Laura Spradlin WILCO Service Center Director welcoming guests

Williamson County Giving Back

Laura Spradlin WILCO Service Center Director welcoming guests

Laura Spradlin WILCO Service Center Director welcoming guests

October 8, 2015 marked The Salvation Army’s first Williamson County Giving Back event. The event was held at Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl inside the new Bass Pro Shop in Round Rock. The fund-raiser was held to support the Williamson County Service Center located in Georgetown, Texas. The evening was emceed by Williamson County Service Center Director Laura Spradlin.

The entertaining venue included two bowling alleys and a pirate ship decorating the ceiling. We gathered in the dining room and guests enjoyed an Angus Beef Burger buffet and amazing prizes given throughout the evening. Our happy guests walked away with prizes ranging from a Weber Grill BBQ Pit to a Yeti Cooler, a Ruger Rifle, 2 Fishing Trips from Pirates of the Bay in Rockport and many more.

Winner picking up his prize - Fishing Reel and Rod

Winner picking up his prize – Fishing Reel and Rod

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Happy Prize Winner!

We were honored to have special guest Football Pro Hall of Famer Bob Lilly at the event. He took photos with fans and signed pictures and memorabilia. The line to meet him was almost out the door! Bob Lilly signed a poster sized football picture which was the final prize drawn at the end of the event. The Salvation Army is so thankful to have Mr. Lilly and his wife’s support.

Bob Lilly receiving Appreciation Award

Bob Lilly receiving Appreciation Award

 

Bob Lilly taking photos with guests and fans

Bob Lilly with guest Alfonso Garcia, III

Colonel Henry Gonzalez spoke about the Williamson County Service Center and the services it provides to prevent family homelessness in the community. Long time Disaster Services volunteer, Randy O’Dell spoke about the services our Williamson County Disaster Service team (which is completely run by volunteers) provides throughout Texas during disasters, and the Williamson County Canteen which provides food to first responders on disaster sites and to disaster survivors.  Alvin Migues, our Texas Disaster Services Director, presented Randy O’Dell with an award by for his long time support and services helping in times of disaster. Laura Spradlin presented Bob Lilly with a plaque for donating his services and time to helping our Williamson County Giving Back event become a great success.

We are thankful to our guests, staff and volunteers that helped make this a fun and successful event and thankful for their support for the Williamson County Service Center.

Williamson County Volunteers with Colonel Henry Gonzalez

Williamson County Volunteers with Colonel Henry Gonzalez

Donors and Salvation Army Austin Leaders

Salvation Army Austin Kicks off Historic Capital Campaign

Donors and Salvation Army Austin Leaders

Capital Campaign donors and leaders

THE SALVATION ARMY KICKS OFF HISTORIC CAPITAL CAMPAIGN, ANNOUNCES $10 MILLION ALREADY RAISED

Public Campaign to focus on “Invisible Austin” and Highlight Crisis of Family Homelessness in Austin

AUSTIN—The Salvation Army Austin Area Command today kicked off its first capital campaign in more than 27 years by announcing it had already raised $10 million toward a goal of $14 million. The campaign commemorates The Salvation Army’s 125th Anniversary and funds raised will support a renovated emergency shelter, a new shelter for women and children, new facilities to administer The Salvation Army programs, and a new drug and alcohol rehabilitation program for women.

“There is a quiet crisis of family homelessness in Austin,” said Area Commander Lt. Colonel Henry Gonzalez. “Last year, three out of four of the clients sheltered in The Salvation Army emergency shelters were women and children. These families are behind the scenes, out of the public eye and in desperate need. We believe this is a crisis for our prosperous community. Through this capital campaign we are shining a spotlight on family homelessness and raising the resources to greatly expand our capacity to serve them.”

For the last 12 months, The Salvation Army has been in the quiet phase of the capital campaign. Led by a volunteer Advisory Board of business and community leaders and philanthropists, The Salvation Army has secured donations from local foundations, businesses and individuals who have generously given toward the mission of helping pull people back from the edge and into the mainstream of society.

“It seems as though everything in Austin is on the rise: traffic, our population, the cost of living and, unfortunately, homelessness,” said Dwight Thompson, Advisory Board Chair. “Some of these problems may not have ready solutions, but by giving to The Salvation Army’s capital campaign, together we can address the crisis of women and children experiencing homelessness, and invest in the long-term success of Austin.”

