Operation Christmas in Long Beach
College students reach out to the community.
by Christopher Golden –
Members of Long Beach City College student service clubs, “Ladies of Athena” and “The Men of Maltzan” are providing The Salvation Army in Long Beach, Calif. with a valuable service to the community—they are providing themselves. All of these students possess a skill that many corps community centers would like to have—they are bilingual. Currently, these student volunteers are assisting with Operation Christmas.
In Long Beach, many languages are spoken. There is, however, a large Spanish-speaking population with needs.
Salvationist Jennifer Longtjo, a student at the college, proposed to her club, Ladies of Athena, that they provide assistance to her corps. They agreed. She also spoke with her boyfriend, Marcos Avalos, a member of The Men of Maltzan, and he too asked his club to volunteer time for the Operation Christmas program by serving as intake workers.
Long Beach Corps Officer Major Glen Madsen said, “These students allow us, The Salvation Army of Long Beach, to continue our mission of ‘Doing the Most Good’ for our community and to meet the need to speak to people in their language.”
Captain Korina Acosta, corps officer of Long Beach Temple Corps and the director of volunteers said, “Because of the services these students provide, we are able to process clients quickly. They have such care for this community where they were raised. This is the second year that we have teamed with them, and we look forward to having a long-standing relationship with these students.”