sarasota church in a box covid19 2Churches across Florida are temporarily closed to follow increased COVID-19 safety precautions, causing pastors to get creative to continue ministering to those who worship across more than 40 Salvation Army churches in the state.

Lieutenants Will and Veronica Conley, pastors at The Salvation Army’s church in Sarasota, Florida, delivered ‘Church in a Box’ to their members to make sure they stayed connected.

“We first saw the concept of ‘Church in a Box’ from a Facebook post and we immediately knew this was something we wanted to do for our congregation,” says Lt. Veronica Conley, Corps Officer (Pastor).

Boxes were packed with doughnuts, hand sanitizer, tissues, worship guides, Sunday School materials, devotionals, as well as activities and games for adults, teens, and children.

“Not everyone is active on social media, and we liked the idea of offering a ‘hands-on’ approach to a worship experience,” says Conley. “Breakfast and fellowship are such a special time for our people on Sunday mornings, and you just can’t have Salvation Army fellowship without doughnuts!”

The ‘Church in a Box’ project is just one way The Salvation Army is letting people know how much they are loved and cared for, even during this season of social distancing. Several locations in Florida are live streaming weekly church services, Bible studies, and support groups.

Click here to learn about The Salvation Army’s national response to coronavirus COVID-19.

If you would like to submit a prayer request or a request for one of our pastors to call you for prayer, please visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org/pray.

Click here to help The Salvation Army continue meeting needs in your community.

jacksonville story 2 3-21-20 resizeThe Salvation Army in Northeast Florida has shifted its daily meal ministry to provide meals from a field kitchen located outside of their Center of Hope facility in Downtown Jacksonville. The Meal Ministry program provides hot, nourishing meals for families and individuals in times of need every night of the year.

Bag lunches are also being provided to those who come to the food pantry for supplemental assistance. Each week, 250 income-eligible households are served through the food pantry, and the need is expected to grow over the coming months due to economic hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We appreciate the dedication of our staff going above and beyond their normal duties and schedules to serve others during this unprecedented time. We are following stated guidelines to protect our clients as well as our staff from exposure to the COVID-19 virus,” says Major Keath Biggers, Administrator for The Salvation Army serving Northeast Florida.

“We are also working closely with other community nonprofit agencies and the Mayor’s Task Force on homelessness for a unified best plan of action to serve the vulnerable population. As always, we appreciate the continued support of our friends, donors and volunteers that enable us to “Do the most Good, to the most people, in the most need.”

To ensure the safety of volunteers, staff, and recipients, no more than five individuals at a time are allowed entry into the food jacksonville story 3 3-21-20 resizepantry. Volunteers are required to wear gloves while serving; hand sanitizer and handwashing stations are available on site.

Projected impacts on the economy and workforce will likely force more Americans to seek rental, utility, and other forms of assistance.

Click here to help The Salvation Army continue meeting needs in your community.

Click here to learn about The Salvation Army’s national response to coronavirus COVID-19.

If you would like to submit a prayer request or a request for one of our pastors to call you for prayer, please visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org/pray.

vero beach serviceAfter the cancellation of a local county fair in the Vero Beach, Florida area, The Salvation Army was contacted by the county Emergency Operations Center to help several migrant workers that were stranded.

The sudden withdrawal of the fair due to COVID-19 precautions left them without a place to stay or enough funds to travel back home.

“In this pandemic, we will continue to care for the unseen and the forgotten,” says Captain Jay Needham, Administrator for The Salvation Army serving the Vero Beach area.

The Salvation Army provided meals for the workers while community partners and private donors helped purchase bus passes home to Arizona, Minnesota, and Tennessee.

The numbers of stranded workers were originally 40-45, and those continue to dwindle as connections are made for transportation.

Click here to learn about The Salvation Army’s national response to coronavirus COVID-19.

If you would like to submit a prayer request or a request for one of our pastors to call you for prayer, please visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org/pray.

Click here to help The Salvation Army continue meeting needs in your community.

Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida, which is temporarily closed due to COVID-19 precautions, has donated truckloads of perishable food items to The Salvation Army.

A recent truckload included apples, oranges, potatoes, and other fresh produce that was distributed to current shelter clients, seniors citizens, and those experiencing hardships due to the impact of the recent outbreak.

