El Paso finds a way to share

by Jean Rigney Major – 

VOLUNTEERS CLEAN AND repair light fixtures at the Army’s homeless shelter in El Paso.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. “ (Matthew 7:7 NIV)

In El Paso, Tex., The Salvation Army’s challenge is to run a quality shelter and provide corps programs using limited finances. That is, our resources seemed limited until we turned to God, whose resources are unlimited!

This past November, for example, El Paso County Coordinator Major Joseph Huttenlocker, stated, “Since we only have 12 turkeys we are going to cancel Thanksgiving dinner.” El Paso Community Relations and Development Director Guadalupe Cano Daley went to work to meet this need. Using a network developed over her years with the Army, she got the message out to individuals who could help. An e-mail campaign was started, initially to 300 people, asking for food donations so we could have our traditional meal. Before Thanksgiving arrived, we received over 800 turkeys. Because of the generosity of friends here in El Paso, the Army was able to share with the Las Cruces Corps, the Ejercito de Salvacion de Cd. Juarez, Chih. Mexico and eight other agencies.

We also needed help with the physical maintenance of our homeless shelter. Local service clubs and sororities had ex-pressed a desire to help and Daley came up with a plan. On the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday groups from the University of Texas at El Paso and Bowie High School arrived to paint the entrance of the building, the administration hallways, the day room of the family shelter and the main dining room. An interior decorator selected a color scheme to brighten and make the place “like home” for the clients. They even hung curtains! A total of 115 people gave their holiday to work at The Salvation Army in El Paso—as a result our shelter is more inviting to our clients and the colors help stimulate the children who live in this facility.

We still needed some electrical work done and once again God led us in the right direction. A simple request for someone to look at the light fixtures turned into an instructor from El Paso Community College volunteering his 14 students to spend a morning cleaning the light fixtures and replacing or repairing them throughout the shelter.

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