We made our first visit this season out to the Salvation Army of Muskegon back in the early part of November as they were ramping up for what was certainly a different Thanksgiving. Usually the Turkey Trot delivers hot Thanksgiving meals to families all over Muskegon County prepared by masses of volunteers who all gather in the morning to prepare and deliver the amazing dinner. Well, it might not have been prepared in advance this year but the food all got out or got picked up due to our current circumstances. As always, the Salvation Army found a way. Be it delivering doughnuts to soldiers on the frontlines of war years ago, or making sure that Thanksgiving is still a time where all get a chance to enjoy a great meal, the Salvation Army finds a way.
Christmas is no different. While the bells are still ringing, they might not be in quite as many places as you are used to. While the throngs of volunteers have to be scaled back a little to accommodate crowds and social distancing and the outreach has, like so many others, had to rely a little more on digital giving than traditional avenues, the need the Salvation Army serves is still there and, as you can probably imagine....it's greater than ever. From the need for those who are food insecure to to those kids who would otherwise go without, the Salvation Army of Muskegon is continuing to push ahead to meet those needs and they are in search of a hand, big or small in the final couple of weeks as we approach the holidays.
This year, those served by the Salvation Army will be getting a full Christmas meal, toys for the kids....2500 kids to be exact are in need, and they are doing it with the same struggles we all are. More with less seems to be what 2020 is going to us, but there's one thing that we in Muskegon are better at than anyone, and that's making sure we take care of our own and especially the children. We are a big enough community to have a strong backbone to support one another in times of need and we are small enough too, that we can generally see that need first hand among family and friends. We might not be perfect, be we can perfectly handle the up's and down's life throws our way and we can assure that no one goes without.
At the Salvation Army Muskegon today, the gym space is taken up with toys. Lots and lots of toys. From GI Joe to Barbie and everything in between, they are being sorted, stacked and preparred for delivery. They are still short a little and if you have it in your hear to help, you'll find the links and directions to do your part here. You'll also find ways you can help by being a "Virtual Bell Ringer" or maybe just make a little donation online to support this, or any of the other great work the Salvation Army does, like food pantry's, help with costs of living and more. They say they are "Doing the Most Good". There's an awful lot of good coming out of Shonat street and Major Valerie Nance and Lorri Dean of the Salvation Army are here to talk about it. Take a listen.
It's a long and storied history of the Salvation Army and the care they give to those in need. They help so many and like so many others, they are looking for a hand if ya can. From the food distribution during the pandemic which has been amazing, to the modified Turkey Trot to some Christmas cheer for those who might otherwise go without. The Salvation Army is there. Thanks to Lorri and Valerie for the few minutes today to talk about their work. To find out ways you can help, click on the Salvation Army logo below to visit their website.