Local News

Salvation Army meets variety of needs

Baby Hailey is part of the third generation of Sandi Williams' family to benefit from Salvation Army services.

Date: 11/8/2009

Posted by Salvation Army on 11/9/2009


By RACHAEL GRAY

rgray@gctelegram.com

Rachael Gray/Telegram      Members of team three slurp down a a drink at Sonic, 1313 E. Kansas Ave., Friday night during a scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt was part of Teen Night, a weekly gathering at Salvation Army. Any youth age 12 to 17 is welcome to come to Teen Night.

Rachael Gray/Telegram Members of team three slurp down a a drink at Sonic, 1313 E. Kansas Ave., Friday night during a scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt was part of Teen Night, a weekly gathering at Salvation Army. Any youth age 12 to 17 is welcome to come to Teen Night.

Hailey was born to Williams' daughter, Melissa Timberlake, 27, on Thursday morning.

Williams said Melissa had bought baby items from the Salvation Army store before Hailey was born.

Williams said the family uses the organization's many services in addition to shopping at its thrift store.

"They've always been helpful. They really reach out to the community. Their service and church service is wonderful," Williams said.

She said she's used donations from the Salvation Army during Christmases, for food, and has used the organization's generosity for utility bill and medical assistance.

Williams has worked in the Salvation Army thrift store before, and this year hopes to be a bell ringer during the holiday season.

Williams' daughter, Jennifer Timberlake, 26, said she goes to the Salvation Army for all sorts of things. She said she usually goes once or twice a week for food boxes, bread or to get helpful advice on life and finances.

Jennifer said when she got a job, the Salvation Army gave her a voucher for clothing so she could purchase the proper apparel for her job.

"They help out as much as they can. There's no limit on how much they can help," Jennifer said.

Robert DeLeon, community center director for the Salvation Army, started the job on Monday. He echoed Jennifer's sentiments.

"People can come through the door and get all kinds of services," DeLeon said. "We try to offer support and help for everyone and give them a chance to improve their lives," he said.

Capt. Craig Lurtz describes the services as being like a Swiss Army knife.

"Whatever you need, it kind of folds out of there," he said.

Lurtz runs the Garden City Kansas Corps of the Salvation Army.

The agency operates youth group and mentor programs, in addition to its social service and assistance programs.

Lurtz said the youth group and mentor programs are intended to be an alternative to alcohol, tobacco, drugs or gangs, and a place the youth can go to find an adult who cares about them.

"If we can't give everyone everything they need, we can at least give them hope," Lurtz said.

The $28,000 the agency will receive from the United Way in 2010 goes toward both the youth and client-assistance programs, Lurtz said.

That makes up about 15 percent of the Salvation Army's overall budget, with the remainder coming mostly from community contributions and profits earned at the clothing store.

The United Way, which is in the midst of its 2010 fundraising campaign, has a fundraising goal of $550,000 this year.

The Salvation Army is one of 21 organizations receiving United Way funding this year. The rest are: United Methodist Mexican-American Ministries, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Finney and Kearny Counties, Community Day Care, Emmaus House, Spirit of the Plains CASA, Russell Child Development Center, Smart Start, Garden City Recreation Commission Playground Program, Miles of Smiles, United Cerebral Palsy of Kansas, American Red Cross, Catholic Social Service, Family Crisis Services Inc., Meals on Wheels, Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Association, Garden City Family YMCA, Finney County RSVP, Santa Fe Trail Council Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland.


Salvation Army

Contact: Capt. Craig and Capt. Louise Lurtz

Address: 216 N. Ninth St.

Phone: 276-4027

Hours: Social Service Center 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; Youth Center 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday