Summer Updates from Northern Indiana
The Salvation Army of Elkhart,
serving Elkhart County
- Lieutenants Wayne and Katy Benedict celebrated their first anniversary at the Elkhart Corps on July 1.
- The food pantry is open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to serve those with emergency food needs.
- Emergency financial assistance is being offered to struggling families who have had unforeseen circumstances arise, such as needing necessary care repairs, falling ill, experiencing a loss of work hours, or dealing with impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Elkhart Corps seeks to restore these individuals and families to feeling physically and spiritually whole.
- Mobile Manna continues to provide nutritious food support for area shut-ins.
- Children’s programming in the summer is beginning to return to “normal,” and a successful week of Vacation Bible School was recently completed.
- From Aug. 6-8 and in partnership with area Walmart collection sites, the annual Stuff the Bus school supply drive will help Elkhart children receive much-needed items for the upcoming year.
- The Elkhart Corps will celebrate Rally Day on Sunday, Aug. 22 from 1-3 p.m. Special activities and food will be offered and the purpose of the event is to introduce more neighbors to the love of Jesus Christ and to raise awareness for the type of help that is available to those in need.
- The youth archery program is scheduled to begin again in September. This program has been a tremendous way to connect with area schools.
SERVICE STATISTICS (Jan. 2021 – June 2021)
- Regarding food, rent and utility assistance, trolley tokens for work transportation and emergency car repairs, 447 individuals were assisted during the first half of 2021.
The Salvation Army of Michigan City,
serving La Porte County
- The Michigan City Corps, led by Majors Dale and Becky Simmons, held their sixth annual Donut Day Eating Contest on June 4 at the Blue Chip Casino. Ten contestants from the area vied to see who could eat the most donuts in 10 minutes. Sgt. Andrew Hahn from the La Porte County Sheriff’s Department took home the title, finishing off nine donuts. As a fundraiser in the weeks leading up to the event, the public could purchase a vote for $10 to support the person they think would win. The fundraiser brought in nearly $2,500. Right before the contest, Blue Chip Casino Vice President and General Manager Brenda Temple presented a $50,000 donation to The Salvation Army.
- Because need knows no season, Christmas in July was held July 2-3. Bellringers and the iconic red kettles were stationed outside both Al’s Supermarket locations in the area. All of the money went directly back into the Michigan City Corps’ initiatives, which includes holiday services such as a large community Thanksgiving meal and food and toys at Christmastime, as well as year-round services like the food pantry, diaper bank, clothing room, backpack program, activities for youth, food program for senior citizens, Pathway of Hope case management and much more.
- Eighteen kids enjoyed summer camp with the corps.
- “Light the Path” dinner and auction will be held on Thursday, Aug. 12 at the Traditions Event Center. Music will be provided by Ludington (MI) Corps Administrator Jon Miller and food will be catered by Social Que BBQ. This event, which begins at 5:30 p.m., will benefit support services, including the Pathway of Hope case management program that works with local families to increase self-sufficiency and helps them achieve a brighter future for their children. In 2020, The Salvation Army of Michigan City provided 534 sessions of case management to families enrolled in Pathway of Hope. With the community’s help, the corps can continue to expand outreach and include more families in this goal-oriented program that brings hope, strength and courage to those who need it most. For more information about the event or to purchase tickets >> GET INFO HERE
The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in South Bend
- In July, the South Bend Kroc Center welcomed their new leaders, Auxiliary Captains John and Tracy Gantner and Lieutenant Kaitlin Fullop.
- The annual sports and summer camps are thriving. About 120 summer campers and 60 sports campers are enjoying fun activities such as swimming, horseback riding and going to see the new Space Jam movie.
- The recreation and summer camp department partnered with South Bend’s new semi-pro soccer team, which ran the Kroc’s soccer camp. The South Bend Lions FC also joined the Kroc family by purchasing memberships for all their players. The Lions are planning to host a Salvation Army Kroc Night at one of their upcoming games.
- The Kroc Center hosted a community blood drive to benefit the South Bend Medical Foundation in June and February.
- The aquatics team took the initiative to offer lifeguard certification classes to the community to help with the nationwide lifeguard shortage.
- Community partnerships allow the Kroc to offer fitness classes throughout St. Joseph County for kids of all ages this summer. Fit Kids sessions have been held at several schools.
- The Kroc is grateful for its partnership with the local NBC affiliate, WNDU-TV. In May, the aquatics team was live on the morning newscast with water safety tips. The Kroc Center is the location site for the station’s weekly “Wednesday’s Child” series that features foster children longing for a forever home.
- The Roseland Rotary Club’s $1 million hole-in-one contest started at the end of July at five local golf courses. One hundred percent of the contest’s proceeds benefit the Kroc Center’s various programs and mission. >> GET INFO
- The health and fitness team hosted an online fitness party in May for members who were uncomfortable returning to the center.
- The indoor triathlon made its return this year. During the COVID-mindful event, athletes utilized the pool, cycling bikes and treadmills.
- Vacation Bible School will be held Aug. 2-6. The theme this year is “Treasured, Discovering Your Price to God!”
- On Sept. 23, the Kroc will have its annual fundraiser, “An Evening at The Kroc, an Attitude of Gratitude.”
SERVICE STATISTICS (Jan. 2021 – June 2021)
- Over 1,800 weekend backpack meals complete with breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks from the Family Resource Center were provided to students with food insecurities.
- The Kroc has served nearly 1,400 people at the on-site Walter Meyer Food Pantry.
- The Kroc has provided about 50 scholarships for kids to attend summer camp.