The public phase of the campaign will include a robust multimedia campaign aimed at making the people of Austin aware of the crisis of family homelessness in our city and providing them with tools to both spread awareness of the problem – and take action by contributing to the capital campaign. The Army has launched a special website, www.InvisibleAustin.org where visitors can download digital resources to share with their networks and find out key facts about family homelessness, such as:

  • Each night, The Salvation Army Austin provides a bed to 420 neighbors in need.
  • Roughly 400 women and children are on the wait list for emergency shelter in Austin daily. On average, more than half of those on the list are children.
  • 67 percent of those sheltered at the Austin Shelter for Women and Children are kids who attend public schools, preschools and child care just like any other child.
  • The total number of beds at The Salvation Army emergency shelters has not increased in more than 10 years, while the city of Austin’s population has increased by 29 percent over the same time.

Additionally, Frost Bank has agreed to support a social media campaign designed to raise public awareness of and engagement with the capital campaign. During the six week campaign that kicks off today, October 14, 2015, every time the hashtag, #InvisibleAustin, is used on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and The Salvation Army Austin is tagged in the post, Frost Bank will give $10 to the capital campaign up to $50,000.

“At The Salvation Army, we provide a hand up, not just a hand out,” said Jamille Ruebsahm, Development Director at The Salvation Army Austin Area Command. “All of our programs are aimed at helping people move from crisis to self-sufficiency by wrapping them in life-saving services and support. Yet, while our services are vast, the need is greater. That’s why we are so grateful to those who have already stepped up to help us raise $10 million and look forward to the people of Austin helping take us across the finish line.”

The Salvation Army would like to acknowledge the following individuals and organizations that have already generously pledged their support of the 125th Anniversary Capital Campaign:

Austin Community Foundation, Austin Regional Clinic, Carl C. Anderson & Marie Jo Anderson Charitable Foundation, Allison and Jay Angell, Nelson K. Barre, David S. Barnett, Gilbert T. Bragg, Robert T. Brooks, Clayton C. Browne, Peggy and Stephen Byrne, The Clayton Fund, Inc., Robin J. Cooper, Exalton A. Delco, Rosemary and Russell Douglass, ECG Foundation, Ernest G. Frerking, Parker Frisbie, Frost Bank, William Gammon, Rudy Garza, Robert Golding, Margaret L. Gosselink, Ryan Gravatt, Tim S. Hill, Kelly Gray/Service Lloyds, Donald D. Hammill Foundation, Wallace W. Johnson, The Burdine Johnson Foundation, JP’s Peace, Love & Happiness Foundation, Keith Lanford, Jan Lehman, Lloyd Lochridge, Georgia B. Lucas Foundation, The J. E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, McCoy-Rockford, Inc., Gordon McGill, Sherry A. McGillicuddy, Mike J. Nasi, Katherine Barlow Nelson, Peter G. Palazzari, Cathy and Randy Present, Nelson Puett Foundation, Freddie Proffitt, Sara and Dick Rathgeber, John C. Roiko, Philip Sanders, Don Shafer, Laurie Shanblum, Dwight Thompson, Herman Thun, David W. Turpin, The Susan Vaughan Foundation, John Welborn, David Welland, Leslie and Mark Winter, Pam and Neel White, Lola Wright Foundation, Mary and Howard Yancy

The 125th Anniversary Capital Campaign will greatly expand The Salvation Army’s capacity to serve those in crisis in Austin. For more information about the campaign or how you can get involved, visit www.InvisibleAustin.org and help solve the crisis of women and children experiencing homelessness.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 126 years in the Austin area. Locally thousands of people receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, to relief for disaster victims, rehabilitation for the addicted, clothing and shelter to those experiencing homelessness and case management to help people move from crisis to stability. Eighty-two cents of every dollar The Salvation Army Austin spends is used to support those services in Travis and Williamson Counties. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyAUSTIN.org (SalvationArmyAUSTIN.org). Facebook.com/SalvationArmyAustin, Twitter.com/SalArmyAustin or Instagram.com/SalArmyAustin/

 

Joe Ogilvie, Colonel Gonzalez and Bob Cole

Welcome New Members

Joe Ogilvie, Colonel Gonzalez and Bob Cole

Joe Ogilvie, Colonel Gonzalez and Bob Cole

The Salvation Army Advisory Board recently welcomed two new members, Joe Ogilvie and Bob Cole. Joe Ogilvie is a pro golfer who was on the PGA tour for a number of years before retiring in 2014. Bob Cole is the CEO of Austin Radio Network and owner of KOKE FM.

Bob Cole receiving Volunteer of the Month Award with Jamille - Development Director at TSA.

