Marco’s life was anything but easy. At only 13 years old, he had lived with five different foster families.

Each time he moved into a new foster house, he was forced to transfer to a new school and leave his friends behind.

One day, Marco’s foster parents, who are supporters of The Salvation Army, came to us for advice. They explained that Marco wasn’t adjusting well at his new school and was shy around his classmates. We informed them about our summer camp and told them Marco would be more than welcome.

His first day at camp was tough because he had never been outside the city before. But by the time he left, Marco had made new friends and gained the self-confidence he needed to interact with the kids in his new school.

“I love camp!” Marco says. “I made so many new friends and experienced a whole new world that I never saw before.”

Every year, summer camp provides an escape for millions of disadvantaged boys and girls like Marco. It’s a safe place to learn, have fund, make new friends and experience new adventures.

Click here to help The Salvation Army continue to serve children like Marco. On behalf of all the children who attend our summer camps, thank you!

 

This story originally appeared in The Salvation Army Good News Newsletter. Please contact Jennifer Renfroe at 727-725-9777, ext. 105 to begin receiving the newsletter in your mailbox.

 

 

 

 

 

600 children left to be adopted in Tampa Bay Area

TAMPA BAY, FL (December 4, 2015) – The Salvation Army is seeking help fulfilling wishes of local children in need this Christmas. In the Tampa Bay Area, The Salvation Army serves approximately 17,000 children every year through the Angel Tree Program.

The Salvation Army relies on companies and groups to provide toys and clothing for a majority of the children. Individuals may visit Angel Tree displays across the Bay Area to select children and purchase gifts.

“In Hillsborough and Pinellas County alone, there are still 600 children that need to be adopted for Christmas,” says Captain Mike Harris. “The deadline of December 11 is fast-approaching to get the gifts returned. We are relying on the generosity of our community to help make Christmas brighter for these kids.”

Primary locations to adopt Angels:

  • Countryside Mall in Clearwater, 2nd Level near Disney Store
  • Tyrone Square Mall in St. Petersburg, in front of JCPenney
  • University Mall in Tampa, former JCPenney store space
  • Any Winghouse Restaurant

For more information on how to adopt Angels in the Tampa Bay Area, visit www.SalvationArmyTampaBay.org.
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 About The Salvation Army in Tampa Bay

Last year, The Salvation Army in Tampa Bay served 169,086 individuals through a wide variety of programs and services, including utility, housing, and food assistance. 72,684 people were visited in hospitals, nursing homes and elderly residential homes to let them know that their community cares for them. 114,870 nights of sheltered were provided to homeless men, women, and children. The Salvation Army served 233,959 meals. In addition to these services, The Salvation Army continues doing the most good in Tampa Bay through youth character-building activities, summer camp, outreach, and various other programs. For more information, visit www.SalvationArmyTampaBay.org.

The Salvation Army is partnering with Bright House Networks to provide Back-to-School supplies for local children in need.

Supplies can be dropped off at The Salvation Army, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at:

1625 N. Belcher Road, Clearwater, FL 33765 and 340 14th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Supplies needed include: backpacks, pencils, glue sticks, composition books, colored pencils, 3-ring binders, crayons, paper, and erasers.

Want to help but don’t have time to drop off items? Click here to shop online and the items will ship directly to The Salvation Army!

Help The Salvation Army prepare local children in need to go back to school.

Each week, nearly 100 children from across Upper Pinellas County gather at The Salvation Army for character-building activities. For many of these families, purchasing Back to School supplies is considered a luxury.

Throughout the month of August, The Salvation Army is accepting donations of new school supplies for these children, as well as those who come to their Social Services offices seeking financial and food assistance.

Needed items include:

Pencils
Paper
3-Ring Binders
Composition Books
Backpacks
Glue Sticks
Crayons
Colored Pencils
Erasers
Rulers

Items can be dropped off, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., at The Salvation Army, 1625 N. Belcher Road, Clearwater, FL 33765.

The community’s support will help ensure that local children in need will start the school year off prepared and confident.

For more information our The Salvation Army’s youth programs, click HERE.

Questions? Contact Lindsay Crossland, Director of Development, at 727-725-9777, or e-mail UpperPinellas@uss.salvationarmy.org.

Second Annual Fill the Truck Toy Drive is Underway

CLEARWATER, FL (December 2, 2013) – Walmart and The Salvation Army have announced the start of the second annual Fill the Truck Toy Drive, which will bring hundreds of thousands of toys to children across the country.

“The holidays are a time for gifting, and a time for giving,” said Scott McCall, senior vice president of toys and seasonal at Walmart U.S.  “We think every child should have something under their Christmas tree. Our hope is that the Fill the Truck toy drive will help bring holiday cheer to hundreds of thousands of children across the country.”

[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]“We think every child should have something under their Christmas tree. Our hope is that the Fill the Truck toy drive will help bring holiday cheer to hundreds of thousands of children across the country.”[/quote]

The Fill the Truck toy drive is part of Walmart’s more than 40-year partnership with The Salvation Army which also includes the iconic red kettle campaign. All donations made to the red kettles and Fill the Truck boxes help local families in need.

Upper Pinellas County residents can participate at these Walmart stores through December 15:

  • Largo: 1111 Missouri Avenue, N [map]
  • Palm Harbor: 35404 US 19 N [map]
  • Oldsmar: 3801 Tampa Road [map]
  • Tarpon Springs: 41232 US 19 N [map]
  • Clearwater only through December 7: 23106 US 19 [map]

On December 7, the Walmart store at 23106 US 19/Coachman Road in Clearwater will be hosting an event to include The Salvation Army truck, Captain Kettle mascot and brass ensemble playing your favorite holiday tunes from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. We invite shoppers to stop by, have their picture taken with Captain Kettle, donate a new, unwrapped toy for a local child in need, and enjoy the music of the season.

“Our most-needed items are for children ages 10-12,” says Captain Zach Bell, Commanding Officer for The Salvation Army in Upper Pinellas County. “Sports equipment like basketballs or footballs, action figures, skateboards, board games and dolls for all ages will help us provide for local children who might otherwise go without this Christmas.”

Donation boxes will be located next to the red kettles Monday – Saturday and at the customer service desks on Sunday through December 15.

The toys will be distributed through The Salvation Army Joy Center Toyland, where parents are able to “shop” for toys for their children and receive a food basket, all for free because of the generosity of the community. Individuals or groups that would like to sign-up to help with the toy distribution, can do so at www.salvationarmyclearwater.org.

 

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About Walmart

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 245 million customers and members visit our more than 11,000 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2013 sales of approximately $466 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at twitter.com/walmartnewsroom. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.

 

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

 

About The Salvation Army of Clearwater/Upper Pinellas County

Last year, The Salvation Army of Clearwater/Upper Pinellas County served 51,609 individuals through a wide variety of programs and services, including utilities, housing, and food assistance. We visited 9,057 people in hospitals, nursing homes and elderly residential homes to let them know that their community cares for them. We served 26,798 people during the holiday season, many through our Joy Center Toyland program which provides toys and clothing for children who may otherwise go without at Christmas. Our wonderful volunteers gave 15,570 hours of their time to help us serve their neighbors in need. In addition to the programs already mentioned, The Salvation Army continues doing the most good for Upper Pinellas County through youth character-building activities, summer camp, outreach, and various other programs. For more information on how you can get involved, please visit www.twitter.com/clearwater, www.facebook.com/TampaBay, www.instagram.com/clearwater and www.salvationarmyclearwater.org.