ABC Columbia is our media sponsor for the Angel Tree program.
WLTX is our television sponsor for Stuff-A-Bus.
Emergency Disaster Services
December 31, 2014
Hello! The staff at Leveraging Literacy hopes you all had a very happy holiday and we hope you have a great New Year as well. Here at The Salvation Army’s Reading Program we had an awesome month of December. In class the students participated in Christmas games and activities, explored different educational websites, and we held our annual Christmas party!
The month of December is always an exciting time at Leveraging Literacy, and this year was no different. We played a game of Jeopardy which encompassed nearly every subject we had covered in class this year, as well as some additional Christmas trivia. The students also had a few days this month where they were allowed some time on the computers, which they thoroughly enjoyed.
This month we also sponsored a reward for those students who went the entire month of December only missing 3 days or less. This attendance drive brought up our daily average of students and ultimately 13 students qualified for the reward.
As always, the Leveraging Literacy staff thanks you for your support. We look forward to an excellent New Year filled with learning and fun!
Kory, Daniel, and Nicole
November 26, 2014
This past month has been very exciting at Leveraging Literacy! We welcomed 6 volunteers who will be working with us this school year. The kids are so excited to have some new friends helping out. We had our Halloween party where the kids were treated to popcorn and a movie; some brought their Halloween costumes to wear. Throughout the month of November the kids worked hard to build upon their success since the start of the school year.
Since the beginning of this year’s program the kids have engaged in a friendly competition to see who out of each grade could read the most books. While the results have not been tallied yet, the teaching staff was elated to see just how dedicated our kids were with their reading. Our 4th and 5th graders have read several chapter books and it will be intriguing to see who is going to come out on top at the end of the month. Our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders have been busy reading as well. Several of these students have topped 10 books since the beginning of the competition.
Our spotlight this month will be on the 1st and 2nd grade groups who have been working on their notebooks of letter sounds. Each child was given their own individual notebook which we pull out at various times throughout the week. In their notebooks they write tips and tricks for remembering letter sounds as well as tricky sounds certain words can make.
We are so excited to see what the month of December holds for our reading program. Thank you so much for taking the time to read our blog and for supporting Leveraging Literacy. We wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
October 28, 2014
Welcome to a new year at The Salvation Army’s Reading Program, Leveraging Literacy! This year we are well underway and having an excellent time working with children of the Midlands. We have three teachers working with the kids this year, Nicole Johnson, Daniel Soderstrom, and Kory Middleton, as well as several volunteers who will begin in the coming days.
The goal of Leveraging Literacy is to offer one on one and small group learning to kids who have fallen behind in reading. We work diligently to assure that every child has the opportunity to succeed and go beyond what they thought was even possible. Each year a child returns, we set the bar higher. For newcomers we work to establish a confidence in them that they can read anything they set their mind to.
This year we are working with first through fifth graders improving their handwriting, phonics, as well as reading comprehension. Each grade level has a group reading that they have been working on since the start of the program. During group reading a teacher reads a few chapters to the children who then take what they have read and do a fun activity to help with their comprehension skills. In particular, our third graders, the largest group of the program, have been reading Charlotte’s Web. Many of the children have seen the movie before and are able to visualize scenes from the movie to make the reading even more enjoyable! During group reading a teacher reads a few chapters to the children who then take what they have read and do a fun activity to help with their comprehension skills.
Thank you so much for taking time to read about Leveraging Literacy. This program is very near and dear to us and we love coming in each day making a difference in these children’s lives and giving them opportunities to grow their reading abilities. We look forward to a very successful year. Stay tuned for more updates from Leveraging Literacy!
Kory, Daniel, and Nicole
October 9, 2014
Food and nutrition is a basic need and is especially crucial for children and their development. Too many families are unsure about how they will provide food for their children at their next meal. In September, 129 families visiting The Salvation Army, in need of this vital necessity, received food boxes with items from our food pantry.
“We are so thankful to volunteers and donors for their commitment to helping us fight hunger. When we are able to take care of basic needs, we can then begin to tackle the deeper issues those in our community are facing,” shares Major Roger Coulson, Regional Coordinator / Corps Officer.
The Salvation Army needs your help to continue fighting hunger. We need volunteers to help serve meals, individuals, churches and companies to hold canned food drives and donor contributions to support our hot meals and food pantry services.
For more information on volunteering or hosting a food drive, contact Jennifer Lambert at 803-223-9969 or Jennifer_Lambert@USS.Salvationarmy.org. For more information on donations, please call Seth Taylor at 803-667-4943 or Seth_Taylor@USS.Salvationarmy.org
Monetary donations may be sent to: The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 2786, Columbia, SC 29202
September 18, 2014
AgFirst Farm Credit Bank held, “Jeans Days” from August 8 through August 29. Each Friday during that time, bank employees could wear jeans if they contributed to The Salvation Army.
For the past several years, AgFirst Farm Credit Bank has conducted “Jeans Days” fundraisers for various charitable organizations, including The Salvation Army. The fundraiser provides an opportunity for bank employees to take an active role in helping the surrounding communities.
Charl Butler, Chief Financial Officer at AgFirst Farm Credit Bank, presented $1,500 raised during “Jeans Days” to Major Roger Coulson, Regional Coordinator / Corps Officer, on September 12, 2014 to support The Salvation Army’s afternoon reading program, Leveraging Literacy.
Leveraging Literacy is an afternoon reading program offering free reading assistance to students in 1st – 5th grade who read below grade level. The program meets during the school year from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at The Salvation of the Midlands (3024 Farrow Road in Columbia, SC).
