The Blessing of Bingo

Sep 1, 2021

Steven Hawkins, Resource Development Director for The Salvation Army St. Charles (Tri-City) Corps Community Center, offered this fun update on their community. (Photos taken before the latest mask mandates.) 

To many, playing bingo one morning a week may not sound like that exciting of an activity. But to seniors who have lost contact with their friends, who have had little interaction with the outside world, who have had almost no fun activities for over a year, playing bingo at the Salvation Army Community Center in St. Charles has been a blessing.

Starting back in June, every Thursday morning about 20 people come together to hear a devotional, have a snack, reconnect with others, and, yes, play bingo and win prizes.

“We have a food pantry and after-school and summer programs for children, but our seniors have also suffered greatly by having been cut off from interaction with others,” says Lieutenant Dena Smith, who is in charge of The Salvation Army St. Charles (Tri-City) Corps and Joe E. Anderson Community Center along with her husband, Lieutenant Scott Smith.

Line dancing for adults has also started back up. And the lieutenants look forward to when other senior exercise classes and computer classes can begin again to further facilitate their community of seniors being able to visit with each other even more.

“This is great. To be together again. To connect again. The socializing. The camaraderie. The fellowship,” says bingo attendee Cathi Agnoli. “And winning!”

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 programs  offered, such as bingo,  are not only in line with this mission but help to better connect with the community and to help the community reconnect with each other.

For more information on the Salvation Army St. Charles (Tri-City) Corps, please call 630.377.2769, check the website at, or stop by its location at 1710 S. 7th Ave. in St. Charles. You’ll learn about opportunities to participate, volunteer, donate, and even how to become a bell ringer this Christmas season.

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