The Salvation Army celebrates volunteers, mission

2017 Rome Annual Dinner (96)March 21, 2017 (ROME, GA) -The Salvation Army is celebrating 130 years of service in Rome this year as well as the organization’s mission of hope, which is spread through its volunteers and workers.

During a dinner and awards ceremony at Berry College’s Krannert Center Monday evening, workers, volunteers and donors gathered together to honor the volunteers, bell ringers and community partners that help the Salvation Army do its work.

“This is just a fraction of those who help us every day,” said Mark Kozera, advisory board chairman. “It’s been many years since we tried to gather everyone together and our mission tonight is threefold. We want to express gratitude to our supporters and volunteers, we want to educate the community about our vast array of services and we want to inspire people by demonstrating what kinds of results we see.”

The group honored the Bell Ringer of the Year for the greatest number of hours served during the Christmas 2016 Kettle campaign, which was Berry College’s athletic department. The Rome-Floyd County Fire Department received the Bell Ringer’s award for most money raised, with more than $11,000 raised in four days.

Michelle Dyer received the Volunteer of the Year award and Berry College received the award for Community Impact Partner of the Year.

Volunteer Kala Bartley told the crowd her time with the Salvation Army has helped her grow spiritually and inspired her to go to college and get a degree in arts education so she can return to the Army to participate in the children’s arts program the Army sponsors.

David Lively, who works at The Salvation Army as the kitchen manager, spoke about how his time at the Army helped him learn a few things about love.

“I remember Captain Doug McClure (former head of the Rome Salvation Army) told me one day that he loved me,” Lively said. “I didn’t know what to say to that, because when I grew up, you knew you were loved, but no one said it out.”

Lively said after McClure told him that, he attended a Bible study at the Salvation Army and was told about how good Christians loved everyone.

“I’d always wondered about that,” he said. “Why are you expected to love your neighbor, even if they are awful, or love your enemies? Then I was told that God created each of us with hope. That made it make sense. We are all God’s creatures.”

Lively said the next time he saw McClure, he told him he loved him.

“I say it now to everyone,” he said, smiling. “I’m not bashful anymore about it. I love everyone in this room. If not for the Salvation Army and Capt. McClure, I might never have realized that.”

Lt. Col. William Mockabee, the program secretary of The Salvation Army, U.S. Southern Territory, delivered the keynote speech.

“It has been my honor to serve in the Salvation Army for 42 years,” he said. “The Army serves people and invests in their lives. I travel across the 15 southern states I serve and I get to hear young people tell me how they’ve turned their lives around with help from The Salvation Army.”

Mockabee said the biggest challenge and commitment the Salvation Army has now is to stop the “revolving door of poverty.”

“We want to see that intergenerational poverty stop,” he said. “We want families be able to sustain themselves, to stop the cycle.”

Mockabee explained that Gen. William Booth, the founder of The Salvation Army, launched a war, and that is why he needed an army.

“He wanted to start a war against the sin and misery in the human condition and against poverty,” he said. “He said once that he would fight this war until the very end.”

Article from Rome News-Tribune

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Boy Scouts collect more than 2 tons of food for Salvation Army

Rome-Boy-ScoutsFebruary 12, 2017 (ROME, GA) – Boy Scouts from more than a dozen units in Floyd, Polk and Chattooga counties collected more than 4,300 pounds of food from residents in their counties Saturday.

The Floyd County units contributed their food to The Salvation Army for the first time this year.

“This has already become a fantastic relationship,” said Jeff Brasher, Northwest Georgia Council of Boy Scouts of America executive.

Scouts in the Cedartown units collected food for the Samaritan’s Purse Food Pantry, Rockmart area Scouts brought their food to the Rockmart First United Methodist Church Food Pantry, while the food Chattooga Scouts took in is being distributed by the Division of Family and Children Services in Summerville.

A dozen or more members of the Rome Rotary Club also got involved in the sorting and warehousing of food collected during the Scouting for Food campaign Saturday.

Rome’s Salvation Army Captain Jason Smith said the program Saturday really helps the Salvation Army to continue its monthly food assistance program.

“We provide families with over 60 pounds of groceries each month,” Smith said. “The Can-a-Thon is great here, but we can always use food drives like this.”

Scouting for Food coordinator Mary Hardin Thornton said that in past years, the Scouts have typically collected between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds of food during the annual effort.

