Rotary gets update on Salvation Army services offered

Published 11:00 am Friday, April 16, 2021

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This week’s Rotary meeting featured Merreann McDonald with the Salvation Army as the speaker. After giving a brief summary of the creation of the Salvation Army, McDonald gave a report on the previous year’s programs, including how many members of the community were served and the amount of help (be it in number of items or monetary cost) was given.

During the covid pandemic last year, Salvation Army’s Bainbridge store was closed for 6 to 7 weeks. According to McDonald, “Outside of pandemic resources, we served 102 men in 2020, 92 women, and 232 families. And that’s just during the time we were open for regular service, not pandemic services.” In addition to this, 322 food boxes, 2,072 clothing items, several personal hygiene kits and items of furniture, as well as 12 nights of lodging in motels, rental assistance for 6 families and utility bill assistance for 28 families.

Other projects and programs the Army worked with included Project Hope, which they partnered with to provide for a woman whose husband had become disabled. They provided 59 Thanksgiving food boxes for seniors in need; their Angel Tree program provided 620 clothing and toy items to 123 children, the value of those gifts worth over $28,000.

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The Salvation Army was unable to make any visits to its camp, Camp Grandview, last year, nor will it be able to this year, due to covid restrictions. However, plans are being made for trips next year. “This camp is as well done as any I’ve ever seen,” McDonald praised.

On the topic of covid, the Salvation Army also distributed 1,949 food boxes during the pandemic last year. “We set up a tent in the parking lot, and we just did drive-thru food service… If you said you needed it, you had an I.D., and sometimes if you didn’t, and you gave us your household information like your address, we would give you a food box, no questions asked.”

As for upcoming projects, this summer, the Bainbridge branch also plans on hosting a mini-Vacation Bible School at their center. “We typically do it for the space that we have, which takes about 12 to 16 kids… we provide a half-day Vacation Bible School, just trying to build relationships and teach them more about developing a relationship with Jesus Christ,” McDonald said.

The Salvation Army has also begun holding events called Senior Socials, the first one being held around this past Valentine’s Day. The next one, “Biscuits and Bingo,” is scheduled for next week.
For more information on other projects and upcoming events, the Bainbridge Salvation Army can be reached at (229) 243-7250.