Bob Cole receiving Volunteer of the Month Award with Jamille – Development Director at TSA.

Bob Cole is a long-time friend of the Army. He is a local legend and is known to Austinites as the host of the weekday KOKE FM morning show and as the voice of the University of Texas Longhorn Band and the stadium announcer with Bill Little at the Longhorn home football games.

Bob was inducted into the Country Music Radio Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2008. He has also been honored as the CMA’s DJ of the Year in three different market size categories as Austin’s population has grown since 1980. Bob has a long list of community service involvement, including: Austin Police Department Crisis Team: Victim Services, Boys Scouts of America/Capital Area Counsel Direct Chairman, Dell Children’s Medical Center Board of Trustees and many more.

Bob has been involved with the Salvation Army for many years and is passionate about sharing his love for the Army with others. Bob dedicates his time to the Salvation Army in many ways, from inviting Salvation Army staff and officers for on-air interviews to leading KOKE FM in presenting the inaugural Rock the Red Kettle Concert featuring singer/songwriter Cory Morrow and his friends. For the last two years, Bob has emceed the Salvation Army’s Doing the Most Good Luncheon fundraiser, delighting the crowd with his humor and passion for those in greatest need in our community. Bob was presented with our Volunteer of the Month award for May 2015.

Joe teaching golf clinic at 2015 TSA tournament.

Joe Ogilvie teaching golf clinic at 2015 TSA tournament.

Joe graduated from Duke University in 1996, with a BA in Economics. He was a four year letterman at Duke competing on the golf team where he earned All-ACC honors in 1995 and ‘96. Joe turned professional in golf shortly after graduation. His rookie year on the PGA Tour was 1999 and he competed as a member of the PGA Tour until August of 2014. With one victory (2007 US Bank Championship) and four runner-up finishes, he competed in a total of 399 tournaments. While a member of the PGA Tour he served on the Player Advisory Council (15 member council of fellow PGA Tour players) for 14 years and served as a member of the Board of Directors of the PGA Tour from 2006-2008. Joe currently is a Director of Horizon Bank of Texas (Austin, TX) and First Beverage Group (Los Angeles, CA) and serves on the advisory board of Blue Sage Capital (Austin, TX) and Lead Edge Capital (NY, NY).

Joe has donated his time and talents to The Salvation Army Austin; most recently by hosting golf clinics at the Annual Children’s Golf Classic for the last two years. The golfers greatly enjoy his expertise at the tournament.

For these reason and so many more, The Salvation Army is delighted to welcome Joe Ogilvie and Bob Cole as our new advisory board members.

 

 

 

Welcome

20th Annual Children’s Golf Classic

Welcome!

The Salvation Army held its 20th Annual Children’s Golf Classic, Tuesday, September 15th at Avery Ranch Golf Club. This annual golf tournament supports emergency shelters and services for women and children. The Salvation Army social service programs for women and children are designed to break the cycle of chronic homelessness by assisting homeless and low income individuals and families to overcome barriers to self-sufficiency.

Registration began at 11:00 where the golfers were greeted by our friendly staff. Dell volunteers then passed out swag bags to golfers. The day started off cloudy but ended with a rainbow in the sky.

The golf tournament began with a golf clinic hosted by Golf Pro, Joe Ogilvie. Chipping and Putting Contests where also held where Dell Volunteers assisted golfers. The Avery Ranch Golf Club then served a fajita taco lunch while everyone had the opportunity to socialize with the teams. We were honored to have teams from The San Antonio Salvation Army, The Adult Rehabilitation Center, Georgetown Police Department-Victim Services, Georgetown Police Chief, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Kelly Gray, KOKE FM, Celebration Church, McGinnis Lochridge and many more. The 26 participating teams gathered after the golf clinic for a call to carts.

During the day, our golf teams had the opportunity to win four different hole-in-one prizes. Although no one actually made a hole-in-one, the teams had a great time trying.

The teams reunited to enjoy a nacho bar dinner, scoring, and prizes drawings. Our guests won prizes ranging from a night at the Hyatt Hotel, dinner for two at Perry’s Steakhouse, gift basket from Sports Clips which included three free haircuts and hair products. Other prizes included free brunch to Moonshine, Alamo Drafthouse movie tickets, Austin Steam Train Association, Lone Star Riverboat cruises, tickets to The Long Center, Thinkery, Round Rock Express, gift cards to P. Terry’s, Austin Eats Tours, and Auto Zone; free massage from Myo Massage, gift baskets from Savory Spice Shop and Trader Joe’s, jewelry from Kendra Scott and many more.

