Guest Column: Salvation Army does more than bell-ringing

Published 9:00 am Sunday, November 27, 2016

Live United by Elsie Cline

The Salvation Army this year is celebrating 120 years being here in Albert Lea.

What do people think when they hear that we are The Salvation Army? First, they remember someone who is ringing a bell during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. And second they remember that we have a thrift store.  But that is not all that The Salvation Army is.

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The Salvation Army is a church. We were founded in 1865 in London England by William Booth. As a church, we have Sunday services. We have Sunday School which begins at 9:45 a.m. Then we have a worship service that starts at 11 every Sunday morning.

Elsie Cline

Elsie Cline

And, yes, we are a social organization. We have a meal site that is open from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. This past year we were able to feed 6,349 people. Everyone is welcome to come and get a hot meal.

We also have a food pantry. We are open from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. This past year we have given out over 250,000 pounds of food.

We also help with emergency lodging, rent and utilities. 

Last Christmas we gave out over 3,590 toys and 413 food boxes. Christmas sign-up for toys and food is 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 29 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 30. Everyone will need to bring income, a current piece of mail with name and address on it and IDs for everyone in the household.

Last Christmas there were 282 volunteers who helped us ring the bell. They donated 987 hours. Will you be willing to be a volunteer this year to ring the bell? Please call The Salvation Army at 507-373-5710 to sign up. Thank you.

We are able to do all this because of the generous support of the Albert Lea Community  Thank you.

In closing The Salvation Army would like to say a big thank you.

Elsie Cline is a major with The Salvation Army in Albert Lea.