SAFE campus dedicated to serve Alaskans

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New campus in Anchorage houses four Salvation Army programs.

by Jenni Ragland –

DIgnitaries cut the ribbon to open the SAFE Campus in Anchorage Alaska

A grand celebration was held recently as The Salvation Army in Anchorage marked completion of its new SAFE Campus. Four existing Salvation Army programs will relocate to the 3.93-acre campus, thereby enhancing the safety net of services to some of Anchorage’s most vulnerable populations, including abused children, homeless families and frail seniors. These programs include The Salvation Army Cares for Kids, McKinnell House, Older Alaskans Program and Family Emergency Services program.

Lt. Colonels Donald and Debra Bell, Western Territory chief secretary and women’s ministries secretary, respectively, traveled to Anchorage to participate in the dedication ceremony. Other dignitaries included Alaska legislators, Senator Johnny Ellis and Representative Kevin Meyer, who worked diligently to secure funding in this year’s state capital budget for the SAFE Campus. Diane Kaplan with the Rasmuson Foundation presented the foundation’s $870,000 check that was instrumental in completing the fundraising campaign for the $12.5 million project. Friends and supporters, including a group representing District 49-A Lions Clubs and the Lions Foundation who contributed to furnish the dining room where the dedication ceremony was held, filled every seat and spilled out into the hallway.

An open house carnival was held in the evening to provide an opportunity for the community to check out the new facilities and learn about the Army’s ministry in Anchorage. A live radio remote with KOOL 97.3 invited listeners to lend their support by phoning in donations to meet a $20,000 matching challenge grant provided by ConocoPhillips. At the end of the event, donations and pledges totaled just over $21,000.

Major Doug Tollerud, Alaska Divisional Commander, shared, “We started construction of the SAFE Campus in faith, trusting God would provide the resources needed to complete the project…God is good and we are incredibly blessed to have these wonderful new facilities to serve our community.”

Visit to listen to a news feature about the families who moved into The Salvation Army McKinnell House.

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