Summer Updates from Around the Division
Corps across the Western Michigan and Northern Indiana Division are committed to serving their communities year-round. In a five-part summer series, we’ll be bringing to light some of the ways in which corps are preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and meeting human needs in His name without discrimination. This week, the Michigan corps of Cadillac, Fulton Heights, Grand Haven, Holland, the Kroc Center, Ludington and Muskegon are featured.
The Salvation Army of Cadillac
serving Kalkaska, Missaukee and Wexford Counties
- Behind Major R.C. Duskin, the corps is meeting the needs of the community with its church and social services.
- On July 2, the corps announced a partnership with Meijer to provide much-needed relief to local families facing food insecurity through the retailer’s hunger relief program. Customers are encouraged to purchase a $10 Simply Give donation card at the Meijer located on 34 Road. The donation cards are then converted into Meijer food-only gift cards and given to The Salvation Army. The partnership runs through October 2 >> MORE INFO HERE
- Vacation Bible School will be held July 19-23 from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
- Stuff the Bus, an annual campaign to raise school supplies for children in the community, will run Aug. 6-8.
- On Aug. 14 and 28, Meijer will double match any Simply Give donation cards purchased >> MORE INFO HERE
The Salvation Army of Fulton Heights
serving the Grand Rapids area and Kent County
- With the easing of statewide COVID-19 restrictions, several activities are “back to normal” at Fulton Heights, which is led by Auxiliary Captains Mika and Grace Roinila.
- Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 70-80 seniors are welcomed into the Fellowship Hall for activities, exercise, Bible studies, musical entertainment and lunch.
- Day Camp offers daily care for about 20 children, ages 5-12, and provides activities such as crafts, games and plenty of field trips. The day campers enjoy weekly visits to Little Pine Island Camp.
- The corps is hosting open archery opportunities throughout the summer as it continues to grow and expand its archery program.
- To build bridges and integrate mission, members of the Women’s Ministry Program were joined by many individuals from the Seniors Program for a day-long field trip to Shipshewana earlier in June.
- The church continues to have a positive impact on community members.
- Auxiliary Captains Mika and Grace, along with other Salvation Army staff members, delivered donuts to Grand Rapids area first responders on National Donut Day (June 4) as a way to recognize and thank them for their service to the community.
- To continue building bridges in the community, the corps is looking forward to its open-air meetings on July 25, Aug. 22 and Sept. 12.
- The corps invites everyone to attend its Olympics-themed FX (family experience) event on July 26.
The Salvation Army of Grand Haven,
serving northern Ottawa County
- Majors William and Heather Holman lead the corps, which continues to provide its regular services to the Grand Haven community. This includes food baskets, rent and utility assistance, and the homeless shelter program. Currently, there are four families in the corps’ shelters.
- The corps unveiled the new expansion to its community center during a public dedication on Saturday, May 8. The $2.2 million expansion adds approximately 5,800 square feet to the current building and includes a new gymnasium/multi-purpose room, kitchen, bathrooms, office space and classrooms. The expanded structure continues to house current programming and allows for the growth of critical and new programs.
- Vacation Bible School for children entering kindergarten thru sixth grade will be held Aug. 16-20 from 1-4 p.m. each day. Register online >> HERE
- The community is invited to a carnival and back-to-school backpack giveaway on Saturday, Aug. 21 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- The corps is averaging 30 households per month with approximately 80 individuals served. There has been a rise in new people requesting assistance as about 25 of those are new households each month.
The Salvation Army of Holland,
serving Allegan County and southern Ottawa County
- Under the leadership of Majors Cyndi and Amos Shiels, The Salvation Army of Holland continues to serve the community through its social services programs and Red Shield Center Program.
- During the spring, a group of Asbury University students put on a creative arts weekend at the corps. Community members participated in the events, which culminated in a creative arts exhibition on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.
- This past spring, volunteers from the Red Shield Center provided kids in the community with guitar lessons, crafts and archery classes.
- The Red Shield Center launched a series of adult programs including pickleball and indoor walking, and partnerships with local volleyball and basketball clubs.
