‘Dear Echelon’–the power of a true story

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Event gives individuals a chance to share how The Salvation Army impacted their lives.

The first “Dear Echelon” storytelling event took place April 17 at the Academy Theater in Portland, Ore. Organized by The Salvation Army Echelon PDX Chapter, the occasion allowed five individuals to share The Salvation Army’s impact on their lives.

Each person took the stage individually and spoke for about 10 minutes, illustrating the different outreach ministries of The Salvation Army and its social services. Speakers included Stephan McFall, an adult rehabilitation center graduate; Ron McKnight, a Salvation Army board member who grew up in The Salvation Army; Fay Schuler, director of The Salvation Army West Women’s and Children’s Shelter; Terry Dean, a Salvation Army advisory council member who helped start an emerging leaders group; and Patrick Gannon, a descendent of the Irish Potato famine who discussed its relevance to the refugee crisis today.

“‘Dear Echelon exceeded my expectations and helped me learn more about what The Salvation Army is doing to help people in the community,” said Echelon PDX member Alix Crossland. “We are excited to make this an annual event where we can continue to reach out to the community to tell the story of the work of The Salvation Army and how it is changing lives.”  

The impact of an individual telling a personal story can be profound.

“I’ve been involved with The Salvation Army for over seven years, and I was blown away by the stories shared,” said Teresa Steinmetz, director of communications and marketing for The Salvation Army Cascade Division. “It’s amazing how many people are hurting and in need, and why The Salvation Army’s services are so crucial to our communities.” 

Echelon PDX is a group of young professionals that is helping The Salvation Army in Portland mobilize the next generation.

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