Lending a hand: Salvation Army calls attention to poverty, works to help

The Salvation Army in Fort Dodge will mark National Salvation Army Week beginning Monday and continuing through May 21.

Local members of the organization are joining Salvation Army members from across the United States in asking Americans to learn about the needs of the millions of people living in poverty or near the poverty line.

“At any time in our own community of Fort Dodge, anybody could find themselves in need of some basic physical, social, emotional and spiritual help,” said Capt. Melody Hamelund, of the local Salvation Army.

“We are here to give that help as much as we can,” she added. “We encourage people during National Salvation Army Week to learn a little to help a lot in our local community.”

In Fort Dodge, The Salvation Army helps people with several different services, including a food pantry, a Monday through Friday lunch program, disaster services, medical and transportation assistance, household items, utility assistance, Christmas assistance, community care ministries, women’s ministries, youth programs, worship and Christian education.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 43.1 million Americans live in poverty and millions more live near the poverty line, The Salvation Army reported.

Approximately half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and one-third of adults between the ages of 18 and 64 live in low-income households.

“Human need comes in many forms that often go unnoticed,” said Lt. Col. Ron Busroe, the national community relations and development secretary for The Salvation Army. “Many adults skip meals to feed their children or choose between paying rent or paying utilities. Six out of 10 Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $500 emergency.”

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Salvation Army Week to be marked locally in FD

The United States Congress in 1954 approved a joint resolution to proclaim a week recognizing the humanitarian efforts of The Salvation Army, one of the nation’s largest and oldest faith-based health and human service providers.

This year, that week begins Monday and ends May 21.

“To celebrate National Salvation Army Week, we will be serving free coffee and sweets out of our emergency canteen vehicle, which will be located at The Salvation Army, 126 N. Seventh St. in the front lawn,” said Capt. Rick Hamelund, of the local Salvation Army. “All are welcome to stop by and enjoy.”

The free coffee and sweets will be available from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday.

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