TERRE HAUTE —
For 125 years, the Salvation Army has been helping residents of the Wabash Valley by providing basic needs for those without.
In celebration of its 125th anniversary, the Salvation Army Terre Haute is seeking 125 people or businesses to donate $125 each to help the ministry of serving needy individuals.
“This community is amazing,” auxiliary Capt. Gordon Hoag told the Tribune-Star, noting that the most recent Red Kettle Campaign during Christmas collected the most donations ever.
The need to provide assistance continues to grow. Capt. Cindy Hoag said more than 1,600 families were assisted during this past Christmas holiday season. That compares to 565 families assisted at Christmas time in 1966.
“We have seen a big increase in first-time assistance in the last year,” she said.
So far for the 125th anniversary campaign, 77 of the $125 donations have been received, and Gordon said he is hoping to collect the rest of the donations this week, during National Salvation Army Week.
The Salvation Army has been a fixture in Terre Haute since 1888. The organization was founded in 1965 in London, England, by William Booth, a Methodist pastor. Its name officially became Salvation Army in 1880, and by 1886 the organization had come to America.
The first Salvation Army office in Terre Haute was at Fourth and Swan streets. It is now headquartered at 234 S. Eighth St.
Gordon and his wife Cindy said they have seen a lot of good things happen for people in the Wabash Valley because of the Salvation Army. The food assistance program is extremely important, Cindy said, and the headquarters serves as a clearing house for seven different food pantries.
This week, donation bins are set up to receive canned food in recognition of National Salvation Army Week. The collection sites are Locust Street IGA, Baesler’s Market, Kroger on both U.S. 41 and Wabash Avenue, Walmart on U.S. 41, Employment Plus, and Dollar Tree on Wabash Avenue and Indiana 63.
The headquarters also accepts hygiene products such as soaps, deodorants, toothbrushes and toothpaste — items that cannot be purchased on Food Stamps. They also accept donations of baby items such as diapers, baby food and formula, as well as adult care items such as disposable undergarments.
A new social services program will be starting this year as well.
Pathway of Hope is a program designed to end generational poverty by teaching people how to break free of the public assistance system and become self-sufficient. The program will start small, Cindy said, with two families enrolled and linked with a mentor and possibly a pastor to offer encouragement.
“The idea is to target a single mother with children, to get her self-supporting, and so her children will learn that’s the lifestyle to have, not the dependence on social programs,” Cindy said.
Too often, she said, the people on those programs feel entitled to receive assistance, and have no experience living on the self-sufficient side of society.
“Pathway of Hope will start off with two families,” Gordon said. “We want to get a success story or two, and build on that.”
The program is being piloted in Terre Haute as part of the southern cluster after having seen success in northern Indiana for the past two years.
Anyone wanting to donate to the Salvation Army is encouraged to contact the Terre Haute headquarters at 812-232-4081 or go online to corps.salvationarmyindiana.org/terrehaute.
Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.
Check it out
During 2012, the Salvation Army provided the following services in the Wabash Valley.
• Distributed groceries to 4,837 people.
• Provided 4,107 people with personal hygiene and household items that cannot be purchased with Food Stamps.
• Gave 9,930 referrals or information to clients to seek additional resources in the community.
•Helped 169 families with rent to prevent homelessness or utility assistance to keep utilities connected.
• Assisted 559 children with basic school supplies.
Source: Salvation Army, Terre Haute website