Summer Updates from Up North

Jun 28, 2021

Corps across the Western Michigan and Northern Indiana Division are committed to serving their communities year-round. In a five-part summer series, we’ll be bringing to light some of the ways in which corps are preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and meeting human needs in His name without discrimination. This week, the upper Michigan corps of Sault Ste. Marie, Petoskey and Traverse City are featured.

The Salvation Army of Petoskey,
serving Emmet, Charlevoix and Antrim Counties


  • The corps, led by Envoys Greg and Bethany Irwin, continues to deliver about 160 warm meals to seniors, mobility-impaired and homeless individuals every Friday.
  • About 30 carryout lunches are provided on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for those in need and able to visit the corps to pick up.
  • The food pantry has returned to being open for five hours Monday-Friday for in-person services.
  • Emergency financial assistance is being supplied to many in need.
  • Envoys Greg and Bethany are beginning to resume their visits to assisted living homes for seniors. On the visits, the Envoys share in fellowship with residents, offer companionship and fun activities, and provide gifts at Christmas and Easter.


  • School is out for summer, which means the after-school program has concluded, but there is plenty of summer programming and trips planned for the kids.
    • There are three Kids Days planned with each day lasting from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.: June 17 at the corps, July 9 at Lavender Hill Farms, July 16 at Indian River Summerfest.
    • An overnight trip to Little Pine Island Camp on July 21-22.
    • Vacation Bible School will run from Aug. 17-19 from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day.
  • Resuming July 15 and continuing every other week, support dinners for 50-60 men in recovery will start back up. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings follow dinner, which consists of pizza, salad and dessert.
  • Give hope to struggling local families and donate at a red kettle during Christmas in July on July 2.  >> Check out the list of red kettle locations here. 
  • The corps will be participating in the Boyne City, Harbor Springs and Petoskey Fourth of July parades.
  • Stuff the Bus is back this summer. From Aug. 6-8 at Walmart in Petoskey, the corps will be collecting school supplies to give to area children.
  • Three Watermelon Parties will be held throughout the summer: June 23 from 5-7 p.m. at Traverse Woods, July 27 from 5-7 p.m. at Pine Cove Apartments, and Aug. 16 from 5-7 p.m. at Maple Village Apartments. Everyone is welcome to attend these parties, which include a hot dog dinner, watermelon, games and more.
  • Join the corps for Lunch By The Bay on Aug. 10 at 1 p.m. at Bayfront Park. In addition to lunch and a silent auction, bestselling author Kathleen Irene Paterka will be the guest speaker. For more information and to purchase tickets >> click here. 
  • The corps’ annual Rally Day worship celebration and blessing of the backpacks will be held on Aug. 22 from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Walloon Lake Park. More information can be found >> here. 

SERVICE STATISTICS (Jan. 1-May 31, 2021):

  • Petoskey’s emergency meal team delivered 3,440 hot meals, which included dessert and an encouraging Bible verse, to seniors, mobility-impaired individuals and shut-ins.
  • 1,935 curbside lunches were provided on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.


The Salvation Army of Sault Ste. Marie,
serving Chippewa, Mackinac and Luce Counties


  • Under the direction of Envoys Eric and Denise Gilbert, the corps has started a summer series of outdoor worship services in The Salvation Army Family Store parking lot. The series is called “Telling God’s Story Beyond the Corps Walls” and is fashioned after what Salvation Army founder William Booth did in the streets of East London in the 1800s. The first service was held Memorial Day weekend and of the 32 individuals in attendance, many were new seekers or had not been to a Sunday meeting for a while due to the pandemic. There will be three more outdoor services held this summer, all starting at 11 a.m.: July 4, Aug. 1, Sept. 5.
  • Vacation Bible School was held at the corps the week of June 21. The corps was excited to hear children’s voices in the building again and share God’s word with them. 


  • Plans are being made to have retired officers, who visit the Upper Peninsula in the summer months, to perform a brass band concert at the Aug. 1 outdoor parking lot service.
  • A Community Appreciation Day is in the works for later this summer. The Chippewa, Mackinac and Luce County communities are very supportive of The Salvation Army and the corps would like to express gratitude for all the help provided.


The Salvation Army of Traverse City,
serving Grand Traverse, Leelanau and Benzie Counties


  • Behind the leadership of Lieutenants Matthew and Haylee Winters, the corps is offering a Free Food Market on Mondays and Wednesdays from 12-1 p.m. in the parking lot of The Salvation Army Community Center. The market is open to anyone in need and provides an array of fresh fruits, vegetables, bakery items, dairy, protein, non-perishable food items and hygiene items. For more info about the Free Food Market >> click here.
  • Individuals and families can grab a to-go meal from the Emergency Disaster Services vehicle in the Community Center’s parking lot from 12-1 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • Summer Day Camp for kids is back and underway at the Community Center. The corps is excited to share in the happiness and excitement that the campers are experiencing. 
  • The corps is hosting a health and hygiene drive. Help give the gift of a fresh start by donating the following items: hand soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and toilet paper. Donations can be dropped off at the Community Center Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. >> Click here for more info.


  • Need knows no season and the corps is inviting the community to show their support during the Christmas in July Red Kettle Campaign on July 23 and 24. The goal is to raise $10,000 and the funds will help support local programs. To sign up to be a bell ringer and for more information >> click here.



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