NASCAR & sweetFrog Partnership Support Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club

This Friday, April 22, NASCAR driver David Ragan will make a personal appearance at the Atlee-based sweetFrog location (10040 Sliding Hill Rd, Ashland, VA) to commemorate his partnership with sweetFrog and raise funds for The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club. Richmond residents and all race fans are encouraged to visit sweetFrog from 7-9PM this Friday, April 22, to meet Ragan, enjoy their favorite sweetFrog creation and take home a limited edition sweetFrog racing T-shirt and signed limited edition David Ragan hero card. sweetFrog will donate 25% of all sales from 7PM to close to the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club located in Richmond’s East End.

“I am excited to have sweetFrog on our Toyota for Richmond,” said Ragan. “Richmond is one of my favorite races of the year, and the Sunday afternoon event will be a new challenge for our team. sweetFrog is my family’s go to spot for frozen yogurt. Let me put it this way – I am thrilled about this partnership, but my excitement pales in comparison to my daughter Julia’s face when we walk into sweetFrog!”

Regardless of whether you’re a fan of NASCAR or not, please make time to visit the sweetFrog at 10040 Sliding Hill Rd, Ashland, VA on Friday from 7PM to 9PM to enjoy premium frozen yogurt and sweetFrog will donate 25% of all sales from 7PM to close to the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club located in Richmond’s East End.

Salvation Army Case Manager Volunteers with Project W.A.R.M.

On February 27, a Salvation Army Case Manager, Yasmir Hall, volunteered with the team of volunteers from Project W.A.R.M.. A service that provides firewood to households in the Richmond area who heat their houses with wood burning stoves. Hall visited the woodlot in the northside area of Richmond near John Marshall High School. When he arrived the volunteers had already split the wood necessary to deliver to the houses on that day’s deliver list. Hall rode with volunteers to deliver the wood, greeted families and assisted in carrying wood into the homes. During the deliveries he saw on recipient who had been into The Salvation Army earlier in the week for assistance with her electric bill. Hall, who will be moving back to New Jersey at the end of March, said he’d been working with the Project W.A.R.M. team for two years and wanted to experience it before leaving.

Project W.A.R.M. Team

Salvation Army Case Manager, Yasmir Hall, volunteers with the Project W.A.R.M. team in the winter of 2016.

The process works by Yasmir qualifying the families who call into The Salvation Army seeking assistance to heat their homes, he completes an application with them to confirm eligibility and then sends the list of qualified families for the week over to the Project W.A.R.M. team who will then chop and cut the wood on Saturdays and deliver to the families on the list in the afternoon.

Below is a letter from Mary Ann Wilson (pictured in red jacket), wife of the program’s late founder, Lou Wilson. Ms. Wilson is also an Advisory Board Member with The Salvation Army:

“I thought I’d share this photo taken recently at the woodlot. We were thrilled that Yasmir joined us – literally got his hands (and nice coat) dirty from such good work 🙂 So sorry to see him go as I know you are – some people are truly a genuine loss and I count him among them…He was dependable and accurate and a huge help in fielding requests and providing the weekly list of our wood recipients. We are much grateful for his “faith-full” and prompt service so that we could manage to keep many people warm with our simple yet effective means. One of the beautiful outcomes of Project W.A.R.M. is the exposure it has to the young people who join us every week to help as best they can – from toddlers to teens they’re getting a birds-eye view of not only the needs of others but how caring people try to meet those needs without passing judgement.

Thank you all for your ongoing support – we truly couldn’t survive without your being there. The best to you as you continue life’s journey, Yasmir. As Lou would say: “You’re a good man – not too many of us left” :)”

God bless,

Mary Ann

Future of Community Meals

Dear Friends,

We hope you had wonderful Christmas and are enjoying an equally wonderful 2016 so far. High among our blessings in 2015 was your continued support our community feeding program, Community Meals. Your cooking and service made it possible for us to serve 50,000+ meals over the course of the year and we are grateful for your support.

We are taking this opportunity to update you on Community Meals and its future. Recently we have experienced a rise in violence during our breakfast and dinner service to the community. Within the last week, several altercations have taken place, some resulting in personal injury and others in property damage, leading us to serve the meals carryout rather than dine in, simply out of danger to our shelter residents, volunteers and staff. In 2015 we also had to call the police over two dozen times to report incidents and request assistance.

