The Salvation Army in Central Kentucky: Lifting Heads

Salvation Army Central Kentucky’s LemonAiD program empowers young people to make a positive difference in their community by operating a lemonade stand during the month of July and donating the proceeds to help homeless children residing in The Salvation Army’s Emergency Homeless Shelter.

The Central Kentucky Salvation Army has a 152 bed shelter for the homeless trying to make ends meet, a day care for little ones that is Head Start approved, a clinic run by a physician and University of Kentucky student volunteers, and a Boys & Girls Club that serves 600 children each year, replete with a basketball court, a computer room, and a couple of very popular fooz tables.

But the Central Kentucky Salvation Army is about more than programs. It’s about people.

Last Friday morning, 30 board members showed up for a retreat to brainstorm on attracting younger supporters to the work and ministry of The Salvation Army.

30 board members. On a weekday. Early. Pre-donuts.

Marcia Larson, Salvation Army National Advisory Board member presenting to board members of The Salvation Army – Lexington, KY.

This committed board is galvanizing Lexington & Georgetown volunteers like the 1,593 who raised $48,000 this year running Lemon Aid stands to support homeless children in Lexington.  Or the volunteers getting ready to run in the Scott County 5K walk later this month.

Salvation Army officers like Majors Debra & Steve Ashcraft who give of their time, talent, and treasure as they pour their lives into their community. As they took my mom and me around the Salvation Army campus last week, Debra told us about a young boy in their music camp. A camp where 250 children learn to play music each year.

This little guy was shy. Afraid. Lacked self-confidence.

Over time, as Salvation Army officers mentored this little guy on the trumpet, he started coming out of his shell. He felt less afraid. He found a talent to share with the world. He gained confidence.

And then, one day, he got up in front of an audience at the Corps and played that trumpet for everyone. He started looking up.

The work of The Salvation Army is about our Lord lifting up heads. It’s about building skills and developing God-given talents in people so that they see themselves as God sees them. Worthy. Redeemed. Valuable – whether they’re homeless, unemployed, hungry or spiritually impoverished.

But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. – Psalm 3:3

For more on Central Kentucky’s work lifting heads, click here.

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Marcia Larson is a Board Member of The Salvation Army & The Micah Global Foundation. She received her B.A. from Vanderbilt and M.A. in French / Art History (NYU) and Public Policy (Texas A&M). She enjoys being a Twitter coach at Dow Jones / The Wall Street Journal. She currently resides in New York City. Her favorite verse is Micah 6:8.