We enjoy the Fourth of July because it celebrates the history of the country we love: America. One of the words we hear spoken a lot at this time of year is “freedom.” July 4th marks the day America broke free by adopting our Declaration of Independence from Great Britain.
Statue of Liberty
Throughout our history, men and women have joined the US Armed Forces to fight for the freedoms we cherish. Sadly, when many of them come back home, they find it difficult to adjust to their former lives again.

For some, drugs and alcohol become a way of coping with the pain of wartime injuries or memories. And, even worse, drug and alcohol use can lead to a destructive stint of homelessness.

Thankfully there are Salvation Army programs that give returning soldiers in crisis a place to heal and find their footing again. The Bell Shelter, in metropolitan Los Angeles, is one of those special places.Click here to read a recent Los Angeles Times piece on the Bell Shelter and meet Luis Pinto, a veteran who is rebuilding his life with the help he receives there.

This 4th of July, let’s celebrate the veterans who help secure the freedoms we love. And, let’s also take some time to care for the ones who need some special attention as they break free from the pain of addiction or homelessness.

If you’d like to contribute to the Bell Shelter program, please visit The Salvation Army Southern California Division website and click on the secure “donate now” button. You can specify that your gift be directed to the Bell Shelter.

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