Frontlines — News Briefs of the West

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Bob Bearchell

By Bob Bearchell –

Cardboard boxes sheltered a group of 14 teens who tried “homelessness” in a project sponsored by the Portland Moore Street Corps (Lts. Doug and Colleen Riley, c.o.’s). First, they fed the hungry at the Harbor Light shelter downtown, and then the next morning toured the Army’s Greenhouse for homeless teens and learned more about the Harbor Light clients. After making it through the day fueled only by Kool-Aid, iced tea and water, they dug into 30 pizzas supplied by California Pizza Kitchen.

By the time they reached Lt. James Wooten’s house, they were ready to appreciate the comforts of home. “They’re learning,” said Wooten. “And that’s the whole point of this weekend.”

USE FOR USED BIKES

Fred Meyer Stores teamed up with the Army to collect used bicycles donated by customers during a bicycle sale at 55 of the company’s one-stop shopping stores throughout the Northwest. Meyer has a way to help recycle bicycles received as trade; customers got discounts on new bicycles; and children in need get bikes either directly or at low cost via Thrift Stores. A “win” for all sides! Great going!

ARC “GOOD TURN DAY”

A/Captains James and Barbara Sloan began a new type of “good turn day” at the Canoga Park ARC in conjunction with Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Woodland Hills, Calif.

Hospital employees filled 4,000 bags with donations. Traditionally done once a year with Boy and Girl Scouts, this is done through employers once or twice a year and puts the Army’s name into the community on an ongoing basis. “The employees can feel a part of the community,” says A/Captain James Sloan. “We are in the process of contacting other businesses in the area.” A great effort!

SCOUT PROGRAM PROSPERS

At Grand Junction Corps, Colo., 20 new Scouts and 13 new adult leaders were recently registered. New members came to the Army-sponsored program following visits by Corps Youth Director Toby Axelsson to local area schools to promote the program. Captain George Baker, corps officer, reports that the additions to the Cub Scout program bring the total number of registered to 28 and the total number of leaders to 16. The corps also sponsors a Boy Scout troop.

SUMMER LUNCHES HOT!

The Casper, Wyo., Star Tribune reports that The Salvation Army’s Free Hot Summer Lunch program served 6,615 lunches to 4,197 children this summer. Many were happy to have second helpings! The program has roughly tripled since its 1994 beginning. Food drives and private donations furnish funds for the meals. Lts. David and Darlene Roehl are corps officers.

BLANKETS FOR HOMELESS

Thousands of homeless men, women and children will be making Denver streets and shelters their home this winter. The Fourth Annual Gigantic Clean Sleep campaign is now underway asking the community for donations of their surplus comforters, blankets and sleeping bags, which will be cleaned by Gigantic Cleaners and distributed by The Salvation Army. Last year, hundreds of blankets were collected, cleaned and distributed to the homeless.

FUNDS FOR LIFEBOAT

Envoy Patrick Granat, in charge of the Turk Street Corps, San Francisco, says they recently held “Christmas in July” to help offset some of the difficulties due to defunding by United Way. There was a special kettle collection among some of the more affluent of the city. The amount realized was 20% over goal but the real benefit was increased public exposure to the Army’s situation.

Soldiers, staff, and friends of the corps who volunteered their time and energy are even more excited about other involvement in the Army as a result of this short-focused campaign.

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