Smith said approximately 50 families in the Rome area receive the bags of groceries each month. The families are vetted for need by caseworkers that consider family finances and then make an assessment of need.

Scouts fanned out across their home communities with door hangers promoting the drive on Feb. 4, and followed up the effort Saturday, going back through neighborhoods collecting cans. They then spent a couple of hours at The Salvation Army collecting cans from people who drove in with donations.

Article from Rome News-Tribune

11Alive Can-A-Thon fills Salvation Army pantries with 280,000 cans

ATLANTA, GA (December 2, 2016) – Can-a-thon 2016 skyrocketed over its goals for the year on Friday with a collection of more than 280,000 cans at four metro Atlanta locations.

Locals and organizations alike turned out to donate canned goods at Turner Field, Cumberland Mall, the Infinite Energy Arena in Gwinnett County and the Forum in Rome.

The goal was to fill the Salvation Army shelves with enough food to feed metro Atlanta families in need for an entire year.

Thousands came out from schools, community groups, civic organizations and even individually to contribute – all with the same objective.

“The only thing that means anything in this lifetime is doing something for somebody else,” said one contributor dropping off canned foods.

“If we don’t help each other out there, like, what is life all about?” another contributor said. “You must contribute and make somebody’s life better.”

For some, like the sixth grade students at Elm Street Elementary in Rome, Ga., it meant giving up a lot.

“I had to give up my allowance to go shopping to get the cans,” said one student.

The school came on a Rome school bus to be a part of the event.

“I gave up my birthday money in order to get the cans,” another student said.

The 11Alive Can-a-thon, which was a joint effort with Publix, brings a special blessing for families in need by way of the Salvation Army.

“When one in seven Georgians are going to be visiting a food pantry this year, it helps to have every bit of food that we can give out,” the Salvation Army Director from Gwinnett County said. “Giving something in a time of need for these families is so important – no question about it.”

The very process brings the best out in people said Salvation Army Captain Jason Smith.

“You see charity at its best. You see the smiles on these kids. You see them work sorting these cans and that’s what it’s all about,” he said.

In the end, it’s about looking after each other – and this year that’s just what happened – full pantries to feed thousands in need.

Article and video from 11Alive

Organizers of Salvation Army’s biggest food drive of year hope to hit 100,000 cans

rome-canathon-2015ROME, GA (November 30, 2016) –  Hundreds of volunteers will unload thousands of cans of food Friday as the Salvation Army holds its largest event of the year — the Can-a-thon.

The Can-a-thon is the only food drive the Salvation Army holds and it nets enough food to last most of the year, according to Salvation Army Capt. Jason Smith.

“This drive sustains our food pantry for about 10 months,” Smith said.

Last year, the drive gathered 68,531 cans and other nonperishable food items.

“We are hoping for 100,000 cans this year,” Smith said. “That would be enough for 12 full months.”

The drive will be at The Forum, 301 Tribune St., from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday. Volunteers are still needed to help out, Smith said. If anyone wants to volunteer, they may come to the event when they can or call the Salvation Army at 706-291-4745.

“We usually get a major rush around 10 a.m., when the schools start dropping off cans they’ve collected, but any time people can come would be great,” Smith said.

If someone wants to donate, all non-perishables are welcome, he added. Peanut butter, rice, spaghetti, canned meat, box dinners such as Hamburger Helper, instant mashed potatoes and items with pop-tops are especially helpful.

“The pop-top servings of fruit or meats are great to have, because sometimes even though we serve a hot meal every day at 5:30 p.m., often we have people come in who haven’t eaten in a while,” Smith explained. “So we give them a container of meat or fruit so they have something before the meal.”

The majority of the food goes to the pantry that helps sustain the grocery assistance program, which provides emergency assistance to people who need it. Those who receive the bags get enough food to feed a family for a week, Smith said.

Food also is used to fill Christmas bags for senior citizens.

About 85 percent of the donations come from schools, but anyone is welcome to come by and donate. Volunteers will show people where to drive and will come to the cars to unload items, if necessary.

“The whole thing is planned for the convenience for those who want to donate,” Smith said. “Every can counts, so please bring something. So many people suffer from food insecurity, so it all helps.”

All of the food stays in Rome and Floyd County, he added.