“We are so grateful to our friends at AgFirst for their generous support,” said Major Coulson. “These funds will help us continue meeting the basic needs of local people who experience poverty.”
September 15, 2014
Thanks to Publix Super Markets Charities for recently donating $3,000 to The Salvation Army of the Midlands to assist in feeding the homeless.
The Salvation Army of the Midlands serves breakfast, lunch, and supper 365 days a year at the Transitions Homeless Shelter. Last year, we served 188,931 meals to the homeless.
September 9, 2014
Kroger Co. Foundation Supports Salvation Army Meals Service to the Homeless and Hungry
Thanks to the Kroger Co. Foundation for donating $5,000 to The Salvation Army of the Midlands to support its Meals Service to the Homeless program. The generous gift supports the feeding program that served 188,931 meals to the homeless last year!
August 19, 2014
Elaine Hair dedicated her life to God 17 years ago. “The Lord has been good to me, my grandson had cancer at 5 years old. That was 17 years ago. I told the Lord, if you deliver him from cancer, I will dedicate my life to you.” Her grandson was cured of cancer and has remains in remission.
Elaine is a Salvation Army Solider, Pre-Teen Sunday School Teacher, Home League Member and Treasurer and a Certified Nursing Assistant for the elderly at The Community Living Center. She assists Chaplain Eddie Davis, Chief Chaplain at the William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center, in running the Sunday services at the Purnitive Nursing Home in Blythewood, South Carolina. She also participates in many outreach opportunities through The Salvation Army.
With the guidance of Major Melody Coulson, Elaine, along with a group of four other women were appointed to plan and run the weekly Home League programs for the months of July through September. Elaine leads these four women each Monday evening to plan for the upcoming weekly Home League meeting. While planning the weekly prayer and craft project, Elaine serves as their friend and mentor. Through this fellowship, she is able to share the spirit and mission of The Salvation Army.
She strongly believes in leading by example and sharing God’s word. She says, “I frequently share with them three of my favorite Bible verses, if they want the blessings, remember ‘seek ye first the kingdom of God and everything else will be added unto you,’ Matthew 6:33, as well as Matthew 7:7-8, the popular “ask, seek, knock” verses. Malachi 3:10-11 is shared with the women to teach the importance of tithing and offerings, through this, God will open the windows of heaven for you and blessings will overflow your cup. With her encouragement and support, the women have expressed to Elaine their interest in enrolling and starting Solider classes!
Elaine has indeed dedicated her life to serving the Lord and sharing the word of God with all those she meets.
August 7, 2014
Jennifer Lambert has recently joined the staff at The Salvation Army of the Midlands as the Director of Public Relations and Volunteer Services / Emergency Disaster Services Representative.
Please feel free to contact her directly at 803-223-9969 or email@example.com if interested in volunteering or learning more about Salvation Army programs and services.
May 31, 2014
Questions for Dinah Johnson
On Tuesday May 20, 2014, Dr. Dinah Johnson, author and USC professor visited the Leveraging Literacy class. Our class was very excited to greet this 6 timed published author. Our students prepared to ask her several questions about her book Hair Dance to which she was thrilled to answer.
Leveraging Literacy Class: What inspired you to write this story?
Dinah Johnson: The publishing company was aware that I am inspired by photographs after the publication of my first book All Around Town: The Photographs of Richard Samuel Robert. They sent me the photographs of Kelly Johnson which inspired a poem about hair which became the book Hair Dance!
Leveraging Literacy Class: What other books have you written?
Dinah Johnson: I have written a total of six books which include: All Around Town: The Photographs of Richard Samuel Roberts, a picture book about the photos taken by Richard Samuel Roberts, a photographer from Columbia, South Carolina during the early 20th century. Sunday Week and Quinnie Blue are about the beauty of the black family and community and how each work together to help each other make for a better day. Sitting Pretty: A Celebration of Black Dolls, is a book of poems for each doll of my own doll collection. Hair Dance! And Black Magic are the latest published. Black Magic is a book dedicated to changing the way the world views the word “black” from something negative to something positive.
Leveraging Literacy Class: Why did you title the book Hair Dance!?
Dinah Johnson: After the publishing company sent me the photos of Kelly Johnson, I spread them all across my bed and gave each photo a word or phrase and wrote a poem about the photos as a whole. As I looked at the photos the hair seemed to dance and so came the title Hair Dance!.
Leveraging Literacy Class: What is your Favorite “Hair Dance”?
Dinah Johnson: I wear my hair in Locs, in Hair Dance! I call them love locs because I don’t like the world dreadlocks. But really I love all hair. Hair Dance! is about celebrating the beauty in the diversity of hair in the black community.
Dr. Johnson’s visit to our class was very inspiring to both the students and the staff. She read several of her books to the class and even left a copy for the classroom. As she read, each book and each character had its own voice flow and attitude.
When is the last time you read book aloud and gave each character a voice?
Mr. B. Inspires the Leveraging Literacy Class
On Tuesday May 13, 2014, Mr. Anthony Broughton was kind enough to visit our classroom. He is the author of the famed children’s book Lessons by Nature: Joshua’s Learning Exploration in the Wild. The book discusses how lessons can be learned from animals in the wild. Animals can teach us valuable lessons, like the difference between hearing and listening.
The class also learned from Mr. Broughton, not to judge a book by its cover. The cover of his first book has animals featured on it that are not actually in the book. The animals on the cover of the first book are featured in his second book, Wishes of Wisdom (Journeys with Joshua: Life Lessons for Little Leaders) (Volume 2).