The successful event concluded with closing words from Golf Chair, Bob Brooks and Lt. Col. Henry Gonzalez who thanked the golfers for their support and reminded them how their support makes a big difference for those in need in our community. We thank God for blessing this 20th Anniversary event with amazing teams, sponsors and volunteers.

Photo Gallery Including Team Photos

(Please be patient with the photo gallery – it takes some time to load, but the pictures are worth the wait!)

 

 

Doing the Most Good Award

Doing The Most Good Award – Kayela Boyd

 

Doing the Most Good Award

Colonel Gonzalez with Award recipient Kayela Boyd

Meet this quarter’s Doing the Most Good award recipient Kaeyla Boyd. She has recently made the transition from Learning Lab to Case Manager and has been a model employee in both positions. Kaeyla can be counted on in times of crisis as well as times of calm.

Kaelya has an engaging personality whether teaching children in the Learning Lab or working with a client to help them find the services they need to move toward self-sufficiency.

Kaeyla goes the extra mile to help out with client assignments both in and out of the downtown Social Service Center. She has a very good working relationship with clients and they enjoy meeting with Kaeyla.

Kaeyla has taken on extra weekend work around the shelter in times when management needed a substitute. She has helped numerous children with their school assignments and projects. Kaeyla has helped mentor the new Learning Lab staff successfully.

Kaeyla is such an outstanding employee and friend. We are blessed to have Kaeyla Boyd with us at The Salvation Army and are grateful for her dedicated service to our clients and their children.

 

Intercom Tour

Kayela is a great source for information and a great tour guide. Here she is giving a tour of the Learning Lab to Intercom employees.

 

Kaeyla Boyd

Kaeyla Boyd

 

 

National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month

 

National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month. As the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina passes, we are reminded how disaster can strike in our own backyards. There are many ways we can prepare ourselves and our families for disaster.

Some disasters Texans may experience and should prepare for are power outages, floods, wildfires and hurricanes. Losing your power in the middle of the Texas heat can be a dangerous thing and we recently experienced the tragedy of massive flooding this past May. There are many ways you and your family can prepare for the next disaster.

BASIC DISASTER KIT

Every family can prepare a Basic Disaster Supplies Kit which includes:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days
  • Food, at least a 3 day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

For any disaster, the best thing to do is follow the story on your local news station and stay informed. Some disasters give us an advanced warning with time to prepare. Have an evacuation plan ready. If you have pets, have your pet carrier ready to go in a location that is easy to get to in case you have to escape danger quickly. Have your important documents and valuables in one safe location that you can quickly get to.

Hurricane Rita

Hurricane Rita

Flood Preparedness

With the 2015 Texas Floods fresh in our memories, it is a good idea to get flood prepared now. Just a few things you can do are: purchase flood insurance, elevate critical utilities, flood proof basement, clear debris from gutters and downspouts and move valuables and documents to a safe place.

Hurricane Season

Hurricane season is June 1st to November 30th. Because hurricanes can be tracked, the first thing to do is stay alert and follow the hurricane’s path on your local news station. Have an evacuation plan ready. Think of where you can travel and who you may be able to stay with until the hurricane is over. Protect your home by having boards ready in your garage with the tools needed to board up your windows. Plan with your neighbors in advance if you think you may need help boarding up. Purchasing hurricane proof shutters will save you time in the event of a hurricane. Gather enough canned goods, batteries and water for a few days.

Wildfire Ready

Unlike floods and hurricanes, there are no advanced warnings for wildfires. Although wildfires can occur anytime within the year, the potential is high during periods of little or no rain and can occur anywhere from remote wilderness to your own backyard. Some of us may remember the 2011 Texas wildfires that occurred in Bastrop and other parts of our community which were devastating to our community.

Because fires are unpredictable, a great thing to do is make sure you have homeowners or renter’s insurance to cover your property and belongings. Reduce the amount of material that burns easily around your home. Use fire-resistant materials for landscaping and construction around your home.

ALWAYS REMEMBER

Remember your life if the most important thing. Your things can be replaced but you cannot. Have a family meeting and talk with your family about what to do in case of disaster.

