BY LT. CASSONDRA GREY
Every Salvation Army corps needs to network and rally the support of community members and friends. Not only getting them involved in meeting the needs of others but buying into our mission and vision. Service clubs in particular can lend a hand in getting us into the community. Here are a few suggestions on how to make this connection.
First, whether you’re a corps officer, corps sergeant-major or soldier who wants to gain visibility, you’ll want to become a member of a local service club (i.e. Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions Club, etc.). This will provide an automatic and practical link between The Salvation Army and the community. Not only will you be communicating that you care about the needs of the community, but you’ll have plenty of opportunities to share the vision of The Salvation Army, and what “Doing the Most Good,” is all about.
Second, study the mission of your local service club and see how it relates to The Salvation Army’s mission. When you find that common thread, you can suggest combined service projects for your area that everyone can be excited about and motivated to do. For example, one of the goals of the Kiwanis Club is to help the youth of this world one child at a time. The Salvation Army has plenty of projects geared toward helping and providing for children.
Third, which flows naturally from the second, is to find a group project that is hands-on and provides a quick result. For example, at our corps in Owosso, Mich., we packed backpacks in the fall for children in need of school supplies. This was a hands-on joint effort, and within a couple of hours everyone could see how many children would receive a backpack full of supplies. Other projects could include: packing supplies for nursing homes, writing cards of encouragement for sick people, or making dinners for needy people at Christmas.
Most service clubs are just itching to get involved with the next big thing to help their community. Who knows, maybe The Salvation Army is just the vehicle through which they can make a difference.