Mr. Broughton’s advice to those who want to write a book is to simply begin writing it and the rest will fall into place. Anyone and everyone can write a book, it all begins with placing the pen to paper.
As a child Mr. Broughton quotes that his mom encouraged him to bring school supplies everywhere he went and this stimulated his love of reading, writing and learning. During the writing process for his first book, he grew to appreciate the writing process a great deal more as his publishers asked him to revise his book 12 times before publication.
The quest for knowledge never ends; the first step of the road is reading which can take you all over the world.
What interesting things have you read lately?
May 20, 2014
Caring Soles: Innersole, Richland One, Richland Two, and Lexington Two School Systems and The Salvation Army Provide New Sneakers to Local Homeless Children
Astonished looks were on plenty of faces at The Salvation Army on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 13, as University of South Carolina Head Women’s Basketball Coach Dawn Staley and Innersole, the nonprofit she founded, distributed sneakers to local homeless families.
“Caring Soles” – as folks from the Army and Innersole have called the program – aimed to assist local children in need of well-fitting sneakers. To make it happen The Salvation Army coordinated with Homeless Liaisons from the Richland One, Richland Two, and Lexington Two school systems to identify 250 children in need. Innersole graciously supplied all of the sneakers.
Coach Staley and Innersole were at The Salvation Army on Tuesday to distribute sneakers to families who had pre-qualified several weeks earlier. Coach Staley posed for photos with inspired children and their parents and gave out plenty of hugs too.
“I’m so used to seeing you on TV,” said one woman who was surprised to see Coach Staley when she picked up sneakers for her four children. “I wasn’t ready for that!”
“This is a beautiful thing you’re doing,” said one smiling woman whose son received a pair of red and blue Spiderman sneakers.
Coach Staley stated: “Hopefully we can lend a ray of hope by giving out new sneakers. Anytime you can feel a genuine thank you, you feel good about what you do.”
Thanks to friends at Innersole and the school systems for helping The Salvation Army of the Midlands assist local homeless children with new sneakers as they prepare to break for the summer months.
May 12, 2014
The Leveraging Literacy Reading Program’s End of the Year Ceremony
On Tuesday, May 27 at 4:00 p.m., the Leveraging Literacy program will hold its annual
End of the Year Ceremony to celebrate all the hard work its students have done.
At the ceremony, student work will be on display, students will be presented with awards
and the students will be recognized for their individual achievements. The students will
also present individual works of writing and recite the famed poem, “Our Deepest Fear”
by Marianne Williamson.
We are so proud of all of our students and cannot wait to share their achievements with
their parents, The Salvation Army, and the community. We encourage all to attend and
look forward to celebrating this momentous occasion. The ceremony will take place
inside the chapel at The Salvation Army located at 3024 Farrow Road, Columbia, SC
Local Authors to Visit the Leveraging Literacy Reading Program
Our class recently read Lessons by Nature: Joshua’s Learning Exploration in
the Wild by Anthony Broughton. The book gives readers an inside view of the
amazing world of creatures in the wild while also teaching readers great life lessons.
From the Gecko, the main character, Joshua learns to stick to one path even though life
might turn you upside down. As the Gecko is often seen following vines that twist, turn
and flip upside down as life sometimes takes us, we learn that by staying focused on
a goal and being determined not to give up we too can reach our dreams. We welcome
Mr. Broughton to our class on Tuesday, May 13 at 4:00 p.m. to tell us what inspired
him to write such an inspiring children’s book.
Local author Dr. Dianne “Dinah” Johnson has also agreed to visit our class on Tuesday, May
20 to discuss her book Hair Dance! Our students have particularly enjoyed reading this
book about the beauty of hair within the African American culture. Photographer Kelly
Johnson notes in the book’s introduction that “Hair is our crowning glory, and everyday we
should appreciate its grace, color and texture.” The poetry of words provided by Dr.
Dinah Johnson along with the beautiful photos by Kelly Johnson makes for a wonderful
book about appreciating the beauty in the diversity and radiance of hair.
We welcome you to join our class during these author visits and we encourage
you to reach out to your favorite authors. You will be surprised to know how many
authors are waiting to hear from you.
May 9, 2014
The Leveraging Literacy Reading Program is Reading Books by Local Authors
We are doing big things at the Leveraging Literacy program at The Salvation Army of the Midlands. We are currently reading books by South Carolina authors. The S.O.S. Files written by Betsy Byars, Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers has inspired our students to write stories of their own emergency moments. Whether they are small or large, each story is worth telling.
Hair Dance by Dinah Johnson with photographs by Kelly Johnson has inspired one of our very own students to embrace her perfectly plaited twists.
In Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia by Barbara O’Connor, our students learn what it takes to compete in the state spelling bee and how making friends with the new kid in town helps them both. Our class will be hosting our very own spelling bee to see who has learned to spell the most new words this year.
Our students have learned South Carolina history by reading Net Numbers: A South Carolina Number Book written by Carol Crane and illustrated by Gary Palmer. In the book, our students learned about the Catawba Native Americans and the beautiful pottery they make on the banks of the Catawba River in Rock Hill, South Carolina. In this book our students also learned about the reading marathons that are held every summer in libraries throughout South Carolina.
Our class plans to start a reading marathon. Students will sit in a circle and read their favorite books then pass their books to the right and receive books from their left. The object of this game is to introduce students to new books and see how fast each child can read and understand the material.
What stories have you read lately?
May 8, 2014
Leveraging Literacy’s Word of the Day
At The Salvation Army of the Midlands Leveraging Literacy program, the word of the day for today was “Synopsis.” We found the definition to be a condensed version of a text or a summary of the plot of a book, play, movie or television show.
