Jay Smith of Georgia Power on Project SHARE

Area Manager for Albany with Georgia Power Jay Smith gives details on Project SHARE – a partnership between Georgia Power and the Salvation Army that is designed to help Georgians in need.

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Albany Salvation Army in need of food donations

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) – The Salvation Army of Albany said its food stores are nearing a desperately low level and need donations now.

The organization is very low on the amount of food it has for both its meal and food donation services.

The Salvation Army feeds hot meals six days a week to anyone, currently serving between 80 to 115 meals a day. It also distributes food assistance to people in need.

Salvation Army officials said they are seeing a “tremendous increase in need for emergency services, specifically food.” They also said they’re seeing a decrease in donations. So, they are asking residents to step up and help the people in their community.

“The food that’s donated to…

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Planting the Seeds of Hope and Faith in a Forgotten Neighborhood: An Albany Story

Behind the quaint exterior of Albany, Georgia, lies a small, tucked-away neighborhood. Overlooked and faced with challenges, this part of town is typically missed by even those most familiar with the city. Anita Ross, a resident of this area and long-time member of The Salvation Army of Albany Church, lives in the Holly Homes Apartment Complex as a single mom with her two teenage sons.

With more than two decades of residency in this community, she was no stranger to the fact that the people in this area – her neighbors included – were struggling and could use a hand. Given the secluded nature of this neighborhood, the needs of the individuals living there were not always seen or served in the past.

“I’ve been living here for over 20 years,” said Anita. “Holly Homes Apartments is a low-income residential area, but it’s filled with good people – good people who need help.”

Anita described her own living situation as “not having a lot,” but after previously receiving assistance from the church and community to get her on her feet, she wanted to extend that same kindness to the rest of her neighbors. After voicing these thoughts to her church’s congregation, a plan was put in place to help nourish the bellies and souls of those who needed it the most: the residents of the Holly Homes Apartment Complex.

With the assistance and funding of another neighboring organization, Anita and The Salvation Army of Albany organized an event on December 12, 2020, at Holly Homes where free food (specifically chicken, string beans, mashed potatoes, bread, cake, and water), prayer walks, and assistance would be provided to residents.

“When we first arrived, we were a bit discouraged,” said Captain Rebecca Sullivan of The Salvation Army of Albany. “No one came outside, so we decided to play music and knock on some doors. Shortly after that, people were coming one by one – especially young mothers with babies!”

Although the residents of Holly Homes were not expecting The Salvation Army to stop by their neighborhood, word spread fast. By the end of the day, 257 hungry people had been fed and prayed with. Anita and all 21 Salvation Army church members ensured that everyone’s needs were met while following CDC guidelines to mitigate the risk of COVID-19, including the mandatory wearing of masks and gloves, social distancing, and contact-free assistance.

Anita was thrilled to see the turnout, especially regarding the younger folks who showed up and inquired about The Salvation Army and the Lord. Seeing the excitement in their faces compelled her to extend her arms and publicly praise God. It filled her heart with hope for the younger generation in her community who traditionally had a pattern of getting mixed in with the wrong crowd. She wanted to help them shift their focus and teach them to prioritize giving over taking.

“The younger people in this neighborhood need to see that joining gangs is not the only way to live,” said Anita. “There are other ways to feel a sense of belonging – like through helping others with a family-oriented organization like The Salvation Army. Most people see The Salvation Army as an organization that just provides vouchers or Christmas toys, but The Salvation Army is a place of open arms – a place of God.”

After the event concluded, Anita’s joy and sense of peace could barely be put into words. Seeds of hope and faith had been planted into her community, and the success of the event illustrated the potential for her neighborhood to blossom and evolve in the future.

Anita gives all glory to God because without Him, she says she nor The Salvation Army would be able to continue Doing The Most Good by sharing the gospel and tending to those who were seemingly forgotten.

 

GAIL DRAKE: The red kettle of compassion

That cheerful bell is one of the most familiar sounds of Christmas. What shopper hasn’t enjoyed the ringing, tinkling as they “rush home with their treasures?” Sometimes the bells are accompanied by singing and occasionally by trumpets, trombones and sometimes a tuba.

And so many community leaders and famous folks get into the act, cheerfully ringing and waving, “Merry Christmas!” Bells have been rung by comedian Bob Hope, Mr. Bean, and even Snoopy. Famous movie scenes of bell-ringers and bands include “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “The Grinch,” “A Christmas Story” and “Maid in Manhattan,” to name a few.

All graciously inviting us, the blessed, to give to those who suffer hunger by tossing coins into the ubiquitous “Red Kettle.” This year a 32-foot-tall red kettle structure lights…

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APD donates jackets to Salvation Army

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) – The Albany Police Department donated over 20 lightly to never worn jackets to the Salvation Army.

It’s all part of what they’re calling “Operation Warm Coat.”

The department donated a total of 27 jackets…

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Southwest Georgia Kicks Off 2020 Toys for Tots Campaign

Staff Sgt. Tara Ballard, coordinator, Toys for Tots, and Capt. Rebecca Sullivan, commanding officer, Salvation Army, gathered aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany to formally kickoff the 73rd annual Toys for Tots campaign, Oct. 2.

Toys for Tots is the largest Department of Defense outreach program. According to Ballard, it is a combined effort among the Marine Corps Reserves, local businesses and the Salvation Army to ensure less fortunate children have…

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Dougherty Co. Salvation Army thrift store officially closed

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) – Dougherty County’s only Salvation Army thrift store is now closed thanks to COVID-19.

“The store has always been going through a tough time,” said Capt. James Sullivan.

Sullivan said COVID-19 put the final nail in the coffin for the store. He said it was a heavy burden on their finances.

The store officially closed Friday.

The closure displaced…

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The Salvation Army thrift store permanently closes in Albany

After more than thirty years as part of the Albany community, The Salvation Army Family Thrift Store will be not be re-opening. The store has been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that shutdown will now be permanent.

The first priority of the store was to raise funds to continue offering social services, disaster services and homeless outreach, but the current financial crisis, due in large part to the pandemic, has made it…

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Salvation Army of Albany working to restock supplies for food distribution

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) – Food is still badly needed by people in need in Albany, according to the Salvation Army. The organization is working to obtain more emergency supplies to keep distributing food during the pandemic. Through April, and so far in May, the Salvation Army has supplied thousands of boxes of food to people in need. On Thursday it will give out the last of the food boxes it has for distribution. “Yes, the need is still here, deeply. You know, I think the city has been hit…

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400 families fed during Salvation Army food distribution

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) – The Salvation Army fed over 400 families during their latest food distribution. Cars filled the parking lot of the Albany Civic Center on Thursday to get a box of food during these uncertain times. Salvation Army Captain Rebecca Sullivan said she encourages people to continue to listen to local government.

“We are all in this together, so it…

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