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Local Salvation Army serves the greater Newman area

For years, the Newman Salvation Army committee has served the needs of many people in various ways. Now, the committee is looking for interested persons to join that effort.

Throughout the world, the Salvation Army is a church that serves a congregation of believers. There are churches in both Modesto and Turlock. In addition, there are local committees that serve to do the work of the army.

The mission of the Salvation Army is stated: The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

The local committee serves to meet human needs. Funds for its programs come mostly from the Red Kettle campaign during the Christmas holidays. Groups and individuals give of their time to ring the bells and bring in the donations. In the 11 days of ringing as much as $6,000 comes in and 90 percent of that money stays with the local committee.

Thanks to the army and the many utility customers who donate on a regular basis, the REACH program provides money to pay over-due utility bills. This has been a program in Newman for over 20 years and has given assistance to many in need.

For years, the committee has coordinated the program of feeding as many as 150 persons at the Modesto Salvation homeless center. Several groups in Newman and Gustine volunteer to buy the food, cook the Sunday dinner and go over to serve the meal. For these groups, both adults and youth, this is a labor of love.

The local committee would like to begin a regular schedule of dinners once or twice a month for the homeless and needy in Newman. Youth and adult groups will be invited to assist with this new meal program.

Through the Food For Families program, Nob Hill Foods provides case lots of food at wholesale prices. A local Salvation Army chair for this program works with the Newman and Gustine food banks to facilitate the ordering and delivery of the food.  The committee uses this program to purchase large supplies of staple foods that go to enhance the annual community Christmas food drive. Because of the army and the Food For Families program, poultry and hams are provided by Nob Hill Foods at no charge.

Because of the Nob Hill Foods connection, the local committee delivers to food banks, the Newman and Gustine holiday food drives and to other persons in need, more than 300 bags of groceries that have been donated by local people and the local grocer.

For years, youth from Newman have been sent to the Salvation Army summer church camp located at Camp Redwood Glen near Scotts Valley. This is provided by the local committee with a small registration fee paid by the parents. Children will be spending a week at the camp this summer starting June 17.

The army also provides travelers and other persons in need with gasoline for vehicles, food vouchers and housing on a short term basis.

The committee has pledged financial support for the Weekend Wellness program which provides food on the weekends for local families in need.

To continue to increase our services to the greater Newman area, we need volunteers to join our committee. There is work to be done and our committee, though small in number, wants to continue to carry out the mission of the Salvation Army, to meet human needs.

Members are privileged to minister to men, women and children, no matter of their circumstances, and it could not happen if it were not for the absolute commitment of all those who are the Salvation Army in this area.

Call Kat Lightsey, 620-0006, Deanne Katen, 988-0294, or Bob McConnell (988-4469) to learn more about the group or to become part of this ministry.

Submitted by Bob McConnell