Standing kettles, running 5K, sewing quilts, and celebrating Christmas!
Augusta, Maine—Gov. Paul R. LePage helped The Salvation Army kick off the Christmas season and kettle campaign at the Statehouse.
“For more than 120 years around the world, Salvation Army red kettles have been linked to the Christmas season,” said Governor LePage. “Mainers are generous people known to help our neighbors, and the kettle campaign is one way to help people who need help most.”
The Salvation Army had more than 100 red kettles throughout the state on street corners and in shopping areas through Dec. 24.
Kicking off with kettles
Concord, NH—The Salvation Army kicked off its annual Christmas kettle campaign for the state on Nov. 9 when Gov. Margaret W. Hassan brought greetings in a brief ceremony at the Statehouse. A brass ensemble played carols.
“We invite all community residents to join us in this effort to ensure that marginalized people of our communities receive the assistance they need at Christmas and throughout the year,” said Captain Steve Warren, the corps officer in Concord.
Portland, Maine— The Army officially launched its annual Red Kettle Campaign with a dinner and a concert on Nov. 15 at the First Baptist Church.
Guests and friends of the Army enjoyed hearing the New York Staff Band, led by Bandmaster Ronald Waiksnoris, and music from the University of Southern Maine’s Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Robert Russell, professor of music.
White Plains, NY—Young Salvationists gathered at the corps on Oct. 31 for a night of prayer, music, and artistic expression. The event provided an opportunity for the youngest members of the congregation to gather on a Friday night to praise God.
Doug Berry, territorial contemporary music director, said that he and Felipe Concha, program director for the corps, wanted to have an event solely dedicated to prayer, worship, and Scripture, without the time constraints and format of a regular church service.
“We wanted to take the most fundamental aspects of church, and just do more of it for one night, ” Berry said.
The event was divided into a time for praise & worship, Scripture readings, and a rotation of three different prayer stations. The first, to pray for souls and their salvation; the second, for inward prayer and personal reflection; and a third, for self–expression through visual art.
Captain Margareta Ivarsson, territorial assistant program secretary, who led one of the prayer stations for the children, said, “The prayer gathering was an opportunity for them to both lead and be led by the Spirit in worship, for the Glory of God.”
Kids ‘light up’ NY
Haverstraw, NY—The Haverstraw Center in Rockland County, N.Y., has begun hosting youth programs, making it the third location in the county to host Salvation Army events for children.
With the assistance of the Army’s Spring Valley, N.Y., Corps, the center now offers music lessons, karate classes, and Sunbeams programs. The first night of youth programs this October brought 24 children to the events, and numbers have increased week to week.
The Suffern, N.Y., Temple Corps, which shares a building with the Spring Valley Corps, has been holding youth programs in the Corps building. The Spring Valley Corps also uses the College for Officer Training as a hosting location. With Haverstraw’s new youth programs, there are now over 100 young people involved in Salvation Army events in Rockland.
“This new ministry initiative provides opportunities for more local leaders and cadets to be involved in showing and sharing the love of Christ to children and teens,” said Major Marcus Jugenheimer, Rockland County coordinator and Spring Valley corps officer.
The Rockland County Advisory Board has encouraged The Salvation Army to continue its services in the county. The Haverstraw Center has hosted Army service ministries since May of 2013.
A ‘circle of hope’
Portsmouth, Ohio—During the summer, the Donut Run Circles of Hope 5K helped The Salvation Army raise money for the needy.
“It’s a great community event that allows us to raise funds for the local homeless,” said Lydia Smith, the corps’ community resource coordinator.
“Part of the race course ran near the Ohio River,” Smith said.
“We’re looking forward to having this race again next year. It was a lot of fun, participation doubled, and we hope to see it double again.”
Life and basketball lessons
Brooklyn, NY—The Bay Ridge Corps held an exciting three–week basketball clinic, which drew 50 children between ages 8–14.
“Our neighborhood is one in which there aren’t many low cost/free activities for children to participate in,” says Lieutenant Joel Ashcraft, the corps officer. “We had a vision of creating a free clinic in which children would be able to learn about teamwork, discipline, and hard work through playing the game of basketball.”
A councilman helped secure funding for the camp, which also involved teen volunteers.
Ashcraft said the corps secured 20 new top–quality basketballs that remained with the corps, but “more important, they give the corps an opportunity to reach 50 new families with the love of Christ.”
Massillon, Ohio—Maybe you don’t have to throw out that old sweater after all.
The women and some children of the corps started a sewing class to help young mothers save money by making alterations and by fixing clothes for their children, said Major Linda-Jo Perks, corps officer.
“We are also quilting, making Christmas gifts, aprons from a pattern, and selling things at Home League Camp for World Services,” she said. “We are seeing the joy of women who are fixing clothes they thought they had to throw away.”
Perks said the idea came from a woman who formerly lived in New York where she attended a design school and stayed at a Salvation Army women’s residence.
“Her dream was to give back through the Army,” Perks said.