Looking good…doing the most good

Community volunteers help Salvation Army improve facilities.

by Captain Bob Schmig –

Chandler gets a makeover
The Chandler, Ariz. corps received a makeover when about 30 firefighters sawed, drilled and assembled new doors and windows. Chandler Fire Department personnel volunteered to help get the building up to regulation—installing windows in all doors. With these windows, people can close the door for privacy but can also be seen for safety reasons while the door is shut.

“People are coming to us at a very vulnerable time in their lives,” said Corps Officer Captain Jason Koenig. “It’s hard to tell someone that all these strangers are going to be able to hear what you are saying. We don’t want to put them in that position.”

The project came at a critical time for The Salvation Army as the corps prepares to host food and gift drives during the upcoming holidays and more volunteers crowd into the building to assist.

Additionally, 200 volunteers from Valley Partnership, a real estate and development organization, installed playground equipment, grass, trees and plants and painted two buildings. “The project provides for than $150,000 of in-kind services and equipment,” said Koenig.

The new playground will include a rock-climbing wall, a tetherball court and playing fields for neighborhood youth to enjoy. The makeover projects show community support and allow The Salvation Army to improve services offered to the community.

Sierra Vista corps gets a new backyard
The Sierra Vista Corps recently received one of the newest backyards in southern Arizona. The project involved the coordinated efforts of Cox Communications, the United Way, Sierra Vista Corps soldiers and advisory board members, community volunteers, and Stan’s Fences.

Originally, the area behind the corps building had consisted of only dirt and a couple of storage containers. After the volunteers completed their work, the backyard was transformed and included a fully functional play set within a newly fenced in area. Picnic tables were added so the area could also act as an overflow seating area and to accommodate other outdoor activities.

“We like to focus our volunteer efforts on family-oriented projects,” said Tim Cervantes, Salvation Army advisory board member and director of system operations for the local Cox Communications.

“The volunteers that turned out to help with this project have been absolutely great,” said Corps Officer Captain Karen Schmig.

This is the second year in a row that Cox Communications has donated its time and resources to the corps. Last year, after seeing all that happens in the corps building, Cox employees focused their efforts inside the Salvation Army’s building by replacing flooring, painting walls and making a number of improvements to the structure itself.

With the feeding programs, corps programs and various children’s programs that have begun to flourish at the Sierra Vista Corps, this new addition is sure to bring joy to many people here for several years to come.

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