Bastrop Wildfires

Bastrop Wildfires

For more information and ways to prepare for floods, hurricanes, wildfires, tornados, earthquakes and winter storms, please visit:

http://community.fema.gov/take-action/hazards

For additional emergency supplies list visit:

http://www.ready.gov/kit

 

 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_hurricane_season

http://community.fema.gov/take-action/hazards

http://www.ready.gov/kit

Hurricane Katrina

Remembering Katrina – 10 Years After

 

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane season in 2005 was the most active Atlantic hurricane season in recorded history. The most devastating of all storms to hit the Gulf Coast that year was Hurricane Katrina. Katrina strengthened to a category five hurricane and weakened to a category three as it made landfall in southwest Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina wiped out and destroyed so much in a matter of hours:

  • 1,836 lives lost
  • $81 billion in property damage
  • 80% of New Orleans was catastrophically flooded

The Salvation Army emergency disaster workers and volunteers were on hand to deliver relief in the form of shelter, food and hydration, and emotional and spiritual care. $382M was generously given and entrusted to The Salvation Army to provide immediate and long-term support for survivors of the hurricanes. A total of $157 million was spent on immediate response efforts that included:

  • 178 canteen feeding units and 11 field kitchens brought in from across the country
  • More than 5.6 million hot meals and 8.2 million sandwiches, snacks and drinks
  • 178,313 cleaning kits and 235,229 food boxes (groceries)
  • 282,000 emergency disaster assistance cases registered
  • Emotional and spiritual care for more than 275,000 individuals
  • Direct financial aid, in the form of gift cards and housing/utility assistance
  • Equipment and transportation for Salvation Army disaster personnel
  • Assistance to more than 2.6 million survivors in the affected region
Hurricane Katrina survivors line up at The Salvation Army food canteens for meals.

Hurricane Katrina survivors line up at The Salvation Army food canteens for meals.

In Austin, Texas, under the Katrina Aid Today program, The Salvation Army Austin was able to provide long-term case management and emergency assistance in a number of ways:

  • Provided long-term case management to 262 families
  • Helped people maintain their housing or obtain housing by paying for deposits and rent
  • Provided referrals for counseling, therapy and spiritual care
  • Met weekly to collaborate with other local providers to ensure that needs were being met and services were not being duplicated
  • Helped families enroll their children in school
  • Worked closely with the school districts to get their children up to grade level through education and tutoring
  • Worked with the Red Cross and other disaster aid networks to help families find their loved ones
  • Provided vouchers for furniture from local Salvation Army Family Stores
  • Helped evacuees access job retraining to prepare them for tech jobs and other jobs relevant to the Austin economy
  • Helped families access housing and childcare and find employment

 

New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast were completely flooded and in ruin which forced many families to relocate to other cities and even other states. 25,000 survivors from the New Orleans Superdome were transferred to the Astrodome in Houston. The Salvation Army staff united with hundreds of pastors, church members and volunteers to help. Six to eight mobile feeding canteens were brought in from around the United States.

“What started as a possibility, became a probability, and concluded as a horrid reality. Buildings were obliterated, bridges broken, levees split asunder. It was in so many ways, ‘the worst of times.’ And yet The Salvation Army responded with promptness, competence, determination, daring and Christian love. The results were amazing. People were encourages, homes built, communities kept together, lives literally saved. Hurricane Katrina did indeed represent ‘the worst of times,’ yet in terms of serving hurting people in their time of greatest need and in the name of Jesus Christ, Katrina and its aftermath was also ‘the best of times.’ Never have I been prouder to be a Salvationist!”

-Major John Jordan, former Community Relations & Development Secretary

 Did we help you? Tell us your story.

Katrina021

 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Katrina

http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/

Ice Cold Water

Texas Heat

Ice Cold Water

Austinites are used to the heat, but the last few weeks were especially hot with temperatures reaching over 100 degrees. With a surplus of bottled water, thanks to I Am Water’s generous donation, we were able to go out to provide cold clean water to those that may not have access.

On Wednesday, Salvation Army staff and volunteers stood outside the front of the downtown shelter offering cold bottled water to clients leaving the shelter on their way to work, to those coming into the shelter seeking assistance, and to others on the street enduring the heat.

Being outside in the Texas heat for only one hour can be draining and exhausting and for those who are experiencing homelessness, this unfortunately is something they bear every day. Offering cold water outside the shelter gave volunteers and staff the opportunity to lend an ear and listen to the people’s stories and struggles. It gave us a chance to bring in families of volunteers and watch them share the act of kindness and giving to strangers. Offering bottled water for one afternoon may not seem like a big deal, but on this hot scorching day, there was a sense of community and sharing.

Maureen-iphone 4

Laura-Spradlin-construction worker

Jan-iphone-import-2015 014 

We would like to thank our volunteers who came out to help distribute water. We would also like to thank I Am Waters again for their support.

