Salvation Army Receives Donation from Local Junior High School

Jun 21, 2019

The Salvation Army Crossgenerations Corps community center in Blue Island, Illinois, recently received a generous donation from an unlikely source: a local junior high school.

Liberty Junior High in nearby Burbank held a walkathon on May 24 and gave the proceeds to the Army. The school gave the $4,000 they raised to the Army as a way to honor a local pizza shop owner who is generous with the school and a big fan of the Army. Years ago, he got on the road to recovery from substance use disorder at an Army rehab center.

The school invited Army officers and staff to speak at an assembly on May 20, sharing how the money will help people in their neighborhood. Captain Joanna Rose shared about the Blue Island corps’ robust ministry to the senior population. To help fight the issues people often face in their later years – depression, loneliness, health problems, isolation – the corps provides them community in their feeding program.

“It’s a beautifully run program,” Captain Rose said. “Seniors eat at linen-covered tables, are served a delicious meal and can do a number of activities – jewelry making classes, card clubs, chess club, ping pong, monthly birthday celebrations, bingo, lots of parties with professional entertainment.”

Gerardo Cielo, the corps’ youth development coordinator, spoke about their work with children and young adults, including partnerships with Illinois Extension and 4H. Elizabeth Navarro, the corps’ social worker, shared how she helps those in difficult situations through the Army’s Pathway of Hope program. She spoke about what it's like to meet people on their worst days and the privilege it is to bring hope to their situations.

All of these programs will benefit from the students' donation.

The Friday following the assembly, Army officers and staff went back to the school to cheer on the kids as they participated in the walkathon. They handed out Salvation Army T-shirts and stuffed dogs to the kids and took pictures with members of the National Honor Society, who sponsored the walk and fundraising efforts.

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