Front lines- News briefs of the West

“…the truth will set you free” (John 8:32 NIV).

Karen Gleason, Editor


ANCHORAGE, ALASKA—The Alaska Division, partnering with Catholic Social Services and Lutheran Social Services, held the annual HUGSS and Coats for Kids event. This year—the Army’s 11th year of involvement—saw the total number of kids served by the project surpass 50,000.

“This works because of collaborative relationships and the support of businesses and friends who supply time and resources to make sure kids are equipped with the tools they need to be successful learners,” said Jenni Ragland, representing Alaska divisional headquarters.

GRAND JUNCTION, COLO.—The Grand Junction Corps, led by Captains Daniel and Terrie Wilson, provides a free lunch three times a week during the academic year to high school students who otherwise would go without.

A year ago, the corps served about 48 students once a week, but that number increased to 158 at last count. Many of the youth now attend corps programs.

Local restaurants and the food bank contribute and a nearby yak rancher occasionally donates meat.

 PORTLAND, ORE.—Bonnie Robb—soldier, worship leader, band and songster member at the Portland Tabernacle Corps—has received the Teacher of Honor Award from Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education.

Robb has served in Portland public schools since 1998; currently she is the K-5 Math Achievement Coordinator. Inspired by her work with kids from impoverished backgrounds and English as a second language, she helped develop a visual-teaching method to build literacy and overcome these challenges.

Robb received the Milken Family Foundation Oregon Teacher of the Year in 2008.

 ANACORTES, WASH.—Sonja Erlandson—track athlete and Anacortes corps member—ran three legs of the “Torch Run,” a six-mile race from Burlington, Wash., to Mount Vernon, to support Special Olympics Washington. Competing in track and field, she won the 10K, placed second in the 5K and earned fifth spot in the shot put.

Lts. Joshua and Ryan Boyd are Anacortes corps officers.

 BILLINGS, MONT.—Volunteers from the Billings Corps, including students aged 18 and under, maintain an orchard of 50 apple trees in a vacant lot next to the corps building—planting the trees, watering, harvesting and selling the apples and the cider they make from them.

Other volunteers helped with the initial planting, but Corps Officer Major Kevin Jackson said, “The kids take over once the trees are in the ground.” The earnings go into a college fund for them.

Ultimately, organizers hope to plant 300 trees throughout the Billings area.

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