- The advisory board hosted an open house for donors who contributed to the new facility. A highlight of the open house included honoring Mayor Les Hoogland, who is a life member and has served more than 45 years on the advisory board.
- Day Camp is offering kids a chance to participate in activities like sports, music and outdoor fun, and special events at the Outdoor Discovery Center. One special event was a program put on by a “Strongmen” Christian group.
- Campers have also been able to take a journey to Little Pine Island Camp for some outdoor summer fun.
- A community impact focus group meets to assist The Salvation Army in examining ways to better serve its diverse community.
- The Red Shield Center will host an upcoming STEM Day. With a focus on aviation, the day includes a series of learning modules, a field trip to the airport and the chance to operate a flight simulator.
- In July, Day Camp families will have a chance to get together for a “summer family” ice cream social.
- The corps’ social services team will take over the Quarterly Government Commodities Distribution program for the area.
- The annual backpack distribution program will provide hundreds of kids supplies for the upcoming school year. An added program for this fall includes a partnership with local businesses to provide local teachers with school supplies.
SERVICE STATISTICS (Jan. 2021 – May 2021):
- The number of Pathway of Hope participants increased in the spring to more than 20 families and 94 individuals.
- Direct services have seen significant increases this spring, including 4,028 individuals receiving food assistance, 397 individuals receiving utility assistance, and 561 individuals benefiting from the rental assistance.
- The social services team continues to serve on the frontlines throughout the year, providing contactless food distributions to clients.
The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Grand Rapids
- Active Families Campaign: Select Kroc Center programs are free for those who have family memberships. This campaign began earlier in the spring and will continue this summer. It encourages families to try new activities and become more engaged both with the Kroc and with each other. Programs are available in areas such as aquatics, fine arts, martial arts and gymnastics.
- Summer Camp: Registration for Camp Kroc opened this past spring and quickly filled up. Every week this summer, 50 campers are spending their days at the Kroc Center enjoying activities such as fitness classes, art projects, sports, games, swimming and Bible lessons.
- Fit Kids Partnership: Each year, the Kroc Center works with students from Godfrey-Lee Elementary for the Fit Kids program. The goal of the program is to prevent childhood obesity by combining education about nutrition, behavior and exercise with a wide range of physical activities to help participants develop healthy habits and become more active. This spring, the students participated in a one mile run contest and the winners each received a new pair of shoes. The Kroc Center partnered with local running store, Striders, to provide the shoes.
- Storytime in the Park: The Kroc Center is partnering with Storytime GR for their Storytime in the Park event on Tuesday, Aug. 3 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Garfield Park. All children 15 and younger will receive free books and all family members will receive free ice cream. Kroc Center information will also be distributed.
- Kroc Block Party: We’ll wind down the summer with a big Kroc Block Party on Friday, Aug. 20 from 5:30–10 p.m.. This outdoor event is free for everyone. The Kroc will have its giant slip and slide open, lots of games for families on our outdoor campus, and opportunities to connect with other local resources.
The Salvation Army of Ludington,
serving Manistee, Mason and Oceana Counties
- The corps, led by Corps Administrators Jon and Tammy Miller, continues to provide crucial social services.
- Nine children from Mason County are attending summer camp at Little Pine Island Camp. The campers have enjoyed archery, arts and crafts, ax throwing, Bible study, climbing, swimming, ziplining and more.
SERVICE STATISTICS (Jan. 2021 – May 2021)
- The corps has served 11,000 Farm to Family food boxes in the three counties it services.
The Salvation Army of Muskegon,
serving Muskegon County
- During National Salvation Army Week in May, the corps, led by Majors Mark and Valerie Nance, prepared “thank yous” for volunteers, community partner agencies, first responders and advisory board members.
- The corps’ Red Shield Scramble golf outing will be held on Friday, Aug. 27 at Chase Hammond Golf Course (2454 Putnam Road). The outing is a 9 a.m. shotgun start and the $70 registration fee covers golf and lunch >> REGISTER ONLINE