As the end of summer draws near, families everywhere are scavenging the store aisles to grab the school supply items requested by that oh-so-specific new teacher. But amidst the hustle and bustle of nabbing deals and buying new clothes is an often overlooked reality: many kids are without these basic back-to-school necessities.
That’s where The Salvation Army comes in. Thanks to an awesome national effort of volunteers, partnerships, and local businesses, thousands of kids across the country are returning to school with new clothes, supplies, and confidence- the right ingredients needed for success in the classroom.
The Target School Spree events provided nearly 12,000 children with a gift card worth $80 to purchase items needed for school. Those selected by the Salvation Army to receive the gift card also received one-on-one shopping assistance to ensure all of their needs were met. Nearly 500 Target stores participated in the one-day Target School Spree event.
In Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, Project Backpack led to the children singing in appreciation as they received backpacks and supplies provided by Huntington Bank. Almost 500 backpacks were distributed! This included participants from the Summer Enrichment program at the six community centers throughout the city. “It’s so wonderful to be part of this event,” stated Major Faith Miller, Divisional Program Secretary. “We’re so grateful to the companies and those in the community who make these programs possible.”
Across the country Salvation Army locations teamed up with local businesses to “Stuff the Bus”. Krispy Kremes in North and South Carolina offered a delicious donut incentive to folks who donated supplies.
Florida Salvation Army locations “Stuffed the Bus” by partnering with Publix Supermarkets, United Way, First Coast News, and Community First Credit Union. In Jacksonville alone they helped 2,000 needy children!
The Salvation Army of Orlando partnered with Publix Supermarkets for the“School Tools for Cool Kids” supply drive. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer even stopped by on the first day to pass out nearly 700 bags of school supplies to the area families!
The Salvation Army of El Paso, Texas collected enough donations to help more than 420 children in the area, including children at the Child Crisis Center and those residing at the Salvation Army emergency family shelter.
The San Antonio Salvation Army provided 2,000 pairs of shoes to about 1,000 families in need. Within three shifts,250 volunteers fit shoes on the feet of these children- that’s gotta’ be a record!
The Salvation Army of Amarillo, Texas partnered with Wal-Mart to provide brand new shoes and socks for thousands of children. More than 800 students visited the store to pick out the shoes they wanted!These are just a few examples of the back-to-school events that have been going on across the country since late July. Children are enjoying their last few days of freedom rather than spending their final days of summer vacation wondering if they’ll have these necessities. Because of generous donors and faithful volunteers, education is made a priority, families in need can afford other necessities for a healthy lifestyle, and kids are left to focus on their studies without the distractions of “not having”.
Many thanks to everyone who helped make this possible!
800,000 people in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico are currently without electricity due to Hurricane Irene. Storm damage involved flooding, fallen trees, and roof damage. Thankfully, the damage was not as severe as originally anticipated and no fatalities have been reported.
The Emergency Operations Center in Puerto Rico remains open and the Divisional Headquarters Facility is fully operational. A Salvation Army Liaison Officer is also present at the scene.
There have been minimal requests for service received with some Corps providing small amounts of support to Corps members, the homeless, sick, and disabled. Salvation Army shelters have opened in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and St. Croix.
The storm has since strengthened with the possibility of turning into a Category 4 by Saturday’s expected landfall in the southeast. This is the first hurricane in almost three years to seriously threaten the U.S.. The Salvation Army continues to meet, plan, and prepare for the coming storm.
Check back here for updates. You can also visit our Facebook and Twitter pages for up-to-date news.
As Hurricane Irene strikes the coast of Puerto Rico and gradually moves towards Florida and South Carolina, The Salvation Army stands ready to spring into action. The storm, currently producing 80 mph winds, is expected to hit the East Coast on Saturday.
Major damage in Puerto Rico was evidenced over the weekend resulting in half of the island experiencing no electricity and leaving many people without water. The significant possibility of other severe storms, tornados, and flooding has residents in all parts of Florida to the Carolinas keeping a close eye on the threatening storm.
The Salvation Army is prepared in the case that Hurricane Irene makes landfall. Specifically, the Florida Division of the Salvation Army is equipped with 40 mobile kitchens, shower trailers, field kitchens, and additional equipment strategically placed around the state.
We’d like to encourage you to prepare an emergency supply kit, make an evacuation plan, and stay on top of all storm warnings. Please check back for updates. You can also find updates on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Kroc Center of San Diego received a special visit from San Diego Chargers’ Marcus McNeill! The acclaimed Offensive Tackle stopped by the Kroc Center Day Camp to encourage “getting fit and having fun” as part of his mission to end childhood obesity.
Whether its food banks, blood drives, or scholarships, the San Diego Chargers football team has a long-standing reputation for helping the San Diego community.
Marcus was greeting by Majors Lee and Michele Lescano. Along with discussing the importance of exercise and nutrition, Marcus also guided the kids (300 of them!) through various physical challenges. You’ll get to see just how much fun the Kroc Center Day Camp really is by watching the video below!The Kroc Center Day Camp program provides children the opportunity to play and grow in a positive and safe environment. We strive to develop the whole child- mentally, physically, and emotionally through structured group activities that aid in socialization and self-confidence,
For more information on The Salvation Army Kroc Centers, please visit our website by clicking here.