On Monday, February 24th, The Salvation Army Orlando Metro Area Command lost one of its longest-sitting Board members, Mr. Carlton ‘Gene’ Colley. For over a decade, we served our community with the help of our generous donors, dedicated volunteers, and trusted Advisory Board. For more than a quarter of that decade, Gene Colley diligently served on our Advisory Board. Always fighting for our mission of #DoingTheMostGood, Gene Colley has played an intricate role in advancing our reach into the community by bringing vital resources and strong partnerships.

“Gene Colley was a wonderful person, gentleman, and a great friend of The Salvation Army,” said Gene Daniels, Salvation Army Orlando’s Director of Operations and longtime friend of Gene Colley. “I knew Gene for more than 20 years, and during that time, he was always working to help The Salvation Army and the community through his involvement with the Area Command and the Adult Rehabilitation Center. For a number of years, Gene worked to help people and The Salvation Army as an Advisory Board Member, Advisory Board Chair, coordinator of food drives, fundraisers, volunteer kettle bellringer, and a huge supporter of the Angel Tree. He did it all,” Daniels added. “The Salvation Army and Orlando have lost a great community friend with his passing”.

Every year, Gene Colley would spearhead his Rotary Club’s (East Orlando Winter Park) involvement in our Angel Tree Christmas Program. The group would adopt angels, fulfill their wish list items, and deliver their gifts to our Joy Center. Gene served also as the Chair of our Advisory Board from 1999 to 2000. He joined our board in 1993. In 2014, Gene Colley was named a Life Member for his dedication and work in our community. Since then, Gene Colley has volunteered his time serving meals to the less fortunate during our annual Thanksgiving feast, ringing bells during our iconic Red Kettle season, and rescuing Christmas for children and senior citizens. “Gene was not someone who would beat around the bush! You knew exactly where he stood,” said Danny Pressler, current Salvation Army Orlando Advisory Board member. “He was forthright and always tried to do the right thing on behalf of The Salvation Army. He will be sorely missed as a fellow board member and a friend,” Pressler added.

While the news of his passing leaves many in sorrow, the work and blueprints he left behind will live on. The Salvation Army Orlando Metro Area Command is honored to have worked with Gene Colley and our thoughts and prayers are with his family as they grieve.


To better meet needs, we are shifting our distribution to early afternoons.


February 23, 2021 | 1PM – 3PM


Who:    The Salvation Army Orlando Metro Area Command

What:   Our free weekly drive-thru food distribution has a new time! We will be handing out 300 fresh food boxes to families and individuals from 1 PM to 3 PM every Tuesday until further notice. Supplies are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. This free event is drive-thru only. Food resources for walk-ups and individuals on bicycles are available at our Social Services office, 400 West Colonial Drive in Orlando.

When:  February 23, 2021 | 1PM – 3PM

This event will reoccur every Tuesday until further notice.

Where: The Salvation Army Orlando Citadel – 440 West Colonial Drive.


For media, you can secure photos, videos, or interviews for this event, please contact Majorie Pierre.



Stay informed about our events by following our Facebook Page.

food, covid relief, help, assistance, orlando, salvation army


For Immediate Release:

The Salvation Army Resume Weekly Food Distributions for Needy Families.

The Salvation Army works with community partners to disperse 1,320 food boxes to food-insecure areas.

ORLANDO, FL – (January 28, 2021) – The Salvation Army Orlando Metro Area Command is closely monitoring the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on local families. As we continue to meet the high demands for food and financial assistance, we are resuming our weekly food distributions to alleviate hunger in food-insecure households. Every Tuesday, we will disperse 1,320 food boxes through our drive-thru events and trusted community partners. We are giving away 300 food boxes this Tuesday, February 2nd, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. This drive-thru event will be at The Salvation Army Orlando Citadel located at 440 West Colonial Drive in Orlando.

“During the pandemic, The Salvation Army never closed our doors. We continue to fight for good and bring hope to those who are struggling,” said Captain Ken Chapman, area commander for The Salvation Army in Orange and Osceola Counties. Since the start of the pandemic, The Salvation Army has provided 74,223 fresh food boxes and 13,394 grocery bags to local families.

Every food box will have fresh fruits and/or vegetables, dairy products, poultry, and other nutritious goods to feed a family of four. Identification cards are required for multiple families traveling in one vehicle. Walk-ups or individuals on bicycles should take advantage of our Food Pantry located in our Women’s & Children’s Shelter at 400 West Colonial Drive.

