Officers Spotlight: Captains Chuck and Dana Cook, Council Bluffs Corps

Dec 22, 2020

When Captains Chuck and Dana Cook arrived as new officers at the Council Bluffs Corps last July, it was immediately clear to them that the COVID-19 pandemic was having a dramatic impact on the community – particularly in the area of food insecurity. The Cooks rolled up their sleeves and got straight to work. “We came right into distributing lunches to families in need at the local high school every Wednesday,” recalled Capt. Dana.

The corps continues to collaborate with its non-profit partners on the Lakin campus to offer food distributions twice a month, and the need is only increasing. “Last month we had so many people, we ran out of food,” said Capt. Dana.

“You can see this happening across the whole nation – people are needing food because of loss of income, loss of businesses. So many parents have lost their jobs,” she added. “If we can help with food, that’s certainly something that can help offset costs for them, so they can pay their regular utilities and other bills.”

The Cooks are also seeing an increase in the number of families who applied for Christmas assistance. “We’ve all but doubled the number who signed up this year from last year,” said Capt. Chuck. At the same time, the number of volunteers who have registered to ring bells and help distribute toys is down.

The Cooks emphasize that if people aren’t comfortable ringing bells, there are other ways to support people in need, even during the pandemic. “Any way you choose to give – whether in time, cash, toys or food, it will all be put to good use in this community,” said Capt. Chuck – and not only at Christmastime, but well into 2021. The money raised by The Salvation Army during the holiday season is used to help individuals and families pay utility bills and receive food and social services all year long.

In spite of the challenges this year, the Cooks are confident needs will be met. “I hope and believe people will still help out where they can,” said Capt. Chuck. “And God does big things – way bigger than what we have control over. We are going to work as hard as we can to make sure everyone who needs it gets help, and we are going to lean on the everlasting arms of God to provide.”  

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If you’re wondering What can I do? to help “Rescue Christmas” for those in need this season, please consider volunteering as a bell ringer or making an online donation. Every bit helps – thank you!


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