“We have been serving the populations most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic, the homeless and senior citizens each day. This generous donation means we can serve so many more in need,” says Captain Ken Chapman, Administrator for The Salvation Army serving the Orlando area.

Click here to learn about The Salvation Army’s national response to coronavirus COVID-19.

If you would like to submit a prayer request or a request for one of our pastors to call you for prayer, please visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org/pray.

Click here to help The Salvation Army continue meeting needs in your community.

delivering meals in lakelandIn trying times associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools, churches, and community programs across the United States are closed and, as a result, many young people are in search of nourishment to replace missed meals. In Lakeland, Florida, that is certainly the case, and The Salvation Army is stepping into the gap.

While The Salvation Army Lakeland Corps (church) did not have scheduled services on Sunday, March 15 in order to maintain recommended social distancing, members from the church came, as they do each week, to prepare breakfast.

This meal was then delivered to children that depend on it, with three families that regularly attend weekly activities currently living in hotel rooms.

“Knowing that many of our children rely upon school and corps feeding programs, it became apparent that we would need to step in and fill the food gap for a while until the COVID 19 situation improves,” says Major Barry Corbitt, Administrator for The Salvation Army serving the Lakeland area. “We are grateful for caring church members who go the extra mile to care for our kids.”

The Salvation Army plans to continue this service, beginning on Wednesday evening, in an effort to meet human need.

preparing meals lakeland

*NOTE: These resources are currently only being provided to individuals previously enrolled in The Salvation Army’s programs.

Click here to learn about The Salvation Army’s national response to coronavirus COVID-19.

If you would like to submit a prayer request or a request for one of our pastors to call you for prayer, please visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org/pray.

Click here to help The Salvation Army continue meeting needs in your community.

General Brian Peddle, International leader of The Salvation Army, has issued a global call to pray for women and girls in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which identified 12 critical areas of concern for women and girls.

“I’m asking you to join me in a cry for justice,” said Peddle in a special video message. “A heartfelt longing to deal with the wrongs of this world.”

In the video, Peddle describes “probably the greatest injustice of our age”: the fact that half the world’s population start life at a disadvantage simply because they are female.

In his call to prayer, Peddle cites up-to-date statistics that illustrate the scale of the issue: 71 percent of all trafficked people are female. A third of all women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Women do three times more unpaid care work than men – currently valued at $10 trillion USD per year.

“But even that huge number,” said Peddle, “still doesn’t capture the full extent of women’s lost economic potential.”

Spearheaded by The Salvation Army’s International Social Justice Commission (ISJC), the year of prayer will also include practical action. The Commission on the Status of Women, held at the United Nations’ New York headquarters from March 9-20, will include reports on The Salvation Army’s ministry with women and girls.

The Salvation Army is also leading or hosting a rich series of parallel events for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other stakeholders. These include coordinating sessions entitled “The Girl Child,” “Sisters for Sale” and “Women in Power” as well as hosting discussions at the ISJC headquarters run by other NGOs, such as “Using Data to Drive Inclusion and Accountability in Technology” (AnitaB.org), “Empowerment of Refugee Girls Through a Network of Education Opportunities” (Embrace Relief) and “Shoulder to Shoulder: Men and boys supporting women and girls to achieve gender equality” (28 Too Many).

The ISJC has added resources to its website on “How to Pray for Justice” and “Women and the Sustainable Development Goals” from UN Women, in order to help focus and inform prayers.

Participants are encouraged to sign up to show their support. An online discussion space invites those who pray to share how God is speaking to them, how they are responding and to share any Bible verses or other resources that others may find helpful.

“As we seek justice together, we do so in the knowledge that Jesus promised that, for those who cry out to him day and night, God will see that they get justice,” General Peddle said in his video message. “Not only that, but he told his followers that God will grant this justice quickly. So don’t wait! Sign up now and join me in this wave of prayer that will sweep around the globe.”

Watch the General’s video message, find out more and get involved at http://sar.my/cryforjustice.

“Pathway of Hope is the evolution of what The Salvation Army has provided since its creation,” says Cheryl Wilson, Salvation Army case manager.