Additionally, we have experienced issues with client confidentiality and safety as a result of allowing close to 150 individuals into our building to receive a meal. The use of the cafeteria and staff time during the Community Meals service has also hindered the service we aim to provide for our shelter residents whom come to us expecting transformational programming to help them in their journey toward self-sufficiency. However, because of strained staffing and lack of space, we have been unable to provide this service to the level our residents deserve and we expect of ourselves.

With that said, we will be ending our service of the Community Meals program. Friday, January 29 will be the last day of breakfast service and Saturday, February 27 will be the last day of the Community Meals dinner.

Mid-way through 2015 we began review of the Community Meals program and whether the growing number of calls to the police, property damage and staff strain justified continuing the service at the cost of serving our shelter residents. We concluded that our mission, “To preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in His name without discrimination”, was not being applied among our shelter residents appropriately while we continued Community Meals.

We had hoped to have serve meals further into the New Year, however, due to the rise in incidents such as mentioned above, we feel no choice but to completely end the program on Saturday, February 27.

We will continue to serve breakfast and dinner to our shelter residents, a number of about 60, seven days a week. We pray that you can continue to support our feeding efforts and respect the decision to close the Community Meals service. Within the week our Volunteer Coordinator, Joanna Brown, or a member of our staff, will call you to discuss this. We will also be working on a list of other organizations who offer feeding programs to the community and communicate that to you, should you wish to continue with this type of support.

Thank you again for your support and God bless,

Major Timothy Carter
Area Commander, The Salvation Army Central Virginia

2015 Amazing Raise

The Amazing Raise is our region’s 36-hour online giving challenge that inspires and empowers our community to support Central Virginia nonprofit organizations in an amazing way, regardless of where you call home. It gets even better – when you give during The Amazing Raise, you can help your favorite nonprofits win additional incentive prizes ranging from $500 to $15,000!

Over the last five years through the Amazing Raise, The Salvation Army has raised close to $10,000 through donors locally and across the country to support services and solutions to families and individuals working to overcome hardships here in Central Virginia.

Please visit this page on Wednesday, September 16 beginning at 6AM to make a gift to The Salvation Army during the Amazing Raise.
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Salvation Army Petersburg Shelter Participating in 100 Day Challenge

The Salvation Army Emergency Shelter in Petersburg is participating in the “100 Day Challenge”, a campaign to house homeless veterans, which began August 3, and will conclude on November 10, one day before Veteran’s Day.

Prior to the challenge, The Salvation Army Emergency Men’s Shelter (835 Commerce St., Petersburg, VA) was already serving a steady stream of homeless veterans. On a given night as many as 25% of shelter residents are veterans. In the shelter men receive meals, case management, referrals to other programs and fellowship.

“The ‘100 day Challenge’ puts the spotlight on one of the most vulnerable populations in the Tri-Cities, our homeless veterans,” said Jewel Farrar, Shelter Manager for The Salvation Army in Petersburg. “When men come through The Salvation Army shelter, we’re able offer them a stable environment and empowering employment and education preparation courses, business and life skills programs that help break the cycle of homelessness and prevent relapse. And this challenge is a great spark for collaboration with other agencies to serve the men who have served us.”

Since January 1, 2014, The Salvation Army Emergency Shelter has provided 450 men, 113 of them veterans, with resources connected to the shelter such as assistance with substance abuse, direct financial assistance, assistance with mental illness & treatment for stability, and collaboration with other local agencies assisting with employment and stable housing.

“A lot of soldiers aren’t equipped for civilian live when leaving the military,” said Charles Kelley, a U.S. Army veteran with more than 10 years of service who has received assistance from The Salvation Army. “These programs are beneficial to a lot of people. If The Salvation Army didn’t help me, I’d be in a pretty rough situation.”

The “100 Day Challenge” is part of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s initiatives for Virginia to be the first state to reach the federal goal of ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015.

“We must renew our commitment to better serve our veterans in every community across the Commonwealth,” said Governor McAuliffe in a news release about the campaign. “Our labors on their behalf pale compared to the sacrifices these men and women have made in service to our country.”

