Inland Empire Shows Strong Growth Trends

Corona Opens Corps

by Brian Pickering

Lt. Colonel Raymond Peacock, territorial secretary for program, and Major Donald Bell, Sierra del Mar divisional commander, recently helped dedicate the division’s newest corps in Corona, Calif. Also present were Lt. Colonel Carolyn Peacock and Major Debora Bell, and other divisional staff.

“The Army has grown in this area and is reaching more lives, both physically and spiritually,” said Lt. Jack Bowen, who with his wife, Lt. Luci Bowen, is corps officer. “In our family services department, we’ve added a sack lunch program three days a week for the needy, homeless and working poor, plus we have several volunteers helping in our office. We’ve also seen our attendance grow in our community programs and church services.”

Services include a weekly program for boys and girls, a women’s fellowship, Bible study and Sunday church services. Bible study is also held at the Army’s Circle of Hope shelter in town. “It’s extremely satisfying to know that The Salvation Army has been able to help clients change their lives for the positive,” says Bowen.

Moreno Valley Outpost

The Salvation Army’s family services had been housed in a small office, graciously donated in a local church. After a year, the first outpost in this Riverside County community has been opened.

Envoy Martin Cooper, who with his wife, Nancy, is in charge, says, “Many people think of Moreno Valley as a small town. But there are well over 100,000 residents here, meaning a lot of people will benefit from our presence, both socially and spiritually. Our goal is to build a strong church and respond the best we can to the needs of the community.”

Cooper added that they will help clients find employment and provide an after-school program so the parents can work, and help keep the family structure solid through counseling and programs. Within the first two weeks of operation, 44 families were assisted.

The Coopers attended and helped at the Hemet Corps before coming to Moreno Valley. Though they are new to the Army, their experience in outreach goes back 17 years, leading teams to Mexico and Nicaragua to help in a variety of areas. “I believe our experience is one thing the Army looked at in bringing us to Moreno Valley,” Cooper said.

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