“The Salvation Army has existed for over 150 years as an organization that serves basic emergency needs. But today, we know that we can address the root causes of what keeps a person in need,” says Wilson. “Transactional provision of food and resources are great, but the change that Pathway of Hope can offer is goal and action-oriented; it’s made to impact this and future generations.”

Wilson gets to know the people she helps and addresses the root causes of what keeps them from achieving stability and self–sufficiency. Housing, childcare, reliable transportation, and gainful employment are all part of a stable living situation. “Every part impacts the others,” explains Wilson. “If your car breaks down or you don’t have someone to watch your kids, you might not be able to work.”

The most common aspect of generational poverty Wilson sees is the lack of basic job skills. But even when those skills are present, there can also be other unavoidable barriers.

“We don’t really say it or even think about it, but when we’re working with young, single mothers in their 20s, the lack of family support is a big cause of multigeneration poverty,” says Wilson. She remembers a client, Dee Dee, who was in nursing school. When her child’s father broke up with Dee Dee, she had nowhere to go.

“Dee Dee is an amazing person, but she didn’t have support. She couldn’t live with her family. Her car had broken down and she had no one to take her to work. She finally came to our food pantry for help,” says Wilson.

The first thing Wilson did was to take Dee Dee’s car in for repairs. While the car was in the shop, Wilson drove her to nursing school. “My children studied medicine, so I know what that training is like. You simply can’t miss those classes,” says Wilson.

Wilson also helped another client, Marquita, a mother of three, get child support from her ex–husband. In addition, Marquita obtained a full–time job, a deposit for an income–based apartment, and child care for her youngest.

“In this job, you see things from the client’s perspective. Even free childcare requires a lot of waiting and paperwork,” says Wilson. She took documents for Marquita to daycare and to family court so she would not miss work. “Some days, you just have to be an advocate,” says Wilson.

Meeting with car mechanics, landlords, and court officials has become part of the job for Wilson. It’s the “hope” in Pathway of Hope: helping clients get ahead by doing what they can’t do for themselves—because they are trying to maintain jobs and other essential aspects of their lives.

“When you’re in a crisis and you don’t know where to turn, take a deep breath, and know that someone has your back at [The Salvation Army],” says Wilson.

by Hugo Bravo

 

See Also: Pathway of Hope families see success in self-reliance


What is Pathway of Hope?

The Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope initiative provides individualized services to families with children. These families desire to take action to break the cycle of crisis and vulnerability that repeats generation after generation. The Pathway of Hope’s focus is to seek to address the root causes of poverty while continuing The Salvation Army’s history of compassionate serving. By helping families overcome challenges such as unemployment, unstable housing, and a lack of education, The Salvation Army leads families down a path toward increased stability and self–sufficiency.

Through Pathway of Hope, The Salvation Army introduces families to services that are available within their community. These services offer a network of support, a sense of belonging, holistic programs, and spiritual guidance. Families also receive a connection to job training, health services, childcare and education, housing options, legal services, and much more.

For more information on where The Salvation Army has instituted the Pathway of Hope initiative in Florida, please click here

Original Article

Today, women are speaking up for themselves and others in a way they haven’t in decades. We’re seeing empowerment in the workplace, an increase in public service, and push-back against harassment and assault. We are rejoicing in a new collective voice showcasing strong, intelligent and passionate women.

Historically, many organizations have not encouraged leadership by women, but this was never the case with The Salvation Army. From the beginning, The Salvation Army has empowered women to advocate for and serve the most vulnerable in our world. As we celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day (March 8th), we’d like to highlight a few exemplary women who have made a difference, with The Salvation Army backing their charge.

Catherine Booth

Catherine Booth (pictured above) was the co-founder of The Salvation Army with her husband William Booth. Together they created the organization to serve those most in need and often forgotten or shunned by society. Catherine advocated for a woman’s right to preach, writing Female Ministry, which argued for a woman’s right to share the gospel, using Bible passages that supported equality.

She is also well regarded for her commitment to social reform – most notably fighting for better working conditions and pay for women. She is affectionately known by Salvationists as “The Army Mother.”

 


Evangeline Booth

Evangeline Booth

Evangeline Booth was the seventh of eight children born to General William Booth and his wife, Catherine. She grew up in The Salvation Army, helping her parents spread the mission of the Army. Booth was so strong that she was often sent wherever there was opposition to The Salvation Army or their work was threatened. Her father, General Booth, was often quoted as saying “Send Eva!”