A synonym for the word synopsis is summary. An antonym for the word synopsis would be the word novel. Our students then wrote sentences with their newly learned word. One student wrote, “For my book report I wrote a synopsis of the book, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.
How many sentences can you write with the word synopsis?
May 7, 2014
Leveraging Literacy’s Book Worth Reading
Today’s book worth reading is entitled The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer with pictures by Elizabeth Zunon. In this true story we learned how a young boy made a huge impact in his community by creating a way to provide electricity and running water.
Our students then wrote ways they could make a positive impact in their own communities. Our students decided that to improve their communities they could start a community garden to provide healthy eating and food options for those less fortunate. Others decided that a recycling program would be good for our community.
What ways would you like to improve your own community?
One of our students told his school librarian about The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind and found out that it was an accelerated reader book, which means that by taking a computer test on the book at school he can earn reading points.
August 27, 2013
The Salvation Army of the Midlands recently ministered to residents at Allen Benedict Court during a Back to School event on August 16th. It was an opportunity to serve food and drinks from the emergency disaster services canteen (an industrial kitchen on wheels) and encourage youth and families.
Army representatives also set up a mini basketball goal for children to shoot baskets and win prizes.
“I shot a goal!” exclaimed one little girl cradling a canned drink and cookies in one arm and her soccer ball prize in the other.
“Thank you for being here,” added a smiling mother as she walked away from the canteen.
The event allowed the Army to share information and recruit students to its free afternoon reading program, Leveraging Literacy (now entering its third school year). Lead teacher Roberta Hairston staffed a table filled with materials and spoke with parents and potential students about the program, which begins September 3rd. After reviewing word flash cards with children and rewarding them with puzzles and school supplies, she gave two students high fives and told them, “You guys are really reading well!”
One major highlight of the afternoon occurred when Dawn Staley, University of South Carolina head women’s basketball coach and her Innersole business partners delivered new toothbrushes, floss and other hygiene items. The charity partnered with the Army earlier this summer for the Clothes for Kids program, providing sneakers, school supplies and clothes to 248 local children in need.
The Salvation Army’s work is “totally awesome,” shared Coach Staley. “It is a resource you should use if you need it,” she continued.
A true sense of community was felt as representatives from churches, educational institutions, non-profits and the Richland County Sherriff’s Department collaborated with The Salvation Army and Allen Benedict Court management to encourage and equip children and parents for a new academic year.
June 26, 2013
A total of $35,000 in donations is urgently needed to support The Salvation Army children’s summer camping program. Forty-seven local children recently attended a week-long summer camp at The Salvation Army’s Camp Walter Johnson in Denton, North Carolina. More children are scheduled to attend the week-long camp this summer. In fact, The Salvation Army has a total of 66 children from impoverished families seeking to attend camp. Donations will be used to pay for registrations, staff transporting campers from The Salvation Army in Columbia to the camp in Denton and back multiple times as well as vehicle rental and costs.
“The camping experience at Camp Walter Johnson is one that our campers will always remember but an opportunity these precious children would not experience without critical donations,” said Major Roger Coulson, Regional Coordinator/Corps Officer at The Salvation Army of the Midlands. “I ask that you financially support us as we provide opportunities for children to discover, learn, and grow.”
Children whose families qualify through the Army’s social services or youth ministry departments are eligible to apply for camp. Children who attend Camp Walter Johnson are given opportunities to learn about God, swim, ride on paddle and pontoon boats, canoe, play games and sports, navigate the high-flying ropes course, ride go-carts, craft, hike, and fish. When asked what they learned at camp, past campers provided some of the following answers:
“I learned a lot about Jesus and God.”
“About being respectful”
“I learned how to get a friend”
“How to swim”
“I learned how to catch a Frisbee.”
Camp Walter Johnson has served campers since 1974. It is accredited by the American Camp Association. The camp is set on more than 100 beautiful acres of peaceful woodlands and has been a safe haven to more than 55,000 under privileged children since its opening. To help The Salvation Army with its summer camping costs, please mail checks to The Salvation Army of the Midlands, P.O. Box 2786, Columbia, SC 29202.
May 16, 2013
Seventy four years after The Salvation Army began its work in America, President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared the first National Salvation Army Week in 1954. In a speech declaring National Salvation Army Week, he stated, “Among Americans, The Salvation Army has long been a symbol of wholehearted dedication to the cause of human brotherhood. In time of war, the men and women of this organization have brought to those serving their country far from home, friendliness and warm concern. In the quieter days of peace, their work has been a constant reminder to us all that each of us is neighbor and kin to all Americans. Giving freely of themselves, the men and women of The Salvation Army have won the respect of us all.”
This year, National Salvation Army Week was celebrated on May 13—17. The week was acknowledged in a variety of ways across the country but was recognized locally in an extra sweet way at the May 13 Columbia Rotary Club meeting held at Seawell’s Banquet Facility on Rosewood Drive. Salvation Army of the Midlands representatives distributed fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts to rotarians as a gesture of appreciation for their volunteer support during the Christmas season. For many years, Columbia Rotary Club members have volunteered as bell ringers to raise funds for The Salvation Army and its ministry to local families and individuals living in poverty.
The Salvation Army also arranged for members of the Dutch Fork High School Air Force JROTC Color Guard, another active volunteer group during the Christmas season, to attend the meeting and present the colors.
Concurrently, a Salvation Army Family Store truck was parked in the lot at Seawell’s as a drop off location for donors to deliver their gently used clothing donations. Rotary club members, who had been given Salvation Army donation bags at the Monday, May 6 meeting, returned bags to the truck on May 13, filled with generous donations, which included shirts, pants, jackets, and other men’s and women’s garments.