As high demands for food and financial assistance persist, The Salvation Army Orlando Metro Area Command will host drive-thru food distributions every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. until further notice. To sign up as a volunteer or to donate, visit www.SalvationArmyOrlando.org. You can stay up to date with our services and events by following our Facebook page, The Salvation Army Orlando – Area Command.




Goddest Johnson documenting calls placed for food and financial assistance at The Salvation Army Women’s & Children’s Shelter in Orlando.


Orlando, FL (January 27, 2020) – Meet Goddest Johnson, a longtime volunteer with The Salvation Army Orlando Metro Area Command. She is legally blind, but she does not let that stop her from volunteering her time to serve. Despite her disability, Goddest committed to volunteering as the front desk receptionist at our Women’s & Children’s Shelter, assisting our social workers by answering the phones and filing paperwork.

Eleven years ago, Goddest was involved in an accident that left her visually impaired. With two children to raise, she moved to Orlando, Florida, from Houston, Texas. Goddest was determined to overcome her disability and live her life. “I’ve always had a passion for community service,” she shares. Taking matters into her own hands, Goddest got involved with the National Federation for the Blind and was named Vice President of Community Service. She became an advocate for creating community service opportunities for the visually impaired.

“I reached out to The Salvation Army because they were an organization that helped me when I was younger. So, I reached out, and they gave me a chance,” Goddest explains. At the age of 12, Goddest and her siblings were placed in foster care after their mother’s incarceration. “The Salvation Army was an organization that would come. They provided food and clothing – we were in different group homes, and I remember it being a resource that helped us.” Goddest recalls the years of support she received as a child. “Angel Tree was how I got gifts from the age of 12 up until 17,” Goddest shares.

For the past four years, Goddest has rendered countless volunteer hours to The Salvation Army Orlando Metro Area Command. Whenever a call for volunteers goes out, Goddest is there. She has prepared meals and serve homeless individuals, she has assisted with the preparation for our annual Thanksgiving feast, she has stuffed hundreds of Christmas stockings for kids and senior citizens, and she has assisted with over two dozen events.

Goddest is on a mission to shed light on the opportunities that are available for people with disabilities. She wants to spread hope amongst those who may feel helpless because of a disability. “Never let it define who you are. You always have a way of doing what you can do your way. So, don’t let your disability, whatever it may be, hinder you.”

The Salvation Army Orlando Metro Area Command has over 2,000 active volunteers. To learn more about our opportunities, visit our website www.SalvationArmyOrlando.org or contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Octavio Serrano at, 407-423-8581 ext. 26454.



Fred Wilcox

(ORLANDO, FLA.) – Admitting to your wrongdoings is a difficult task, but it is the first step to spiritual healing. Accepting your past is a big pill to swallow, but it is necessary for self-healing. Fred Wilcox, a former resident at The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Orlando, knows these two challenges all too well. He sat down with us to share his story of hope, salvation, and rehabilitation.

Six years ago, Fred was faced with the consequence of his years of alcohol abuse. “I lost everything, my wife, my home”, he shared. Like many young adults with promising futures, the art of peer pressure led him down a path of destruction. “I started drinking when I was 13,” Fred revealed, “we did it because we like the way it made us feel.”

For years, Fred let his addiction control his way of life. He recalls the times when he was sleeping on his friend’s couch. He reminisces on the times he would sit around drinking, but something shifted in him. “I just was tired of not being able to support myself, I knew at that moment that something had to change,” Fred shared.

The Journey to Rehabilitation

Fred Wilcox

For that reason, he decided to turn his life around and regain control of his destiny. “I moved to Daytona Beach to try and get help, and they referred me to the ARC in Orlando.” The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Orlando is where Fred began his journey to self and spiritual healing. Upon arrival, Fred was embraced by a supportive team with a mission to heal, revitalize, and uplift his spirit. “They had group, individual, and work therapy, and a twelve-step program that really helps you,” he shared. After two years of hard work and self-discipline, Fred was rehabilitated, working, and providing for himself. His word of advice to those struggling with drug & alcohol addiction is this… “Don’t worry about doing it for other people, do it for you!”

The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARC) provide spiritual, social, and emotional assistance for men who have lost the ability to cope with their problems and provide for themselves. Each center offers residential housing assistance, work, group, and individual therapy, all in a clean, wholesome environment. The physical and spiritual care that program participants receive prepares them to re-enter society and return to gainful employment. To learn more about the ARC in Orlando, visit www.SalvationArmyOrlando.org or call 407-295-9311. Click here and subscribe to our YouTube Page for more powerful testimonies.


