Lt. Colonel Bettie Love Honored by Soroptimists

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SAN FRANCISCO SOROPTIMIST President P. Eileen Fisher and Lt. Colonel Bettie Love.


Salvation Army Lt. Colonel Bettie Love has been named a Woman of Distinction by Soroptimists International of San Francisco. The award speaks to issues of empowerment for women and “eradication of the persistent and increasing burden of poverty on women.”

Soroptimist goals mesh easily with those of The Salvation Army. This year at the Redwood City Temple Corps, volunteers from the local club developed a major computer training program to help low-income women enter the workforce and give their children access to new technology.

In San Francisco the club also awarded an opportunity grant to a woman helping educators incorporate the contributions of parents into multi-cultural classrooms, offered a four-year scholarship to a straight A student entering Harvard, and honored high school students’ volunteer activities.

In her letter of commendation, San Francisco Soroptimist president P. Eileen Fisher noted Love’s efforts “to be aware, advocate and act on behalf of all the men and women whose lives you have touched and whose stories are written on your heart.”

Like all Salvation Army officers, Bettie Love knows literally thousands of such stories–telling them often to illustrate the Army’s work to advisory boards, service clubs and community groups. A recent Kiwanis club audience asked where The Salvation Army is headed and what will be the impact of current legislation and changing times. Her answer focused on the Army’s flexibility and, conversely, its ability to keep on doing effectively what it’s been doing for years.

Women’s roles in the Army illustrate the point. As ordained ministers, they’ve always been able to marry and bury, organize a grocery or clothing giveaway in the morning and still take time out to attend a Soroptimist luncheon and be back in time for the kids’ after school program. In some appointments, especially smaller communities without staff, they’re called upon to be everything from minister to bookkeeper to chief cook and bottle washer.

Today, specialized assignments are also increasing, in addition to traditional responsibilities. In the Bay Area, Major Debi Shrum is program secretary for the Golden State Division and Captain Evelyn Chavez is property secretary. In the Del Oro Division, Captain Jeanne Stromberg is financial secretary and Captain Tammy Larson has responsibility for Fresno’s Gablecrest Residence.

Captain Dawn Rocheleau is corps officer in Santa Clara while her husband George is Santa Clara County Coordinator in San Jose. Currently Lt. Colonel Bettie Love balances two jobs: 1) Director of Women’s Organizations in the Golden State Division, and 2) City Administrator for The Salvation Army’s San Francisco operations. She is the first woman officer to serve in that position.

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