“National Salvation Army Week is an opportunity to celebrate the people who make The Salvation Army great – volunteers, donors, program beneficiaries, and other supporters,” said Major Roger Coulson, regional coordinator/corps officer at The Salvation Army of the Midlands. “We are grateful for our friends at the Columbia Rotary Club and for people across the Midlands who support our mission of helping those in need.”
April 24, 2013
The Salvation Army of the Midlands (Columbia, South Carolina) recently supported a National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) exercise at Columbia Metropolitan Airport by providing meals, snacks, and hydration to exercise participants. The Salvation Army provided food and drinks on Tuesday, April 16 and Wednesday, April 17. The exercise scenario was based on an explosives attack – bombing using improvised explosive devices. The scenario included “pretend” patients being flown in on two airplanes and their relocation to local NDMS hospitals.
Salvation Army volunteers and staff exercised their capacity to serve emergency first responders. The Salvation Army in Columbia served from its canteen on Tuesday and Wednesday and The Salvation Army in Greenville served from its canteen on Wednesday. Below are details regarding services provided courtesy of The Salvation Army in Columbia and Greenville, South Carolina.
Tuesday, April 16
· Served breakfast to 125 people (sausage biscuits, doughnuts, apples, oranges, apple juice, orange juice, bottled water, soda, Gatorade, coffee)
· Served lunch to 137 people (meatball subs, lettuce, tomato, mozzarella cheese, potato salad, chips, apples, oranges, fruit cup, cupcakes, cookies, candy, bottled water, soda, Gatorade, coffee)
· Served supper to 30 people (grilled chicken breast, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, cupcakes)
Wednesday, April 17
· Served breakfast to 184 people (bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits, Danish, apples, oranges, apple juice, orange juice, bottled water, soda, Gatorade, coffee)
· Served lunch to 260 people (hamburgers, cheese, lettuce, tomato, baked beans, pasta salad, apples, oranges, fruit cup, cookies, cupcakes, candy, bottled water, soda, Gatorade, coffee)
February 23, 2013
Harrison Rearden, advisory board member in Columbia, S.C., recently made a planned gift to The Salvation Army of the Midlands and became a member of the Heritage Society, which was created exclusively to honor and recognize supporters who have thoughtfully remembered The Salvation Army in their estate plans or through a specific planned giving instrument. Mr. Rearden (right) is pictured here with advisory board member Charlotte Berry (center) and Major Roger Coulson, regional coordinator/corps officer (left), as they present him with a distinctive Heritage Society lapel pin and thank him for his donation to help The Salvation Army continue its life-changing work for years to come.
To date, Columbia is blessed with three board members who are also members of the Heritage Society including Key Powell (deceased) and Ben Rex. Mr. Rex was recognized last spring for his generous gift.
February 3, 2013
On behalf of The Salvation Army of the Midlands, many thanks to everyone who supported The Salvation Army’s efforts during the 2012 Christmas season. Your contributions were invaluable to making the campaign successful and positively impacting thousands of local people in need.
In December 2012, your Salvation Army assisted 3,608 children from 1,591 families with Christmas gifts and food boxes.
Your generosity was evident as more than 2,600 people volunteered a total of over 5,200 hours during the exciting Christmas season with activities such as sorting gifts, assembling gift bags and boxes, distributing gifts, and, of course, ringing bells.
We are so grateful to all of the service organizations, businesses, churches, and individuals who helped make our Christmas campaign a success. It takes an army to complete a mission like the one we had before us.
Bell ringers raised $312,555.81 at kettles across the Midlands, funds which will be used to continue the good work of The Salvation Army, helping people who are struggling to meet their basic human needs. Thanks to everyone who rang and everyone who made a donation.
In addition, Salvation Army volunteers and staff served 4,133 meals to the homeless at Ebenezer Lutheran Church just during the month of December.
We thank you for your support again this year and we promise to continue bringing hope and comfort to people who experience poverty. May God bless you in 2013.
Major Roger Coulson
The Salvation Army of the Midlands
January 23, 2013
Members of The Salvation Army’s senior citizens group recently honored retired officers Majors Charles “Chuck” and Carol Schramm for their years of faithful service to the elderly at the group’s January lunch meeting which was held at The Salvation Army Center for Worship & Service in Columbia.
During the meeting many seniors shared candidly about why they love the Schramms. They expressed heartfelt feelings through personal remarks, video messages, and hand-written notes. Powerful words like “irreplaceable” and “unforgettable” were used by several of the seniors to describe the extraordinary duo.
For more than a decade, Major Carol Schramm, a volunteer, led the seniors program in the Midlands. And at each meeting, her husband served at her side, provided support and even played the occasional tune on his horn.
Most of all, Majors Schramm are known for their compassionate hearts, kind gentle spirits, patience, creative monthly programs, leadership and teaching abilities, and genuine love for the Bible and the people they served through their ministry together. The Schramms are also known for taking group members on memorable trips to places that many had only seen on television and in magazines, including Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and the South Carolina coast. The couple grew the ministry steadily, taking it from an average of sixteen attendees at monthly meetings in 2000 to an average of fifty attendees in 2012.
Near the end of the program, Captain Pamela Werner, Community Cares Ministries Secretary at The Salvation Army Divisional Headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Major Melody Coulson, Coordinator for Women’s Ministries/Corps Officer at The Salvation Army of the Midlands in Columbia, presented Majors Schramm with framed certificates. On behalf of the seniors, Delores Watts, longtime senior citizens group member, presented the Schramms with a gift basket in gratitude and honor of their devoted service.
