While participating in the mission trip in the Turks and Caicos Islands, we were able to visit a government-sponsored school called New Beginnings, a place for students whose parents cannot afford private school and for teens who are troubled. Among the students are girls who are either pregnant or have already become mothers, and Haitian-born kids who live on the island and are rejected.
You might remember when we blogged about the reconstruction planning of The Salvation Army’s Delmas 2 compound – the headquarters and facilities site that marks a 60-year presence of The Salvation in Port-au-Prince. This compound was destroyed beyond repair as a result of the devastating earthquake of 2010. We are pleased to announce that after [...]
It’s unlikely that you’ve ever heard of the Solid Rock Club of Alexandria, VA. The intimate club of 25 men in recovery at The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) is no secret, but the humble work they’ve accomplished over the years serving others seems to be in hiding!
I discovered the group’s existence after stumbling upon an article featuring their good work on The Salvation Army’s Southern Spirit Online site (thanks Southern Territory!).
“There is a city to build. There is a country to save. Do not be an observer, become a builder.”
In January 2011, one year after a 7.0 earthquake rocked the country of Haiti, these inspirational words were spoken at a Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving in Port-au-Prince. The speaker was Divisional Commander Major Lucien Lamartiniere, himself a victim of the disaster.
The U.S. has been relatively blessed in 2011 as far as natural disasters go. Outside of the damage left by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, the stormy season has been fairly quiet. We thank God for His blessings on our country.
It’s easy to get stuck in the bubbles of our personal lives. In the midst of fall activities, work and family, I often forget about our friends in Haiti who are still suffering in the aftermath of 2009’s earthquake. But while they continue to pick up the pieces, progress is being made. We are pleased to share an encouraging update of Haiti’s redevelopment from The Salvation Army Southern Territory.
Thanks to The Salvation Army’s Haiti Recovery and Development (HRD) team, Salvation Army school buildings in Port-au-Prince were repaired so that nearly 700 students could begin the school year on time.
The HRD school renovation and construction team worked hard throughout the summer months, battling harsh weather conditions such as heavy rains and flooding to ensure the classes could begin.
Project Manager David White and Assistant Project Manager Raymond Cédoine were the leads on this project. Along with managing the actual construction process, they trained teams of workers to be able to maintain the buildings long after the rebuilding process.
It is The Salvation Army’s hope that by the end of 2014, all 20 schools affected by the earthquake will have been repaired and reconstructed. Read the full story here from The Salvation Army’s Southern Territory’s $10 for Haiti Website.
As we reflect on our personal blessings this holiday season, let us not forget the suffering and those who sacrifice to “Do the Most Good” for those in need.
New roofing and walls. Photo Courtesy of www.tenforhaiti.org.
Supervisors David White and Raymond Cédoine. Photo Courtesy of www.tenforhaiti.org
David trains construction teams. Photo courtesy of www.tenforhaiti.org
If you would like to donate to The Salvation Army’s Disaster Relief, please visit https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/.
Click Here to read about The Salvation Army of Haiti.
“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
Before joining The Salvation Army as an Officer, Major Evelyn Chavez worked as a Triage Medical Assistant. Her experience provided her with the proper training to deal with stress and trauma – fitting for the life-changing situations she’s been faced with since joining The Salvation Army.
And she’s seen it all.
Major Chavez provided care at Columbine high school in the late 90’s following the shootings. She served as Incident Commander for survivors of Hurricane Katrina, and, most recently worked as a Chaplain in Port au Prince following the earthquake in Haiti.
But she’ll never forget Ground Zero. After the 9/11 attacks, Major Chavez worked tirelessly for two straight weeks in a Salvation Army tent at Ground Zero treating victims.
She sees every opportunity to serve as a blessing from God, a way to serve Him better. What an Amazing Example!
Thanks to the Salvation Army Western Territory’s blog Expect Change, her journal entries from that time have been recorded. Every day of this week Expect Change will be posting a journal entry from Major Chavez’s time at Ground Zero, chronicling the conversations, the scenes, and the personal moments that we’d otherwise not know about.
You can visit Expect Change by Clicking Here. This is not to be missed!
The Wall Street Journal published an article this week about a growing trend among affluent families of teaching their children the importance of giving. Thankfully, “doing good” is not dependant on financial status!