During the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Evangeline led a mass open-air meeting in New York’s Union Square, where she raised more than $12,000 to support relief workers. She also committed hundreds of volunteers to support first responders and survivors in the wake of the earthquake.

In 1917, Evangeline sent 250 Salvation Army volunteers to France’s front lines during World War I to provide comfort and aid to soldiers. The volunteers started frying pastry dough in soldiers’ helmets and distributing doughnuts. Hence, the famous Doughnut Lassies were born.

In 1934, Evangeline was elected General by the High Council; becoming the first woman to lead the international organization. Under her leadership, The Salvation Army expanded its services, establishing hospitals for unwed mothers, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, and homes for aging adults.

 


The Doughnut Lassies

The Doughnut Lassies

In the midst of WWI, Evangeline Booth sent 250 Salvation Army volunteers overseas to support the US soldiers fighting in France. There, they set up small huts located near the front lines to give soldiers clothes, supplies and baked goods. The Doughnut Lassies began frying donuts in soldiers’ helmets. The tasty treats boosted morale and won the hearts of the soldiers.

In addition to serving fresh-fried pastries, Doughnut Lassies provided spiritual aid and comfort. They were a link home to family and friends. Their work on the front lines was rekindled during World War II. Today, the Army honors the Doughnut Lassies efforts by celebrating Donut Days annually in June.

 

 

 


Eliza Shirley

Eliza Shirley

Eliza Shirley pioneered the establishment of The Salvation Army in the United States. Born in England, she dedicated herself to The Salvation Army at 16 years of age. The following year, her father informed her they were moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. So Eliza approached General William Booth for his endorsement and guidance to share the Army’s message across the ocean. He warned Eliza that new faiths were often unwelcome and to prepare herself for a tough journey.

Upon arrival in Philadelphia in 1879, Eliza and her family’s efforts to start The Salvation Army in the US were mostly met with anger and disdain. Crowds often threw mud, stones, vegetables and more. Their first meeting was with only 12 people; and about a month afterward, the lot where they held their meeting was on fire. The flames drew a large crowd, and Eliza bravely embraced the opportunity to sing and preach.

Soon Eliza found a new meeting place and the work of The Salvation Army in the United States began. By the following year, she sent word to General Booth back in England requesting additional support. In response, General Booth dispatched Commissioner George Scott Railton with seven women officers (the Hallelujah Lassies). Within three years, the demand for The Salvation Army had grown so that the group were sent to open additional corps community centers.

 


Mabel Broome

Mabel Broome

In 1915 in Chicago, Mabel Broome became the first African American to become an officer in The Salvation Army. She led the charge to break the color line and reinforced the Army’s commitment to give leadership roles to women. Broome was one of the first “slum sisters” – female officers who went into a city’s poorest neighborhoods and attended to people’s most basic needs. Read more of her story here.

 

 

 

 

 


Making History Today

Making History Today

Today, The Salvation Army has many influential women leading the charge to serve our most vulnerable neighbors. We’ve had several women who served as Generals and divisional commanders. Our officers and program directors speak at local, national and international conferences on service, homelessness, human trafficking, and so much more.

They serve on the front lines of the Fight for Good every day bringing love and compassion to those who need hope.

 

 

 

 


Connect With The Salvation Army:

The post Five Women Who Shaped Salvation Army History appeared first on War Cry.

A few months before Fidel Castro took control of Cuba in the 1950s, Olga Lastra, her husband and two young sons left the country with the notion they would return shortly. However, time passed, and Lastra discovered her home had been taken over by the Castro-led government. By that time, her husband was working on an assignment as a civil engineer in the United States, and that positive fortune allowed for a smoother transition to a new place to call home.

Adjusting to the United States as the new home base for her family, Lastra decided to take a chance that a local boutique would hire her for work. She was, in fact, hired and quickly became a top salesperson. Her exceptional personality and passion for fashion fueled her work.