October 31, 2012
You’ve seen our red kettles out in front of stores, but the Online Red Kettle is a way for individuals and groups to help people in need by raising donations through email and social networking. The Salvation Army of the Midlands introduces “Online Battle of the Bells,” a competition to allow Midlands organizations to compete to raise the most donations digitally. The winning team will receive free catering service for up to 40 people from Yesterday’s Restaurant in Five Points.
As we prepare to kick off our annual Christmas campaign to help the area’s neediest people, we have launched this virtual contest to showcase the Online Red Kettle as one of many ways to give to the effort that will:
To start an online kettle, participants may text BELLS to 313131, visit our Facebook tab or go directly to www.OnlineRedKettle.org. Click “Start a New Kettle,” and follow the simple instructions. All team kettles within the Midlands area will automatically be entered into the contest. Email your kettle link to family and friends, and promote your link throughout social media to invite people to donate. The more people you invite, the more you increase your ability to help those in need.
Tune in to the Salvation Army of the Midlands on Facebook and Twitter for contest updates and details, and click on the video trailer below for a preview.
September 6, 2012
Times are still tight for many people in the Midlands but affordable options are out there. The Salvation Army’s Family Store is one place that exists to help people stretch their money and, in the process, assist local people in need. On every day except for Sunday, shoppers can findly gently used clothes, furniture, and household goods at discount prices at the 1312 North Millwood Avenue store location.
“When you shop at the Family Store, you’re making a difference in the community,” said Major Roger Coulson, Regional Coordinator / Corps Officer at The Salvation Army of the Midlands. “Income generated by the store supports Salvation Army programs for the homeless and families living in poverty.”
The income support provides direct assistance like helping people with food, rent, and prescription medication costs. The store is able to help fire survivors and homeless people establishing a permanent residence. Individuals who qualify through The Salvation Army’s social services ministry are provided vouchers for clothing and furniture that can be traded for much needed items at no cost to them.
Clothing, furniture, and household goods can be accepted as donations at the Family Store and special donation bins can be found at the addresses listed below for clothing drop off.
Salvation Army truck drivers are able to pick up large items like furniture from donor’s residences. To schedule a pick up, please call 748-9964.
August 17, 2012
Salvation Army staff distributed Back-to-School items from the Clothes for Kids clothing drive yesterday afternoon and this morning. Thanks to the generosity of donors and volunteers, 126 local children will begin the new school year with confidence and style!
Thanks to our friends at Columbiana Centre where the Clothes for Kids table was set up in the JC Penney court from July 27 – August 5 and everyone who helped local children receive assistance!
July 12, 2012
Fifty local children recently returned from a week of camp that was filled with fun and new experiences. Each year, thanks to public support, The Salvation Army of the Midlands sends kids from the community to The Salvation Army’s Camp Walter Johnson in Denton,North Carolina. This year, children from the Midlands enjoyed camp from Monday, June 25 to Saturday, June 30. Campers were given opportunities to swim, ride on paddle and pontoon boats, canoe, play games, shoot BB guns, ride go-carts, create crafts, hike, fish, and make new friends. In short, it was a week they will always remember.
“Thanks to every donor who made camp possible for these wonderful children,” said Major Roger Coulson, Area Coordinator / Corps Officer at The Salvation Army of the Midlands. “The Salvation Army’s camp program nurtures souls and offers hope. This enriching week in a new environment may have been a turning point for many of our campers.”
Camp Walter Johnson opened in 1974 on land which was generously donated to The Salvation Army by Walter Johnson, a Denton, North Carolina resident. Camp Walter Johnson’s programs and activities are designed to meet the physical, social, and spiritual needs of campers. Children from Salvation Army units from across North and South Carolina attend the camp for a week each summer. When campers were asked what new things they learned at Camp Walter Johnson this summer, here is how several of them answered.
“About being respectful”
“How Jesus died on the cross”
“I learned how to get a friend”
“New songs, new activities”
“That God sent his one Son to die for us”
“I learned that we are saved by Jesus.”
“How to swim”
“How to be nice”
“I learned how to catch a Frisbee.”
July 10, 2012
Volunteers and new clothing donations are needed for this year’s Clothes for Kids clothing drive for underprivileged children.
YOU can help children start the school year with confidence and style!
Who: The Salvation Army of the Midlands
What: Clothes for Kids 2012
When: Friday, July 27 – Sunday, August 5
Where: Columbiana Centre in the JCPenney court
Why: To collect new clothing donations for children in need before the start of the upcoming school year
How: Volunteers are needed to staff the table and assist shoppers with selecting a card which lists the child’s first name, age, gender, and clothing sizes. The volunteer will sign out the card to the shoppers and the shopper will buy new clothes for the child and bring the card and clothes back to the table at the mall. The volunteer will make notes in a notebook provided by The Salvation Army about the received donation so The Salvation Army has a record of the donation as well as contact information for the donor. Instructions will be provided at the table and can be made available to volunteers prior to the start of their shift upon request.
To register for shifts, please visit our website at www.doingthemostgood.org/ringthebell
Then click “Clothes for Kids 2012″
Click “Columbiana Centre”
Select the shift or shifts of interest.
You will see that shifts are either two or three hours long.
Please conact Seth Taylor at The Salvation Army of the Midlands at 803-667-4943 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
May 25, 2012
The Salvation Army of the Midlands plans to send 60 community kids to camp this summer at Camp Walter Johnson in Denton, North Carolina and you can help.
