By Bob Bearchell –
Capt. Arthur Storey, territorial emergency & disaster coordinator, reports from Guam that the relief efforts after Typhoon Paka continue in full swing. Eleven Salvation Army officers and 153 volunteers have touched the lives of 27,577 affected by the disaster.
One soldier had the opportunity to recover the most important items from her house before being evacuated. She took her S.A. uniform, songbook and Articles of War. She and her two sons are living in the homeless shelter at Anderson Air Force Base with hundreds of others. At the Sunday meetings held on the base, she witnesses in her clean uniform. What a wonderful testimony!
Major Ruth Looker, Overseas Children’s Sponsorshp Director, reports that sponsorships in 1997 increased more than 77.7 percent over 1996. One encouraging note is the increase in the number of Army young peple who have become sponsors. Also, one officer responded to her child’s desire to be a sponsor by giving a year’s sponsorship as her Christmas gift to her child. The need has also increased, however. Currently more than 150 children are still waiting for a sponsor–and new cases arrive each week. One potential sponsor has indicated an interest in sponsoring several children. Twenty dollars a month brings a blessing and thrill to both child and sponsor.
ARC CORPS THRIVES
Major Marilyn Gregory, ARC corps coordinator, represented the ARC Command at the first anniversary of the ARC Corps at Canoga Park, Calif. Corps Officer A/Captain Barbara Sloan pointed out 11 ARC graduates in the crowd. Many wives and children attended. There are thoughts of expanding the chapel as the number grows. Similar ministries are being proposed in Denver and Carpinteria ARCs. Praise God for this ministry!
We were pleased to learn that a video produced locally for the Colorado Springs Annual Civic Dinner has been honored with an award of distinction from Communicator Awards. “We have always felt very good about this public relations tool, but are thrilled with the recognition,” states Major Steve Owen, county coordinator.
KIDS HELP KIDS
Major Robert Smith, Longview, Wash., is proud of their Coats for Kids Program. Each year Dr. Fred Bishop, long-time member of their advisory board, organizes this program. Over the past 12 years more than 26,000 coats and sweaters have been given to children and adults at Christmas and throughout the year. This year a record 5,650 were collected and distributed. Four local dry cleaning establishments clean them at no cost. The community service class of Cascade Middle School has taken the lead in this program for the past few years–1,133 this year. Now, that’s involvement!
CENTURY IN EL PASO
The Salvation Army will celebrate 100 years of service to the needy and disadvantaged families in El Paso, Southern New Mexico and Juarez, Mexico. As part of this celebration, the First Annual Ambassador Raymond L. Telles Humanitarian Award will be presented at a banquet in February.
The first recipient of this award will be Ambassador Bill Richardson, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. This is in recognition of his efforts to free hostages in many of the world’s trouble spots. Knowing Captain Mike Olsen, county coordinator, it will be a well-planned and attended event.