There are always opportunities to pass along to the younger generation the value of helping others. The article suggests practical ideas applicable to any parent, like simply talking about the “good feeling” you get from giving, bringing children with you to volunteer and visit charities, or letting kids educate parents on causes they care about, rather than the other way around.
We believe philanthropy is a vital life lesson that you’re never too young to learn. Here are just a few ways The Salvation Army can help your family put some of these suggestions into practice:
* Have your kids collect their old clothes and toys for giveaway and bring them with you to donate to a Salvation Army Family Thrift Store. Make the experience even more impactful by explaining how their gift will benefit people in need, and use the videos and resources at our website www.satruck.org to show them real life stories.
* Make volunteering a family event, such as serving meals together at a Salvation Army shelter or being bell ringers. Visit your local Salvation Army corps to learn how you can help address your community’s specific needs.
* Empower children to donate financially. Have them fill out the online donation form for you or let them click the “Donate Now” button. Give them some change to put in the Christmas Red Kettle, or help them host their own online Red Kettle. You could even ask them if they’d like to put a percentage of their allowance toward supporting The Salvation Army.
* Find out what they’re passionate about. The Salvation Army serves a vast range of needs that they can get involved with or learn more about on our website. Maybe they have a desire to help other kids or feel strongly about supporting disaster survivors – they could get started right away by sending a child in need to summer camp or donating to our disaster relief efforts.
* Make special occasions about ‘others.’ Start a family tradition to make a donation in your child’s name on their birthday, purchase and give a toy at Christmas time for a child in need through Salvation Army Angel Tree, or serve a meal together at a Salvation Army shelter at Thanksgiving.
* Put your money where your mouth is. Offer to match a donation that your child makes. Set a long-term goal to work towards to give your child a greater sense of accomplishment and help your family work together as a team.
* Gear school and extra-curricular projects towards philanthropic causes. Programs such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts require participants to design and implement service projects. Many children and young adults have worked with The Salvation Army to complete their assignments and benefit their communities in the process.
In light of the many disasters that have affected our communities in the past few months, it gives us hope to look to our friends in Haiti, who have persevered and overcome much as they continue to rebuild.
In Port-au-Prince, The Salvation Army is nearing the end of planning phase two for their Delmas 2 compound, the headquarters and facilities site that was mostly destroyed in the January 2010 earthquake.
Chilean architects from Habiterra have presented a scale model and plans for the reconstruction of the Delmas 2 compound. Key players from The Salvation Army, including the Divisional Commander and directors from College Verena and the clinic, and the director of KNH Haiti, who is funding a large part of the project, assembled for the presentation.
“It’s a very modern and practical school,” said Major Sylvaine Maegli, The Salvation Army’s College Verena Administrator.
The plan, now more developed, includes separate buildings for kindergarten, primary and secondary students, a centrally located administration building for control and accessibility and doors and hallways designed to provide access for handicapped children and adults. There are also plans for a small soccer field, storage for sports equipment, a library and cafeteria.
The proposal will need to undergo further revisions before getting final approval, but we’re all excited to see the great things they have planned. For more details about the plan, you can find the full story here.
It’s National Volunteer Week, a time for us to recommit ourselves to serving others and celebrate those who generously give back!
Last year, 3,411,613 volunteers assisted The Salvation Army by working in our food programs, serving as Red Kettle bell ringers, assisting at-risk youth, rebuilding disaster sites, and more. Our volunteers are critical partners in helping us fulfill our promise to America of “Doing the Most Good.”
As President Obama stated in his presidential proclamation, “…These everyday heroes make a real and lasting impact on the lives of millions of women and men across the globe.”
We completely agree!
This week we will share on our blog how volunteers are getting involved with The Salvation Army across the US, as well as what we’re doing to express our sincere appreciation for their support, so check back for updates.
If you would like to get involved with a Salvation Army near you, search for opportunities via www.volunteermatch.org. Many of our local units post opportunities on this website, and we’d love to have you join us.
The Salvation Army Haiti has dedicated their new divisional headquarters! Nearly 15 months after the January 2010 earthquake damaged their former facility, it’s exciting to see this representation of resilience and strength.
The ceremony and ribbon cutting celebrated both what the Army means to Haiti and what the future holds for it and the communities it serves.
We have some photos from the Haiti headquarters dedication below. For the full album, click here.