For $200.00, you can send a child to camp from June 25-30.
During that week, our campers, who come from families who experience poverty, are given opportunities to do the following:
Camp Walter Johnson is an American Camping Association accredited facility located 60 miles north of Charlotte, North Carolina. The camp is set on more than 150 acres next to High Rock Lake. It has impacted the lives of over 55,000 children in North and South Carolina.
For more information on CWJ, please visit www.campwj.com.
January 27, 2012
Two hundred and fifty local homeless people were recently surprised with a field trip to Little Pigs Barbeque when they arrived to Ebenezer Lutheran Church for the regularly scheduled afternoon meals service provided by The Salvation Army. The all-you-can-eat buffet bombshell took place on Wednesday, January 25 and was local realtor Brian Baucom’s idea in an effort to provide a memorable and extraordinary experience to the guests who spend so many of their afternoons with Salvation Army staff and volunteers at Ebenezer’s kitchen and dining area. The owner and staff at Little Pigs provided a full buffet line of over thirty hot items, a true treat in the middle of winter.
“I will say 250 people is a lot,” said Baucom, the event’s organizer, of the number of people served. “The owner of Little Pigs says they went through over 500 pieces of fried chicken, 300 pieces of fried fish, 40 pounds of fried okra, and a bunch of mac and cheese and potato salad, also hash and rice.”
Baucom and The Salvation Army received assistance from many volunteers representing local churches who helped transport participants from Ebenezer to Little Pigs and back during a two hour window. Volunteers also helped to give direction to guests once at the restaurant.
Everyone agreed the event was successful and a compassionate gesture to local people in need. It seems though that the ones dining were not the only ones who received a blessing. Baucom said, “My eight year old daughter (who was a volunteer) said she was told ‘God bless you’ a million times.” Now that’s a great memory.
January 13, 2012
Thanks to everyone who assisted with The Salvation Army’s 2011 Christmas campaign!
Your gifts of time, talents, and resources helped to uplift the lives of many local people in need. Last month, your Salvation Army assisted over 2,600 families, nearly 6,000 children, with Christmas gifts. This is a 65% increase in the number of children we were able to help from 2010 to 2011.
Your kindness helped many grateful people like one woman who told us “it means a lot to me that you have helped my children have a Christmas.”
More than 2,400 people volunteered over 5,200 hours between November 18 and December 24 with our special Christmas programs.
Heartfelt thanks to all of the service organizations, businesses, churches, and individuals who helped make our Christmas campaign a success.
Bell ringers raised $301,256.91 at kettles across the Midlands, funds which will continue helping local people who are struggling to meet their basic human needs.
In addition, Salvation Army volunteers and staff served nearly 4,300 meals to the hungry during the month of December alone.
We promise to continue bringing hope and comfort to people who experience poverty year round. Thank you for your support and may God bless you in this New Year.
November 29, 2011
The Salvation Army of the Midlands recently kicked off its annual Christmas campaign to help the area’s neediest people. The Online Red Kettle is one of many ways to give to the effort that will help feed hungry families, provide presents for needy children, heat the homes of struggling senior citizens, and bless many who are in need. Now, an anonymous donor has agreed to award an Apple iPad to the person who’s Online Red Kettle collects the most donations through a virtual Battle of the Bells competition.
You’ve seen our red kettles out in front of the stores, but the Online Red Kettle is your own personal kettle – a way for you to help people in need by raising donations through email and social networking. To start an individual kettle, participants may go to www.OnlineRedKettle.org and click “Start a New Kettle.” Follow the simple instructions, and those individual kettles within the Midlands area will automatically be entered into the contest. Email your kettle link to family and friends, and promote your link throughout social media to invite people to donate. The more people you invite, the more you increase your ability to help those in desperate need.
Tune in to the Salvation Army of the Midlands Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SalvationArmyMidlands for contest updates and details.
September 20, 2011
August 26, 2011
Monetary donations are the most critical need as supplies and personnel are mobilized.
Your donations make a real difference.
August 18, 2011
(L-R) Major Roger Coulson, Area Coordinator; Steve Anastasion, Advisory Board Chairman; and J. Michael Kapp, new Emeritus member
(L-R) Major Roger Coulson, Area Coordinator; J. Cantey Heath, Jr., new Emeritus member; and Steve Anastasion, Advisory Board Chairman
Two longtime Salvation Army of the Midlands advisory board members were recently recognized for their support of the Army with Emeritus membership status. J. Michael Kapp and J. Cantey Heath, Jr. were honored at the August board meeting. Mr. Kapp is a former Salvation Army advisory board chairman and has served on the board since 1995. Mr. Heath has been on the advisory board since 1997.
“It is my pleasure to honor these two fine gentlemen with Emeritus status,” said Major Roger Coulson, Area Coordinator at The Salvation Army of the Midlands. “We may not see them as regularly as we once did, but we are pleased to know that we will continue working together in the future.”
Real estate professionals from Russell & Jeffcoat Real Estate Incorporated in Columbia recently held a clothing drive that lasted over a month. In all, fourteen R & J offices participated – and the company continues to collect gently used clothing and goods even after the drive has officially concluded. All items were and will be donated to The Salvation Army of the Midlands’ Family Store on North Millwood Avenue.
“We were thrilled to participate in such a wonderful rewarding project with The Salvation Army,” said Lynwood Duke, Director of Career Development at Russell & Jeffcoat Real Estate Incorporated. “Russell & Jeffcoat has always had the greatest respect for the work The Salvation Army does and we will continue to support their efforts.”
