A Community Investment

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Any time a new Kroc Corps Community Center opens somewhere in the country, we get excited just thinking about all the great programs and services that the local area will soon experience. Whether it’s fitness classes, job training courses, or after school programs, it’s overwhelming just to think about all the opportunities available. We believe the late Mrs. Joan Kroc would be very proud to see how her vision and generous endowment has developed from one Kroc Center in San Diego, CA to a growing network of Kroc Centers across the country, each deeply invested in their local communities.

This week I came across a story from The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division’s blog about the Kroc Center under construction in Chicago. Though it’s not slated to open until 2012, the Kroc is already investing in the community, as well as allowing the community to invest in the Center.

Eight local residents have already completed a construction training program sponsored by the Kroc’s general contractor, and their first job very well may be helping build the Kroc Center itself! It’s a unique opportunity for these individuals to become invested in the Kroc on a whole different level.

According to Chicago’s blog, the Kroc Center will create 220 construction jobs for locals during its two-year construction phase and another 200+ permanent jobs once it’s open. Read more about how the Kroc is benefiting the Chicago area even before it’s open, here at The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division’s blog.

Reaching the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What would you do if you needed significant, life-changing help, but you were unable to communicate with those you depended upon for that help?

The Detroit Free Press reports there are about 655,500 deaf and hard-of-hearing people in Michigan, and it’s believed that the prevalence of alcohol abuse within the population is akin to that of the hearing community (They say about 1 in 5 people ages 12 yrs. and up have admitted to binge drinking once within a 30 day span).

Treatment for substance abuse, and even the getting to the point of being ready to seek treatment, is extremely difficult – and that’s an understatement. But those who are deaf and hard-of-hearing may face even more challenges on the road to recovery, especially in Michigan where funding falls short and there’s a lack of therapists and counselors trained in American Sign Language (ASL).

In Monroe, Michigan, The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center is filling this gap through its Deaf and Hard of Hearing Treatment Program. It’s the only day treatment program in the state that serves the needs of deaf or hard of hearing individuals with a substance abuse problem. It staffs certified and accredited interpreters and even offers a housing component for clients.

Richie Najor is one individual who receives assistance from the The Salvation Army’s Program. With one-on-one treatment from his fluent ASL therapist, Najor has been more successful in controlling his cravings and even holds down a good job.

Read more about his experience and The Salvation Army’s work in addressing the deaf community’s needs in the Detroit Free Press’ “Deaf have few options in drug, alcohol fight.”

The Salvation Army Helps Victims in First Human Trafficking Conviction in Illinois

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Big news coming from Illinois –

The Salvation Army Chicago has assisted in a case that resulted in the state’s first human trafficking conviction.

The victims, 17 and 18 year-old females, have received help from The Salvation Army’s STOP-IT (The Salvation Army’s Trafficking Outreach Program and Intervention Techniques) Program, which offers psychological and medical treatment, educational services and vocational training for victims of the sex trade. The offenders were convicted of Class I felony charges and each sentenced to several years in prison.

Illinois State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez thanked the STOP-IT Program for their assistance in this case and cooperation with other agencies. Read the full story at The Salvation Army Chicago’s blog here.

According to the Illinois Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated minimum of 16,000-25,000 women and girls are victims of commercial sexual exploitation in Chicago every year. We hope this groundbreaking court decision is the first of many in bringing offenders to justice and helping restore the lives of exploited survivors.

The Salvation Army’s national website offers a wealth of information and tools to educate and equip people on the subject of trafficking, as well as what we’re doing to fight it. Under the “Programs That Help” tab, visit “Combating Human Trafficking,” or simply click here for a direct link.

To learn more about Chicago’s STOP-IT Program, visit www.usc.salvationarmy.org/stopit .

If this is a cause you’d like to get involved with, check out The Salvation Army’s “The Daily Cup” app for smart phones. It’s free and provides the latest info on social justice issues, including human trafficking. Download it here.

From Our Kitchen To Yours This Valentine’s Day

Monday, February 14, 2011

Maybe you’re cooking dinner for a special someone this Valentine’s Day, or maybe you’re celebrating with some close friends. Whatever your situation, we’ve got a tasty meal idea for you from Salvation Army Chef Josh Arnold who runs our Culinary Training Program in Louisville, KY.

He’s shared a Shrimp Fettucini Alfredo and Chocolate Covered Strawberries recipes that will help you keep things simple but sweet this Feb. 14th.

Once you’re done creating your own culinary masterpieces, read here how Chef Josh is using his kitchen to help the homeless and low-income individuals turn their lives around.

Bon appétit!

[caption id="attachment_5339" align="alignleft" width="196" caption=" "][/caption]

SHRIMP FETTUCINI ALFREDO

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fettuccini pasta
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound cooked shrimp – peeled and deveined
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • salt to taste



Directions

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

2. In a large skillet, sauté shrimp and garlic in the butter for about one minute. Pour in half and half; stir. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese in one tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly. After all Parmesan is added, mix in parsley and salt. Stir frequently making sure it does not boil. Sauce will take a while to thicken.

3. When sauce has thickened, combine with cooked pasta noodles; serve hot.

[caption id="attachment_5351" align="alignleft" width="195" caption=" "][/caption]

CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES

Ingredients

  • 1 12oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 12 oz. package white chocolate chips
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, brandy, coffee or your favorite liqueur
  • Approx. 50 strawberries
  • *Chopped Nuts optional*



Directions

1. Rinse strawberries and dry completely

2. Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Mix in half and half and vanilla. Remove from heat.

3. Push a toothpick into the stem end of the strawberries. Dip strawberries into the melted chocolate. Turn strawberry upside down and push the toothpick into a styrofoam block, or set on very lightly oiled piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet, so the chocolate will dry evenly. Allow to set.

4. Melt white chocolate and drizzle over the dipped strawberries.

*Optional – Roll freshly dipped strawberry (while chocolate is still melted) in your favorite chopped nuts.*

5. Allow to set until ready to serve.