The Salvation Army's Capt. Scott Flanders talks with Madie Rogers and Gayle Pierre, who have taken part in the Sharon citadel's programs for 30 years.
And that isn't the first time I've heard that," Flanders
Most recognized for its bell-ringing, Red Kettle drive before Christmas, the Salvation Army
is primarily a church, with outreach efforts that shelter, clothe and feed people, he
With an annual budget of about $700,000, the money raised in the kettle drive is about one- tenth of what it needs to operate locally, and Flanders hopes if he
can get the word out about all the programs, residents may be willing to offer support year-round.
The Salvation Army
has been in the Shenango Valley for more than 100 years, Flanders
said, and he
thinks its reputation has been passed down between generations.
"I think people know that their parents supported the Salvation Army
and that we're a good organization, so they support us.
But if you asked them what we do, I don't know how many could tell you," he
Just one example of a community program that is gaining popularity, he
said, is the senior center programs and meals held on Fridays.
said the church asks for a $2 donation but if people can't pay, it's no problem.
The Shenango Valley Shuttle Service makes multiple trips to the building in Sharon, he
said, and that is how most participants get there.
But the Salvation Army
will also pick them up, he
Donations from Giant Eagle
, Donofrio's and Panera Bread
provide bread for seniors to take home each Friday, he
Donations are welcome, Flanders
Another part of the budget goes toward sending some 60 children from all over the Shenango Valley to Camp Allegheny each summer in Ellwood City.
"Camp is a huge thing.
We don't advertise because word-of-mouth brings us so many that are interested," he
But funding all the social service programs gets tougher each year, Flanders
said, as costs rise and donations stay level.
Right now, he
has no idea how he's
going to pay a $6,000 heating bill.