Salvation Army’s status given at Rotary meeting

Published 7:55 pm Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Stacy Warren, director of the local Salvation Army Service Center, was the guest speaker at Rotary this week. She gave a bit of the local center history before telling of its current status.

The SA service center, located at 600 Scott Street since 1992, is now in the final stages of a complete renovation, with plans for a grand re-opening toward the end of March. Warren said the retail store has been very successful here in Bainbridge, many thanks to the generous donations of clothing, furniture and goods.

Donations can be dropped off daily, and a pickup service is available typically on Mondays for large articles.  The food bank is also well stocked thanks to those who had food drives during the holidays.

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The Salvation Army partners with many other agencies to offer services to those in need. Through a special matching fund with Georgia Power, help is available to assist in keeping the lights on. Similar partnerships exist with Grady EMC and Three Notch Electric, since the Salvation Army covers Decatur and Seminole Counties.

“We offer emergency assistance to those who find themselves in situations that are out of their control,” explained Warren. These could be medical bills, or a job loss.

“We are best known for feeding people,” she explained, and continued,  “In the state of Georgia 18.9 percent of the people don’t know where their next meal is coming from. One in four Georgia children have no access to adequate food.”

People seeking help from SA are required to complete an application, listing their income and expenses, all to avoid abuse of services.

Clients can be served once every three months. If further help is needed they are referred to other agencies that can pickup the slack.

Warren stressed that as the Salvation Army is a faith-based organization, they try to share the Gospel and feed the spiritual needs as well as their physical needs.

The partnership with Rotary is accentuated by the club’s bell ringing during the Christmas holiday season. The Rotary Club raised a little over $13,000 in that effort this year.

A new need noted by Warren recently is for helping the many veterans she sees who are struggling. “There are not a lot of local resources available to them,” she said.

They will partner with the Decatur County Schools for a coat drive the month of April. Those coats will be restored and distributed in the fall.

Each year a group of children, aged 7 through 12, are able to attend the 5-day Salvation Army summer camp in Jasper, Ga. Those interested in sponsoring a child for camp may contact Warren.