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Every child deserves a childhood.

Strong Families Equal Strong Communities

The tools we freely offer to kids and families are rooted in God's love and work to strengthen the family bond.

We open our arms and our hearts to give families the support they need to grow together and thrive.

Helping a family thrive starts by ensuring their basic needs are met, then walking alongside them on the path out of poverty. Our Pathway of Hope program does just that, through long-term case management for families with children under the age of 18. We also come alongside families by providing space for them to do life together at our community centers. Families receive the physical, emotional and spiritual support they need through our programs to foster better, brighter futures together. For children, this includes hundreds of after-school programs, a safe place to play, summer camps, and in many cases, the option for sports and music programs they might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience.

Families can blossom when their needs are met.

Hungry children show seven to 12 times as many symptoms of conduct disorders such as fighting, blaming others, having trouble with a teacher and figures of authority, rule breaking, and stealing, than their not-hungry peers.

The Salvation Army helps families thrive through:

Overcoming Intergenerational Poverty

Once we've met a family's immediate needs, we invite them to participate in Pathway of Hope, our approach to securing a long-term path out of poverty. The program offers targeted services to families with children under the age of 18, both traditional and non-traditional family structures, that desire to break the cycle of crisis. Through case management, we focus on a family’s capabilities and raise hope by empowering them to overcome barriers on the path to sufficiency. Families set their own goals, and we partner with them to provide the resources needed to accomplish each one.

This program is available at every Salvation Army Worship and Service Center in the Midwest. Learn more about Pathway of Hope.

Kroc Community Centers

Salvation Army Kroc Centers serve families in a non-traditional way, through recreation and entertainment for all ages. Kroc Centers are state-of-the-art facilities that provide arts, education, fitness, and organized athletics opportunities. Youth can swim for the first time in their lives, young adults gain access to official-sized basketball and volleyball courts, families can join in fellowship at large-projection movie screenings, and more. Kroc Centers are strategically placed in communities with the most need — allowing families to see the beauty of their very own neighborhoods.

Individual and Group Counseling

Salvation Army officers – ordained pastors – are available for individual counseling. Many locations also offer special group counseling opportunities, such as Fatherhood in Action or counseling for specific difficulties. Contact your local Worship and Service Center to ask about weekly programming.

Youth Character-Building

Building character starts young and helps determine who a child will become in life. Our programs help develop a child's unique personality and individual strengths, based on Biblical principles.

Girls can attend Moonbeams (preschool to Kindergarten), Sunbeams (first through fifth grades) and Girl Guards (sixth through 12 grades). Boys can attend Moonbeams (preschool to Kindergarten), Adventure Corps Explorers (first through fourth grades) and Rangers (fifth through eighth grades).

Mentorship and Family Support

At The Salvation Army, we provide counseling and teaching assistance to empower kids of every age. A critical piece of this is our ability to recognize what level of assistance is needed, which varies drastically depending on socioeconomic conditions. We work closely with parents to develop trusting relationships and encourage support that continues at home.

After-School Programs

We bring children into an environment where the learning continues long after the bell rings. The Salvation Army operates hundreds of after-school programs to give kids a safe place to play, do homework and pursue extracurricular goals. During a time where they could otherwise be at risk, we open our doors to kids for growth in literacy, sports, arts and music skills.

Summer Camps

For many kids, summer camp is the first time they will see the world outside of their neighborhood. Each year, we enable thousands of children from low-income families to enjoy fresh air, exercise and new friendships through our annual summer camp programs. This camping experience is more than just a few days away from home. Here, children learn new skills and self-reliance. Trained counselors who understand their emotional needs and problems help them mature and grow. Camp activities include learning to swim, scouting, arts and crafts, music development and sports.

Broken families can be healed. You can help.

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Children are crying for help in our very own communities.

Over 11 million children are alone and lost after the school day ends.

When you give to The Salvation Army, you provide funding for vital programs such as after school care and character building.Donate now.


It takes a village.

There is no doubt that parents are tough, but even they need some rest. Afterschool programs help parents manage stress, be more productive at work, and more caring at home.

When you give to The Salvation Army, you provide funding for programs that help make families stronger and more loving.Donate now.


Kids need a safe place to be themselves.

Gangs are constantly recruiting for new members, so finding a kid who is alone and vulnerable is exactly what they look for. A gang-member is 60 times more likely to die by homicide then non-members.

When you give to The Salvation Army, you provide funding for programs that help support safe family centers and after school activities.Donate now.


Other Ways We Meet Needs