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Petaluma Corps partners with Elks Club for community outreach 

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When the Petaluma (California) Elks heard The Salvation Army Petaluma Corps was in need of funding for its food pantry program that helps some 450 households a week with food and aid, the Elks applied to the Elks National Foundation for a $2,000 grant, which they received and donated to The Salvation Army to help families impacted by COVID-19. 

“This infusion of funds could not have come at a better time,” said Salvation Army Petaluma Corps Officer Major Mitham Clement. “The need for assistance from local families could not be greater due to the extraordinary circumstances we find our communities in at this difficult time.” 

The COVID-19 grant donation was not the first time the Petaluma Elks Lodge #901 has partnered with The Salvation Army Petaluma Corps to provide services and support for families in the community. 

The Petaluma Elks Lodge #901, in following their fraternal order mandate to help in the community, applied for and received a $10,000 grant from the Elks National Foundation for Community Improvement—prior to COVID-19—to create a youth and family support program for the local community. After some searching, the Petaluma Elks found a new, centralized location to implement the program: The Salvation Army’s Youth Center.   

David Adams, a member of Elks #901, is the Advisory Board Chairman of the Petaluma Salvation Army and helped make available the recently remodeled hall and office space in The Salvation Army’s Youth Center. After a meeting with Clement, Elks #901 started to pull together the needed furniture, supplies, set schedules and train volunteers to launch the programs. Then the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and like everyone else, Elks #901 had to quickly rethink and restructure to continue forward, which is where the $2,000 grant for the food pantry came in.  

At the youth center, students have access to computers, making it possible for them to finish their school work needed to graduate. A young woman, who worked her way out of a difficult situation, was provided support to submit job applications, and found work. The youth center also provides a space for children in foster care to have visitation with their families.

The Petaluma Elks look forward to continuing to partner with The Salvation Army and will be working on opening the youth center to full capacity as soon as it can be done safely for all involved. In the meantime, volunteer Elks have started going through the process of background checks and fingerprinting in order to create the 15-member team of volunteers that will be working with the families and children. 

Through all of what the community is going through during these unprecedented times, The Salvation Army and the Elks have stepped up to provide much-needed resources and help to fill the gaps that too often create insurmountable hardships for youth, families and seniors. By working together, the organizations can continue to assist those in need.  


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