While The Salvation Army has a strong presence in the homeless community, the organization is devoted to meeting the needs of more than just those without a home. The Salvation Army provides multiple resources for families to make sure children are growing up with the tools they need to build a bright future. Throughout the week, there are various classes and activities in place to support and empower the members of the community.
For many children in the Tampa Bay area, there are few safe and affordable after school activities. When the school day is over, some children go home and have nothing to do. The Salvation Army provides a safe environment for children to keep learning even after school has ended. The Salvation Army offers Sunday School and worship Services at various times during the week for children to learn about God and grow their faith. Along with classes centered on faith formation, The Salvation Army also offers other activities, such as sports, a youth band, and scouting programs to help children build character and skills they can use as they grow older.
The Salvation Army understands the importance of supportive parents to a child’s future, so classes for parents are also offered. There are groups for single parents, men, and women, and there are open gym hours for adults to exercise. Bible Study classes are offered for adults, and there are even sessions taught in Spanish.
Jeager and Somora are a mother-daughter duo who have found their place with The Salvation Army. When Jeager started attending women’s groups, it didn’t take long for her to feel connected to others in her community. The Salvation Army offered Jeager the opportunity to confide in other women and feel a sense of support while she navigated motherhood.
Somora has participated in all sorts of groups and activities with The Salvation Army. She loves playing games, making friends, and learning about Jesus. Somora considers her friends at The Salvation Army to be like family. Her confidence has grown tremendously since she has started participating in the activities, and she enjoys having friends at The Salvation Arm with similar interests. Somora enjoys her worship classes and is learning songs and dances to perform on stage on Sundays. When the children perform on Sundays, they are able to bond with each other while also connecting with the rest of the congregation.
Donors are essential to the success of The Salvation Army. Through their generosity, the members of the community are able to better themselves in ways that expand outside of the Tampa Bay Area. After participating in women’s groups, Jeager had the opportunity to attend a Women’s conference. Because of the generous support of sponsors, she attended the conference and learned skills she will be able to incorporate into every aspect of her life. Every day, Jeager feels empowered and capable to better her life with Somora.
Donors also assist The Salvation Army in providing necessities for children, such as school supplies and suitcases. Children are able to learn and grow much more effectively when they are not concerned with having the appropriate materials. Along with providing backpacks and supplies during school, The Salvation Army hosts summer camps to continue their learning when school is not in session.
This year, Somora was able to attend a summer camp because The Salvation Army provides accommodations. Most summer camps are expensive, and exclude children who’s families cannot afford to provide materials or pay camp fees. The Salvation Army provides affordable camps so more children can gain valuable experiences year round. This year, Somora was able to attend summer camp with the help of The Salvation Army. At camp, Somora learned valuable lessons and made even more friends.
Jeager and Somora feel loved and included by The Salvation Army, as do others in the community. While The Salvation Army is founded on religious beliefs, their service goes far beyond religion. By providing valuable resources and unwavering support and empowerment, The Salvation Army is able to make a lasting impact on many lives in the Tampa Bay area.