Watch Fred’s full story of Hope, Salvation, and Rehabilitation:


Want to share your story of how The Salvation Army Orlando Metropolitan Area Command helped you? Contact our Majorie Pierre at majorie.pierre@uss.salvationarmy.org.
Food Trays

The Salvation Army Orlando Bed & Bread Club in Orange County provides food for displaced individuals in need. The Bed & Bread Club of Orange County is a monthly giving program driven by generous people who want to assist the men, women, and children combating chronic homelessness.

ORLANDO, FL –  The Bed & Bread Club of Orange County is a monthly giving program driven by generous people who want to help individuals experiencing homelessness and hardship. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resources are scarce, but the overwhelming demand for housing, rent assistance, and utility assistance persists. The Salvation Army does not close its doors to people experiencing homelessness, even in the event of a public health crisis like the one we are experiencing now.

When you give to The Salvation Army in Orange County, you are making a direct impact on your community through local programming and services that help displaced individuals in need. You are giving hope to thousands of men, women, and children who come to The Salvation Army every day looking for a helping hand and hope for a brighter future.

With your donation of $12, you can be a light for the hopeless. If 12,000 people pledge to donate $12 for 12 months, we can help 288,000 individuals experiencing homelessness with food, clothing, shelter, case management, and permanent housing assistance.
If 12,000 people pledge to donate $12 for 12 months, we can provide 51,969 food bags to struggling families, which prevents homelessness. If 12,000 people pledge $12 for 12 months, we raise $1.7 million to help meet the needs of this community.
With $12, you can become a part of an Army FIGHTING FOR GOOD!

To join our club, please visit www.BedandBreadOrlando.org. To learn about our local events and for updates on our programs, click here.

The Salvation Army in Orange County celebrated 100 years in Orlando on January 8th, 2020. Check out our recent insert in the Orlando Sentinel to learn about our history, programs, services, and vision for the future. Click here and read about us! To become a part of our army of volunteers, click here.

In order to comply with CDC recommendations for social distancing, The Salvation Army Orlando Area Command has erected a 5,200 square foot tent with 50 sleeping cots to accommodate emergency shelter guests. This tent is for current male shelter occupants who would otherwise have nowhere to go because of the additional space needed in the current shelter to abide by updated safety guidelines.

“Through this effort, we are keeping people safe and continuing to provide our regular services to those who are experiencing homelessness during this time of crisis in our community,” says Captain Ken Chapman, Administrator for The Salvation Army’s services in the Orlando area.

The temporary shelter for men was provided by the City of Orlando along with electrically powered fans. For those unable to stay in the shelter or tent, The Salvation Army is providing referrals to other resources and partner agencies.

The Salvation Army in Orlando is also still providing food assistance and clothing vouchers, and has modified community meals to be served in to-go containers for pick-up.

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.

LUTZ, FL (September 10, 2018) – Having strengthened from a tropical storm over the weekend, Hurricane Florence is expected to increase in significance as it approaches the southeastern United States. As the threat to Florida’s coast has lessened, The Salvation Army will deploy mobile feeding units, staff, and volunteers from across Florida to assist areas where the storm is expected to make landfall in North and South Carolina.

Teams from Clearwater, Cocoa, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Melbourne, Miami, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Stuart, Tallahassee, and Vero Beach are preparing now to be in place mid-week in anticipation of serving impacted areas after the storm.

“The units being deployed each have the capacity to serve 500 – 1,500 meals per day,” says Steven Hartsook. Salvation Army Director of Emergency Disaster Services.

“The Salvation Army prepares all year to be able to serve where needed. Individual and family preparedness is crucial in advance of a disaster, and we want to remind everyone that the time to prepare for the next storm is now,” says Hartsook.

The Salvation Army will also deploy a 53’ refrigerated feeding support trailer from Florida to North Carolina to assist with transporting food and drinks to affected areas.

To support The Salvation Army’s Hurricane Florence relief efforts, visit www.HelpSalvationArmy.org. For updates on The Salvation Army’s emergency disaster response efforts, visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.



Media Contact:
Lindsay Crossland, Director of Communications
P: 727-403-7766
E: Lindsay.Crossland@uss.salvationarmy.org 

#  #  #

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 135 years in the United States. Nearly 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster survivors, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. Eighty-two cents of every dollar donated to The Salvation Army are used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). For more information, visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org or follow on Twitter @SalArmyFlorida.