Lastra and her husband eventually retired in the Florida Keys, settling into yet another new home. Initially, she volunteered for the local animal shelter and was also a committed caregiver for an elderly woman. While accompanying the woman for typical errands, the duo decided to stop at The Salvation Army to do some shopping. Upon arrival, Lastra mentioned to the store’s manager that if she ever needed any help, she’d be just one phone call away. Shortly after, the manager called Lastra with a plea for assistance, citing an extreme situation with staffing and the need for a helping hand. The rest, as they say, is history.

Lastra has been a steady volunteer at The Salvation Army in Key Largo, Florida, for 27 years. Her love for helping others, coupled with her innate love of fashion, have been a perfect fit for her retirement years. Now 90 years strong, she still volunteers on a consistent basis and many customers, from one-time visitors to recurring seasonal regulars, come in expressly to say hello and visit with Lastra.

She regularly shares her passion for The Salvation Army, saying that the organization has been a salvation for herself. Following the passing of her late husband, she found comfort in her continued work in the store. Always the fashionista herself, Lastra continues to curate and maintain the store’s boutique, upscale handbags and jewelry departments and, in recent days, the store held a celebration for her 90th birthday.

By: Rebecca Corum

To learn more about volunteering with The Salvation Army, please contact your local office. Click here to view a list of locations in Florida.

Salvation Army members and staff in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are continuing to provide assistance in the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak despite restrictions that have been put in place to slow the spread of the virus.

“Even with the anxiety surrounding the Novel Coronavirus here in Hong Kong and Macau, we are very proud of the corps officers, soldiers and staff from our social services who brave the uncertainties and visit many families in their communities – especially the elderly and house-bound – to provide them with essential foodstuffs, meals and masks for their protection,” said Major Eva Chow, Corporate Communications Director for The Salvation Army’s Hong Kong and Macau Command.

The Hong Kong and Macau governments have implemented enhanced disease prevention and control measures to reduce the flow of people between the mainland and Hong Kong-Macau borders.

Hong Kong has already suspended passenger clearance services in 10 control points and plans are in place for a 14-day mandatory quarantine on all people entering Hong Kong from the mainland. Macau has tightened its border policy and has suspended government administration, social services and schools.

To mitigate close contact and potential infection, programs and activities in Salvation Army corps have been suspended, although some corps have used recording or live-streaming to share Sunday worship. Major fundraising and events have also been suspended.

All classes in our 35 educational services – from kindergartens to schools – are suspended until March 2, and the social centers and services for seniors are suspended or have limited service. Staff have begun working from home or split teams to keep essential programs operating. These measures have been taken as a result of restrictions from the respective Hong Kong and Macau authorities.

Other centers – including command headquarters – are running limited services and adopting working from home policies where possible. Staff in the two offices on mainland China have reported back to work after being required to stay at home, but they have a shortage of face masks. Office personnel have shared concerns, but are holding up well despite the anxieties they face.

As there is an acute shortage of surgical masks, the command has appealed to International Emergency Services and the wider Salvation Army for assistance. When they have been sourced, the masks will primarily be used by frontline personnel, students, service clients and residents.

In the meantime, enhanced personal hygiene practices are in place at home and in offices, corps, schools and centers.

“God is our great healer and no disease or illness will prevail against him,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Bob Lee, Officer Commanding the Hong Kong and Macau Command. “We stand on this truth as the world battles against this damaging virus. We stand united with one another and pray God’s peace and healing for the nations.”

Writing from Taiwan, Regional Commander Major David Kinsey reports that, in a country where masks are worn extensively, they are being worn by everyone in public places – even by Westerners. It is now actually mandatory to wear a face mask in public places, like hospitals and government offices, and Taiwan has issued rationing on mask purchases.

“Whilst there has naturally been an increase in feelings of anxiety and fear, mainly with the elderly and vulnerable,” Kinsey said, “Within Salvation Army circles, I am sensing an attitude of carefulness balanced with a resoluteness to ‘carry on.’ The coronavirus has obviously featured highly in the topics of prayer and it has been encouraging to hear a sense of faith and trust in God.

“The Taiwan Region is considering whether or not to continue with some key public events over the next six months and leadership is considering a response to the continued need for provision, for example through our homelessness caring center in Taipei.”

As plans are made for the coming days, Kinsey is certain that the Taiwan Region “will continue to be and show the love of Jesus Christ.”

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The post How The Salvation Army is responding to Coronavirus in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan appeared first on New Frontier Chronicle.