Jennifer-Oconner-Jamie-McKenney    Ben-Brummett-client  Volunteer with client

socks image

Sock Drive

 

socks image

The Salvation Army Austin has partnered with Round Rock Express and Chick-Fil-A to hold sock drives around Travis and Williamson counties benefiting local children through the 2015 Shoe-In.

The Salvation Army works with partners in the community to identify elementary school age children who are the most in need -those who live in poverty or are experiencing homelessness- so that we can provide them with shoes for the new school year.

This year we are raising funds and working with Academy to provide shoes to local children in need. But we can’t stop there. What would make a new pair of shoes even better? Socks! We are working with local businesses to acquire new pairs of socks. Our goal is to give two new pairs of socks to every child.

A new pair of socks and shoes is so much more that what we think it is because children who are experiencing poverty may not have everything they need to get through the school year. A new pair of socks and shoes can restore hope, elevate confidence and provide comfort. Having a good pair of shoes also helps with health and overall well-being. Shoes not only support our feet, but can affect our back and spine. Having good shoes and new socks is so important during a child’s growing years.

How can you help?

Donate here to help provide a pair of shoes to a local child in need. Or stop by any one of the following locations and donate a new pair of socks:

August 11-14th – Dell Diamond: 3400 East Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock, Texas 78665. Donate two pairs of new socks and receive 2

tickets to an upcoming Round Rock Express game.

 August 17-22nd – Chick-Fil-A: 12501 N. MoPac Expy. Donate a new pair of socks and receive one free Icedream.

 September 24thChick-Fil-A: Georgetown, TX. Donate a pair of new socks and receive a free Chick-Fil-A Sandwich.

 We would like to thank Round Rock Express, Chick-fil-a and EZCORP for holding sock drives benefiting children in need in our communities through the 2015 Shoe-In.

DSC_0134-2

Entercom

 

 

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Entercom’s Vice President and General Manager, Stephanie Callihan with Dave Munoz and Blanca Deen

 

Thursday, July 23, 2015, The Salvation Army Austin had the pleasure of hosting a tour for our friends from Entercom, the parent company of several local radio stations including Majic 95.5.  The dedicated team at Entercom spreads the word about The Salvation Army events year round. Their support on air during the Angel Tree each year, helps the community know how to get involved in providing Christmas gifts for thousands of local children in need. Entercom also hosts The Salvation Army volunteers of the month.

Our tour began with lunch in the chapel of the Downtown Shelter and Social Service Center.  During our meal Lt. Colonel Dorris Gonzalez, Associate Area Commander, spoke about how important the Angel Tree event is to children and families in need in our community. We watched a compelling Angel Tree video showing testimonials and the process of the Angel Tree program. Social Services Director, Kathy Ridings spoke about the families in shelter. She described how we do our best to provide children in shelter with an environment of normalcy, acceptance and hope. Jan Gunter, our Communications Director, spoke about other ways The Salvation Army serves the community. She gave a short quiz with prizes to our Entercom guests on Salvation Army facts.

Kathy Riding giving tour of family dorms.

Social Services Director, Kathy Ridings giving our friends at Entercom a tour of family dorms.

Stephanie Callahan, Entercom’s Vice President and General Manager, spontaneously shared a beautiful story of how The Salvation Army had a significant impact on her grandfather when he immigrated to the United States from Ireland. The Salvation Army assisted him and his family when they first arrived and had very little. He passed down his stories of The Salvation Army and those memories hold dear to Stephanie’s heart and influenced her own desire to support those in greatest need.

The tour proceeded with a walk through our family dorm. Next was a tour of the Learning Center which was recently renovated by our friends at EZCORP. Kaeyla Boyd, Case Manager, explained that the learning center is used during the summer and school year where children can do their homework, create science fair projects, and use computers. The Salvation Army is currently holding a school supply drive for children in our shelter. During the day while the children are at school, the Learning Center is open to adults to give them the opportunity to use computers for job searches and resume building.

The tour continued to the Safe Sleep area then concluded back in the Chapel. Employees at Entercom expressed their gratitude for the tour and how they learned so much more about The Salvation Army.

We are thankful to have partnerships like Entercom!  Their support is truly Doing The Most Good in our community, and it is through support like theirs that we are able to continue to serve those in greatest need.

Entercom team with Amanda McCarty of The Salvation Army receiving a tour of the Learning Center

Entercom team with Amanda McCarty of The Salvation Army