Leading up the challenge, the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS) and the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness (VCEH), hosted a Veteran Housing Boot Camp on July 31 at the Petersburg Public Library. The Boot Camp gave Salvation Army staff and volunteers the opportunity to reevaluate their process for serving veterans and collaborate other service providers on the spot.

During the 100 Day Challenge, Crater District services providers have committed to reaching 75 homeless veterans and successfully housing 40 of them.

Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club and Councilwoman Newbille Share News of Club Renovation

On Tuesday, July 21, The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club welcomed Councilwoman Cynthia Newbille, of the 7th voter district, to meet with nearby residents of the Club and share the news of the renovation project to begin at the Club in the fall of 2015.

The proposed renovation will add 7,000 square feet onto to the facility, allowing for enhanced programming for members but also allow for extended hours and programming to serve all members of the community. All parts of the Club will receive upgrades, computers, fitness equipment, HVAC, kitchen to be renovated, aquatics center upgrade and locker rooms redone. post_plan7.21.15

The first phase of renovation will include upgrading the aquatics center. Replacing the pool and mechanicals to make operable year-round, expand locker rooms, renovate kitchen and upgrade HVAC.

The renovation to The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club is expected to bring programming and possibilities for youth members but also for their families and our community.

Construction on phase one of the three phase project will begin in the fall and conclude in time for the aquatics center to be open for summer camp in 2016.

Club Summer Campers Participate in Clinic Hosted by Richmond Raider

Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club summer campers participated in the Optimum Sports Speed and Agility Camp in early July. What made the two-day mini camp additionally unique was that it’s host, Ron Davis of the Richmond Raiders, is a an Advisory Board member with The Salvation Army in Kansas.

Campers gained valuable insight and feedback into proper techniques for running, sprinting and agility movement. Many strong points were observed such as: including age appropriate communication of instructions, various forms of motivation, a fun atmosphere for learning and explanation of the skills taught in relation to athleticism in sports.

Youth from The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club participated in Optimum Prep Sports Speed and Agility Camp hosted by Ron Davis of the Richmond Raiders.

Posted by The Salvation Army Central Virginia on Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Think Pink Talent and Fashion Show 2015

The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club hosted their annual Think Pink Talent and Fashion Show. Female members of the Club put on a talent show and were inspired by guests of honor Delegate Delores McQuinn and Dr. Delores Whitaker. The Richmond Boys Choir performed. Advisory Council member, Kelli Lemon, hosted the event.

The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club hosted their annual Think Pink Talent and Fashion Show. Female members of the Club…

Posted by The Salvation Army Central Virginia on Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Veteran Lightens Burden for Others

Author Joseph Addison said “No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another.”

When Sergeant Charles Kelley filled his duty over 10 years in U.S. Army support personnel, he ensured soldiers and their families were cared for so that those troops could focus on their mission.

So, when Charles’ family experienced a crisis, he invoked personal faith and a grateful heart while receiving temporary financial assistance through The Salvation Army’s Family Services Program.

During Donuts of Hope, we have celebrated the transformation, unconditional love and character our veterans have demonstrated.

We have been reminded that in the operation of God’s grace, the broken places can be healed, even if scars remain.

We thank you for helping those heroes feel God’s mercies, know His love, and look forward to tomorrow because of our Lord’s promise of presence.

This is the final story for Donuts of Hope 2015. Please visit DonutsOfHope.org to learn more or make gift.

A Veteran’s Character Shines Bright

The partnership between the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the U.S. Armed Forces helps children of military families face the unique challenges of military life. During the 20th anniversary celebration, veterans credited club experiences for their readiness in character while serving in military service roles.

As Regina rose to the rank of Sergeant Major, she set the example in courage, integrity, humility, and empathy; all part of the US Army’s 23 traits of character.

While involved in combat and peace keeping missions, Regina’s children were learning and applying those same values under the guidance of The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club staff and volunteers.

True character is shown in how we act in any situation. We salute our veterans and youth mentors who in spite of adversity, still exhibit the fruits of the spirit in word and deed.

You have been a blessing as the heroes that wear the cloth of our nation and those that positively impact the hearts and minds of youth forge character, change lives and give for a cause greater than oneself.

A Veteran’s Unconditional Love

We look forward to recognizing those who have served, sacrificed and demonstrated the pinnacle of patriotism.

