The Army at Large – September 2022The Salvation Army's ministry spans 132 countries worldwide. Here's a look at how the Army is doing the most good in the USA.
Operated by the Spokane Citadel Corps in eastern Washington, Camp Gifford celebrated its 100th anniversary this summer. Gifford is the oldest Salvation Army camp that has never moved locations. Originally called “Camp Cougar,” the location on the shore of Deer Lake was purchased under the leadership of Major Edward Gifford in 1922 and named after him following his passing in 1935. The anniversary was celebrated with a carnival, live musical performances and hundreds in attendance, as well as the official reading of a local government proclamation, a police helicopter fly-by and the unveiling of a commemorative cross memorial.
General Brian Peddle and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle toured the Western Territory this summer and visited five locations: Anchorage, Alaska; Seattle; San Francisco; Los Angeles; and Honolulu. They experienced the wide swath of cultures and languages that make up the region and delivered encouraging messages to Salvationists over several large gatherings. Throughout the tour, Salvationists and friends were excited to greet their international leaders and performed music, dance and other art. The General preached that “hope marches on,” and each meeting included the enrollment of soldiers and adherents.
At the beginning of the summer, the ninth annual Reliant Home Run Derby was held at Riders Field, benefitting The Salvation Army. Dallas Cowboys members Anthony Brown, Trevon Diggs, Ezekiel Elliott, Jourdan Lewis, Zack Martin, Micah Parsons, Dak Prescott, Tyron Smith and Leighton Lander Esch all went up to bat to participate in the event in front of thousands of fans. A total of $135,000 was donated, $81,000 going to The Salvation Army and the rest to 21 other nonprofit organizations.
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The Women’s Auxiliary for The Salvation Army of Greater New Orleans recently donated $200,000 in a capital campaign to modernize 20 apartments for the Center of Hope program. The apartments had been suffering due to wear and tear, as well as recent damage from natural disasters. It’s a near total remodel, with all flooring, lighting, plumbing, cabinets and interior walls being redone. With the goal of creating “an atmosphere that promotes dignity, self-sufficiency and hope,” the Women’s Auxiliary has displayed their generosity and blessed the lives of the numerous families who come through the apartments seeking safety and comfort.
At the end of May, The Salvation Army teamed up with Erick Erickson, editor of “The Resurgent” and one of the most listened to local radio hosts in the US, for the Funds for Fuel campaign. Erickson featured the campaign for two days on the “Erick Erickson Show” with the goal of raising money for the Army to assist people struggling with the rising cost of fuel, groceries and other necessities. More than $200,000 was raised on behalf of the Army.
The food pantry at the Norridge Citadel Corps serves up to 150 families each month after an exponential increase of clients over the last two years. To lift the spirits of those coming to the corps in need, corps member Dawn Teresi suggested adding “celebration kits” to the food boxes of families with upcoming birthdays or other special occasions. After a fundraiser luncheon on a Sunday afternoon, members of the corps, young and old, volunteered to put together the kits. Each kit included a disposable cake pan, a cake mix, a can of Sprite (to substitute for eggs and oil), a can of frosting, a package of candles and a handwritten card. The kits were added to the food pantry’s shelves and later distributed as additional small blessings to multiple families.
The Salvation Army Kroc Center in Camden has “flipped the switch” to solar power thanks to a new system provided by Novitium Energy and Madison Energy Investments at no cost to the Army. The newly installed solar panels will meet 56% of the center’s electricity needs, producing approximately 1.8 million kilowatt hours per year. The system is estimated to save the center $1.65 million over the next 15 years, and $95,000 in its first year. Major Keith Maynor expressed excitement towards the development, not only for the saved cost, but for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, which “continues a strong track record of environmental stewardship through the Camden Kroc Center.”
Chief of the Staff Commissioner Lyndon Buckingham and World Secretary for Spiritual Life Development Commissioner Bronwyn Buckingham attended the Central Territory’s commissioning weekend, the territory’s first in-person commissioning since the onset of COVID-19. The Chief shared his own testimony along with many others. The territory celebrated that 56,406 people have sought Christ in the Central Territory since 2020. The event was also an opportunity to recognize the 10th anniversary of the “Pathway of Hope” initiative, originally from the Central Territory and now spread to more than 1,000 locations worldwide. The program has changed the lives of more than 10,000 families in the Central Territory alone.