For centuries Christians around the world have observed Lent in preparation for Easter as a way of drawing near and reflecting on Jesus’ death and resurrection and preparing themselves for baptism. This year we want to suggest adding a Lenten observance that’s a little more public. One where instead of – or in addition to – giving something up, you give something back.
This week we’ve all been plunged into sadness and confusion over another school shooting. Even though the tragedy may not have happened in our own neighborhood or involve anyone we know, the hurt is still real. And it may not go away anytime soon.
So, what are the best ways we can work through our pain during times like this? We consulted some sources online to see what they had to say.
There was a recent story in Portland, Oregon about the prosecution of two homeless individuals who stole power from a street outlet to charge their cell phones. The community was outraged at the move because of the cost of the hearings and the injustice of it all. The Salvation Army, on the other hand, heard the story and got to work creating a phone charging station in the entryway of their women’s shelter. It was exactly the right response and it’s been met with lots of gratitude. Here’s a link to the story.
On May 15, recently-retired Salvation Army Major Martin Cooper got on his bike. He’s riding 3,000 miles across the United States to raise awareness about the problem of hunger in this country and raise money all along his route. For 30 years, he and his wife have fed hungry families, sheltered homeless people, and walked alongside those who are battling addictions. But Major Cooper knows as well as anybody that there’s still so much more to do.
This post was written by Fay Schuler, Executive Director of The Salvation Army’s West Women’s Shelter in Portland, Oregon. She has been a leader in the fight against domestic violence for 17 years, serving at The Salvation Army for the last 7 and a half years.
Women come to the West Women’s Shelter seeking refuge after fleeing violence. This violence happens in a war zone not abroad but in their home and at the hands of those who say they love them. They hope and believe the abuse will end and yet they have no control over this: they only control if they will leave or if they stay.
Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz and Washington Post editor Rajiv Chandrasekaren collaborated on a book that was released this week, just in time for Veterans Day, called “For Love of Country.” They found that 55% of Iraq veterans felt disconnected from civilian life when they returned from deployment. That’s because fewer than 1% of Americans served in Iraq or Afghanistan and most of the other 99% who didn’t were too busy with their own lives to notice when they came home.
Back in December, the good folks at Hallmark chose The Salvation Army to benefit from their online campaign called “Countdown to Christmas.” A portion of the funds raised will help The Salvation Army White Shield Center in Portland, Oregon!
Majors John and Candy Stennett are embracing their new Salvation Army leadership roles! According to the Statesman Journal newspaper, they’re spinning (him) and dancing (her) with excitement to assume management of The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center too – also known as a Kroc Center – in Salem.
Two Rivers Correctional Institute is in Umatilla, Oregon. There are about 1,700 medium security inmates at Two Rivers and 100 more minimum security inmates in fifteen housing units spread across the campus. For the last three years, employees have involved the prisoners in their efforts to raise money so they can buy Christmas gifts for kids in need through The Salvation Army.
“Things are really nice around here. This is not a dive.” A compliment like that is music to our ears. Single dad Terry Reed and his 5 year-old son Ike lived together at The Salvation Army in Portland, Oregon and got cereal for breakfast, two hot meals a day, and a safe, clean, warm room to call their own.