“We owe so much to our community,” Smith said. “Everyone really comes through for us and helps us. I think this community works to make sure hungry people get food, no one wants to see someone go hungry.”

Article from Rome News-Tribune

New Salvation Army Captains Settling In

Rome’s Salvation Army Corps has new captains in Jason and Melissa Smith, who along with their two children, Jadon, 7, and Hannah, 4, are finding Rome to be quite the welcoming community.

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2015 Rome, GA Volunteer of the Year – Hannah Payne

Rome, GA – On May 3 during an assembly at Unity Christian School, Captain Douglas McClure  presented the 2015 Volunteer of the Year award to Hannah Payne. Hannah is a junior at UCS and very active in her church, Pleasant Valley South Baptist Church. Hannah’s youth leader, Benjie Mathis, said,  “Hannah is an outstanding student, leader, and Christian young lady with a heart for serving.”

Hannah goes out of her way to take on projects and opportunities to enrich the lives of OTHERS. She is a real hero! Over the past two years, Hannah has organized a canned food drive for the food pantry, helped to organize a group to IMG_0363help with the Run for the Homeless 5K, prepared food for the Rome Community Christmas Eve Dinner, served food for various meals at the Rome Salvation Army shelter, and participated in the Christmas party for shelter guests. She has been busy!

Children’s minister Chris Giddens said about Hannah, “She has always been a joyful, but strong leader.  When she was in children’s ministry, she was an encourager and always looked for ways to help her friends.

With Hannah, it is always about OTHERS. She looks for ways to make the lives of others richer and fuller. During the presentation, Captain McClure said, “Hannah, you spend so much time making sure other people get noticed, but today, all of the fingers are pointing at you, kid!” We are grateful for Hannah’s ministry and service through The Salvation Army and look for her to do amazing things in the future.

“We love her great big heart and we are thankful that the Lord allowed others to enjoy it too. She is a blessing to us” said Hannah’s mother, Sherie Payne.

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
(1 Timothy 4:12 NIV)

Elvis is Alive and Helping Kids in Rome, GA

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]On February 11, 2016, the Forum in Rome, GA rocked and rolled with the bElvis entertains party goers at The Salvation Army sock hopooming voice of Elvis as the Rome Salvation Army Ladies Auxiliary hosted their first annual 50’s Sock Hop fundraiser to benefit The Salvation Army of the greater Rome, GA area children’s programs. Elvis impersonator Duke Edward and his wife Mary, who joined in with an exemplary tribute to Patsy Cline, were both big hits at the evening festivities.

The Ladies Auxiliary in Rome, GA sure knows how to put the FUN in fundraiser for people of all ages. “This is the first of what we hope to be many more successful fund raisers for The Salvation Army,” said Moni Owen, Ladies Auxiliary President. Owen recently took on the leadership of the Ladies Auxiliary after two years as a Salvation Army volunteer and a lifetime of service in the development disabilities field.

Captain Storm McClure set the tone for the evening dressed in a perfect pink poodle skirt ensemble complete with bobby socks, saddle shoes, and brightly colored horned-rimmed glasses. As leather jackets and poodle skirts streamed into the perfectly decorated ballroom, hit after hit from the 50’s played to the thrill of party-goers.

Randy QThe Chick-fil-a cows kept the dance floor hopping all eveninguick, General Manager of Rome Radio Partners and past board chairman for The Salvation Army of Rome, GA, and local radio personality Nelle Reagan, served as co-masters of ceremonies for the evening. They also judged the hula-hoop contest. Adding to the fundraising effort, local business donated items for a silent auction. Food was catered by Steak and Shake complete with 50’s style milkshakes topped with a Maraschino cherry. As an added treat, the Chick-fil-a cows kept the dance floor a center of fun and entertainment all evening long.

Keeping a solid Salvation Army presence in his traditional uniform among the twirling and swirling 50’s era attire was Captain Douglas McClure who said, “We are truly blessed by the gracious donations from the people of the greater Rome area all year long. Together we are doing great things for people in need here.”

“It was all for a great cause, and we can’t wait for this event to come around again next year,” said a silver haired man dressed in a black leather jacket, blue jeans, white socks, and penny loafers.

If fun, excitement, and community goodwill are essential ingredients for a successful fundraising event, then the Ladies Auxiliary has started a very successful tradition in Rome, GA.

To view photos of the event click here…[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]