By John Lee | [email protected] | Twitter: @jcl1987
The Salvation Army, now located at 801 N. Sumner, held a grand reopening Wednesday afternoon after a year of reconfiguring the nonprofit.
“Originally, we were a Corps. when acquiring the (old) building [at 200 N. Cuyler]said regional representative Shelby Huff. “They were a Body., Which is a church. It has evolved over the years in different ways. We had a thrift store, which became income for the service centre. »
After the church and officers left the Salvation Army, the building became a “service center”.
“We maintained the building, had employees, and had a thrift store,” Huff said. “Then over the years the dynamic of Pampa changed and we are now what is called a ‘service unit’.”
The main difference between a service center and a service unit is that the unit is run solely by volunteers.
“In July of last year, we restructured into a service unit,” Huff said. “Our Red Kettle season has gone down (nationally). When I started three years ago, I had over 150 volunteers. Now I have over 100 or so.
The Cuyler Street building has now been sold and the Salvation Army has moved into its premises on Sumner Street and has a new 10-member Advisory Council.
“I rebuilt the Council,” Huff said. “The Council at that time felt like it was the closing of a chapter for them. So most of them retired. Many of them had been on the Council since the 1980s We have new perspectives, new eyes and new excitement.
The new Salvation Army Board of Directors is made up of: Tommy Cox (Chair), Nicole Sturgill (Secretary, Camp Director), Sandy Crosswhite (Director of Social Services), Arrika Mitchell, Amy Crain, Bill Roy, Lois Parks, Destiny Pack, Dora Ryan and Serenity Ford.
Huff, who is originally from Pampa and employed by Salvation Army headquarters, said it was her community and she took a special interest in it.
The new office will be open two Wednesdays (the first and third) per month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Sandy Crosswhite is our director of social services,” Huff said. “She will be in the office and we will have other advisory board members (all volunteers) who will be in the office to come and help clients.”
The Salvation Army aims to provide financial assistance for rent, utilities, prescriptions, gas, fire emergencies, food aid and is planning to develop an emergency services program soon. in the event of a disaster.
“I partnered with local emergency personnel,” Huff said. “In the past, we have provided meals and supplies to firefighters. But, we want to take it and expand it. Our goal is to purchase a trailer, canopy tents and tables/chairs. So we can go to a place and provide meals and a place to rest.
In the long term, Huff would like to see the unit serve more than Gray County with the EDS mobile unit.
The Red Kettle season is the Salvation Army’s most recognizable fundraiser and the organization will begin recruiting volunteers for the 2022 season in October.
The Angel Tree program will also begin in October.
“Last year we helped 96 children with the Angel Tree to give them a Christmas,” Huff said. “This year we’re going to partner with Pampa ISD and structure it a little differently to reach those who might be shy about applying.”
The Salvation Army also has a summer camp program which saw 16 children from Pampas and 50 from the area go to summer camp.
“It’s a free, week-long summer camp at our camp in Midlothian, Texas,” Huff said. “They had so much fun and are ready for next year.”
Salvation Army appointments can be made at 806-664-1517. There will also be an app and a drop box at their location.
Huff said the Salvation Army’s reopening is more than a symbolic occasion for the organization.
“Our council has community leaders and when they talk and say they’re on the Salvation Army council, people say, ‘I didn’t know the Salvation Army was still there,'” said Huff.
“Technically we are. But this grand reopening was a re-introduction to the community so they understand how they can contact us and what we’re doing now. We will continue to meet human needs in his name without discrimination.
For more information about the unit, visit their Facebook page at “La Pampa Salvation Army”. The Salvation Army is a United Way agency.
“My vision for this is to help the community 100%,” Huff said. “I want the community to rely on us in the sense that they know we’re here and we’re active.”