As we understand the depth of those experiences, let us aspire to the values our service men and women learn and share with their families and communities upon return: loyalty, duty, respect, honor and unconditional love.

Rodney is a loyal marine. He was not spared life’s struggles, but, he now practices the traits of unconditional love with the homeless and others who may be faced with challenges.

The power of unconditional love was exemplified as The Salvation Army Lassies and Volunteers worked 18 to 20 hour shifts to operate 1,000 canteens on 26 battlefronts during World War I. That compassion etched a place in the hearts of thousands of ordinary soldiers who gratefully received help and comfort in their darkest hour.

Jesus led with unconditional love and taught us it will have the final word.

This Memorial Day please allow us to thank you for rekindling the spirits of our veterans with your involvement and showing them their worth to the One who matters.

A Veteran’s Strength Through Christ

The Salvation Army Donuts of Hope campaign celebrates the connection between the donut and the support Salvation Army Donut Lassies offered to soldiers on the front lines during both World Wars. The campaign also raises awareness and support for Salvation Army programs serving veterans in our community, who today, find themselves fighting for housing, food and employment. Please allow us to share their stories of hope with you over the next three weeks.

Salvation Army Hoops for Health Interview on Alpha Media Radio

The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club will host the 3rd Annual Hoops for Health and Healthy Living Festival on Saturday, May 2 at the Club on 3701 R Street in Richmond’s East End.

Check out the interview with information on Hoops for Health and Healthy Living Festival as well as information about The Salvation Army’s other programs and services in Central Virginia from April 5, 2015 on Alpha Media Radio n Richmond.

Voices

Kay Thomas (host)

Salvation Representatives

Christian Dundas (Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club Advisory Council)
Hugh Jones (Executive Director, Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club)
Matt Pochily (Marketing & Communications, The Salvation Army)

Easter and Our Quiet Heroes of Faith

When Shekiah chose to find Ted in a crowd during The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club 60th Anniversary, it reminded me that at any given moment in time, Heaven can break out.

Who better to influence a teenager than someone who loves God and loves people enough to invest in their lives? As a father, successful entrepreneur, donor and volunteer, Ted’s faith has grown through challenges and triumphs. His belief has manifested itself in service that has fostered the spiritual, academic and emotional growth in a young lady’s heart and mind.

Who better to remind us as adults of the presence of Jesus in our lives? As a young teen, Shekiah’s bright spirit is open to caring, supportive adults who she trusts will tap into her energy, passion and commitment.

Neither Ted nor Shekiah are super heroes. With Jesus as the example, they are quite heroes of faith who have accepted the awesome privilege of simply believing in and ministering to one another.

Their interaction reflects the power of the resurrection and the joy in our daily living. It may open our spiritual eyes as we gain the understanding of God’s eternal purposes.

Our giving spirits carry forth the message that Christ died so that we might no longer live for ourselves. He gave us a new focus as we live for Him and His principles.

This Easter, we honor you for being a vessel for someone’s healing, redemption, joy or progress… for becoming His extended hand to a world that needs you.

Connections of Two Remarkable People

In the last month, The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club held their annual Youth of Year award ceremony and hosted Civil Rights Leader Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker for a discussion on youth finding their legacy. The two events are closely connected to the Club’s mission of educating and empowering youth who give back to their respective communities and we’ll share perspective on those connections in this week’s Salvation Army News Update.

Dove Arceneaux, a senior at Franklin Military Academy was recently awarded the title of 2015 Youth of the Year from The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club and in April will compete with other Youths of the Year from their respective clubs across the state to be regional youth of the year. Dove was also on hand at the Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker Finding Your Legacy event to present Dr. Walker with The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club Community Spotlight Lifetime Achievement Award and talked to us recently about some of the things she heard and a bit about herself.

And related to Dove’s comments on Club staff seeing leadership in her and through her work with younger kids after school at the Club, comedian Micah White talked about leadership during the panel discussion at the Dr. Walker Finding Your Legacy event.

In addition to education, Dr. Walker also emphasized the role faith played during the Civil Rights Movement and important role it plays in the lives of youth.

There was a ton of other great conversation around leadership, accountability, voting and leaving a positive impact on your community and we encourage you check that out on our website at SalvationArmyCentralVA.org.

Dr Wyatt Tee Walker Emphasizes Education to Richmond Youth