Salvation Army Continues to Deliver Children’s Activities One Year Into Pandemic

Mar 26, 2021

Madison, WI (March 17th, 2021) – Throughout the pandemic, The Salvation Army of Dane County has been talked about for sheltering homeless individuals safely and effectively. But the organization is, and always has been, more than just emergency shelter.

Pre-pandemic, The Salvation Army’s (TSA) community center at 3030 Darbo Drive was buzzing with children taking part in free or low-cost after school programs, summer camps, sports teams, and more, nearly every single day. Families served are traditionally low-income or homeless and often rely on these services as childcare and supplemental education for their children.

When meeting in-person was no longer possible, Major Melissa Shiels and her team quickly shifted to continue to engage with and provide for the children and families that typically spent time at the community center.

Every week, Major Melissa and her staff create, pack, and hand deliver activity boxes to families connected through the community center. These boxes have included games, educational activities, snacks, and other items that encourage kids to step away from their screens and engage.

“The goal of the boxes was to give kids and families an activity they could do together, or separately, that was educational and could be a boredom buster while spending so much time at home,” Major Melissa explains. “Delivering the boxes has been a great way for us to stay connected with the families as we go through this pandemic together.”

In 2020, 1,316 activity boxes were hand delivered by TSA. This year, they’re serving 20 families with Character Building Boxes that give specific themed activities for kids to complete with their entire family. TSA Building programs are focused on helping children learn about themselves and the world through education, fellowship, service and worship. The goals of these programs are to develop positive social and communication habits, decision making and life skills with character and leadership.

“We miss the kids and they love to see us drop off the boxes at their doors every week. But, we look forward to the day we can safely be together in-person,” Major Melissa says.

Donations to the Salvation Army of Dane County go directly toward our services, with community center outreach like this being one of the critical areas. To donate, visit:


About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army annually helps more than 30 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is Doing The Most Good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood

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