we decided to begin attending [The Salvation Army] church. We taught Sunday School and got to know people. Lives that needed to know that they mattered, from the old and weak to the young and vulnerable. It’s a very worthwhile walk that The Salvation Army does for each community: it’s invaluable.

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What is your #redkettlereason?

The Salvation Army is God’s hands and feet, his heart and his voice. Of the organization’s I know they are the ones who most holistically reach out to those who are vulnerable.

We see pictures of people, but there are stories behind every person that really connect us. That really means something. There was a young boy who could not get close enough to my wife and me when we went to church there. His brother had special needs. They were early adolescence, and we noticed that they would eat a lot at the church potlucks. We found out that their parents were getting government assistance, but they weren’t using the money to pay for the boys’ lunch at school. They were hungry. The Salvation Army stepped in and made sure that those boys got lunches at school.

Another day I was there, this mother came in and she was frantic. It was freezing outside.  She had two or three little kids. A few things had tripped her up; she was a working single mother, but she just couldn’t pay her bills that month. The heat was going to be turned off, and she needed a miracle that day. The Salvation Army stepped in and paid her heating bill and kept her kids from being cold. That’s a miracle for that family.

I also know a number of people who have gone through the drug and rehabilitation program. I have seen people, who were affluent enough to have their own business and family, but tragedy struck and their ability to cope with it put them in a situation where they lost everything. They were humble enough to go through the Christian Drug and Rehabilitation Program that The Salvation Army supplies. Now they are working, back on their feet, and building back their lives.

What advice would you give to another business man or woman who wants to make a difference in NW Arkansas?

Get involved. Make a commitment. Step out of your schedules and be intentional!

You can give of your time, talents and resources in your home, neighborhood or workplace. Be ready in season and out whether it’s convenient or not. When I was young, I was more wrapped up in my career. It took time for God to soften me and show me that I can give back and live my faith.

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Is there anything you would like to add?
I want to express my gratitude to all the people who give fully of themselves in their love for mankind. Those who let go of the world and hold onto the Kingdom. The Salvation Army is a great example of that. One man cared about the souls of people in England, and because of his vision [The Salvation Army] is now around the world.

It goes to show you that nothing is impossible with God.

Natalie Counce

December 1, 2015

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Meet Natalie Counce!

She is a sophomore at the University of Arkansas and a Fayetteville native. She is currently studying business and serves as the Assistant Philanthropy Chair for Kappa Kappa Gamma.

If you were one of Santa’s reindeer which would you be?

Rudolph! I want a song that’s after me! I think I might be a little embarrassed if I had a red nose, but Rudolph is a leader, and I would like to consider myself a leader. He also seems kind of clumsy, and that’s me too.

Does your family have a traditional holiday food that is unique?

Well, my sister is very proud of her green bean bundles so we have those. Also, my mom makes the most amazing cheese grits.

How would you describe yourself in three adjectives?

Involved: All my friends would agree with that. Sometimes it is hard for me to find 15 minutes because I’m (constantly) jumping from one place to another. I like to be involved and invested; it’s a good use of my time.

Determined: I do not take defeat lightly. That motivates me in a lot of ways to do well. I love school. I am a nerd. It brings out the best in me I think, when I put a little pressure on myself. I want to do really with what I am committed to.

Loyal: I am definitely a quality over quantity type person. Whether that’s with friends or the things that I like to do, I am loyal.

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Who is your role model and why?

My dad is my role model. He is so accomplished and well-rounded. I really look up to him a lot. What he has done in his life is amazing, and he has a lot of integrity, which I think is the coolest thing. He is a strong man of God and determined and he works hard, and he’s nerdy like me. I really hope that people would say that I have those same qualities.

How did you get involved with The Salvation Army?

I first knew about The Salvation Army in the capacity of the Red Kettle. What kid doesn’t like to grab the change out of their mom’s purse and put it in the kettle? My aunt always took me to do the Angel Tree too. We would go shopping all over for gifts, and I just remember thinking it was so cool. Giving can bring so much joy!

When I wanted to start taking ownership of my service, I immediately thought of The Salvation Army as a place where I wanted to give back. It started off as a coat drive with a really small school in the 7th grade, and I continued to do drives throughout high school!

I also did pageants for a couple of years and my personal platform was ‘Community Soldier’, in reference to being a soldier for The Salvation Army in my community. My platform was to spread awareness of what The Salvation Army does and to show how easy it is to give back. I think a lot of people see it as a big task to donate or give their time, but it can be very rewarding if you follow through with it.

[Through my pageants] I was able to do a lot of things. I helped with disaster relief in a small town called Cincinnati, AR when they were hit by a tornado. Volunteers were helping with food, and I got to be a part of that. I’ve worked in the shelter a few times. Last year, a few friends and I made cookies and passed them out at the shelter over Christmas break… it was so fun! They were joking around with us and telling us what kind of cookies they would prefer for next year. It was a blast!

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What is your #redkettlereason?

Because giving is simple but the impact is big!

I think ringing the bells represents Christmas Spirit, The Salvation Army, and the people they are helping. It’s so cool because I have been invested in [The Salvation Army] all growing up so to be able to see this time of year when everyone recognizes The Salvation Army is really cool. I think about The Salvation Army year round, but a lot of people just think about it at Christmas.

What advice would you give to another University of Arkansas student who wants to make a difference in NW Arkansas?

I would say take initiative. Know that you can start something yourself! It may seem like a big task, but honestly, there are so many people to help you. It can be as simple as telling people to bring you coats. Take it as your responsibility to provide [for the community]. That’s why I have been so involved with The Salvation Army! It’s exciting to build upon what started as a small thing.

Everyone has some way to give, whether it’s time, money, or physical items. I think people don’t realize that it is easier than it seems to make a big difference. Take ownership of what you are doing and be proud of it!

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Did you foresee making such a big influence?

My first coat drive, I got about 100 coats. My second one was 50 coats, but I did more and more (of them). A few years ago, before I was even in a sorority, I talked to the director of Greek Life about what I was doing. I asked if the girls coming in for orientation that year would bring a coat with them. We got over 1,000 coats! It was so successful and I never thought it would be something like that.

Taking initiative, and taking advice from other people- you never know where it could lead.
Start small and it could turn into something big!

Is there anything you would like to add?

I love these coats drives. Even though it is just an article of clothing, a coat represents a lot: warmth, comfort and security.

And that is exactly what The Salvation Army is there to do. They provide warmth, a safe place, and security to people in need. The way they do that is very tangible.

They are the hands and feet of Jesus. They are helping the community by meeting their physical needs. A coat may be exactly what one person needs that day. It may save them. The Salvation Army is there to help people in need and to be there no matter what the circumstance. I love The Salvation Army for how basic that is but how impactful it is.