August 17, 2011
With the help of generous shoppers and donors, The Salvation Army of the Midlands recently provided new clothes, book bags and school supplies to 117 children who live below the poverty line including many who live in shelters.
More than 20 volunteers logged over 70 hours at the Clothes for Kids table at Columbia Place Mall during the course of the program which began on July 29 and ended on August 7.
The Salvation Army distributed clothes, book bags and school supplies to families in need on August 11 and 12.
Thanks to Columbia Place Mall for allowing The Salvation Army to hold Clothes for Kids at their space.
Thanks to our media partner for the event , WACH FOX, as well as WLTX-TV, The State and The Columbia Star newspapers for their mentions.
Thanks to all volunteers, shoppers and donors. We are able to help people in need with your support!
August 3, 2011
Professor Carol Mosser’s freshman seminar / life skills class recently made blankets and donated them to The Salvation Army. Seven students made a total of four blankets. The Midlands Technical College class is held at the Beltline Campus. Salvation Army employees will distribute the blankets to people in need. Thanks to Professor Mosser and her students!
July 15, 2011
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina recently awarded $15,000 to The Salvation Army of the Midlands for its summer feeding program. This generous contribution will be used to provide nutritious meals to local homeless people. The Salvation Army of the Midlands serves meals to the homeless seven days a week – 365 days a year.
July 13, 2011
High-ropes challenge course, rock climbing wall, canoeing, paddle and pontoon boats, campfire, outdoor and indoor sports, crafts, swimming, hiking, fishing – these are the things that come to mind when you think of summer camp. And these are the activities that were recently enjoyed by many children from the Columbia area at Camp Walter Johnson in Denton, North Carolina thanks to your Salvation Army of the Midlands. In fact, The Salvation Army sent fifty-three children, ages 6 to 12, to a week-long camp which began on Monday, June 27 and concluded on Saturday, July 2.
“Camp Walter Johnson is a beautiful place where children can learn, grow, make new friends and have fun just being kids,” said Major Roger Coulson, Area Coordinator / Corps Officer at The Salvation Army of the Midlands. “We appreciate everyone in the community who made a financial contribution so that these children could attend this camp and also appreciate those who prayed for our campers and staff as they were out of town.”
Camp Walter Johnson opened in 1974. The camp program and activities are designed to meet the physical, social and spiritual needs of campers. Children from Salvation Army units from across North and South Carolina attend the camp for a week each summer.
Below are several quotes from children who attended Camp Walter Johnson this summer.
“Dear people of the Salvation Army, thank you for this fun experience at Camp Walter Johnson. I really enjoyed this camp.”
“Thank you for donating money. The best thing of all was ropes course and fishing.”
“I like camp because we get to go in the pool everyday and I like to go to the gym…I really like Bible study.”
“Thank you for helping me go to camp. The go-carts were fun.”
“I had fun at camp. I shot BB guns and rode go-carts. Thank you.”
To view photos from camp, please visit http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.228138887220671.64065.164495366918357
June 20, 2011
The Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity through the Emergency Shelter Grants Program (ESG) recently awarded $50,000 to The Salvation Army of the Midlands for Homeless Prevention Efforts. The grant is designated for homeless prevention efforts including rent and utility assistance.
Women in Philanthropy, a partnership of United Way of the Midlands and the Central Carolina Community Foundation, recently awarded $20,000 to The Salvation Army of the Midlands for its Leveraging Literacy after school program. Leveraging Literacy will target children who struggle in school, students who have not learned the basic skills required for success. In this program, students from public schools will be recruited that are at least two (2) grade levels behind their reading level. Our lead teacher will then evaluate each student’s strengths and weaknesses in order to create an individualized program to address the “deficits” (phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, etc.) in his or her learning. This requires re-teaching lessons not obtained during the student’s earlier years in school. These academic interventions will lead to success in school and productivity in adulthood. In October 2011, twenty children will begin a journey that will lead to an incredible life change.
The United Way of the Midlands recently awarded $25,000 to The Salvation Army of the Midlands for its Traveler’s Fund which will reunite people who are stranded in Columbia under emergency situations. The purpose of the grant is to reunite families, provide travel money to people entering a rehabilitation program outside the area, make bus tickets and gasoline available. Staff will follow up with clients to ensure that clients reach their destinations safely. This follow up will also monitor stability.
The United Way of the Midlands recently awarded $85,000 to The Salvation Army of the Midlands for Crisis Intervention with Families at Risk. The grant will provide financial assistance to families of school children that are facing homelessness in order to attain and maintain housing stability. Case managers will work closely with families to meet other critical needs including food, medication, school supplies and clothing. Homeless liaisons from Richland School Districts One and Two will refer families to this program.
The United Way of the Midlands recently awarded $15,000 to The Salvation Army of the Midlands for Emergency Shelter Hotel Vouchers. The grant will provide safe emergency shelters for families when other shelters are unavailable. The program includes families with older children, which has been identified as a service gap in our community. Families served in this program are assisted with permanent housing through the HPRP (Homeless Prevention & Rapid Re-housing) grant. Last year, the United Way of the Midlands funded $7,000 for this program.
The Central Carolina Community Foundation awarded $8,604.00 to The Salvation Army of the Midlands for its Emergency Basic Needs Assistance program for February and March 2011. The Emergency Basic Needs Assistance program is primarily a homeless prevention program. Families facing eviction are helped with rent assistance. Utility assistance is provided to families facing utility cut-off. Other types of basic assistance include food, prescription medication, clothing and furniture. Funding from this grant provided rent assistance for 32 families in February and March 2011.
May 20, 2011
Salvation Army staff and volunteers from the Columbia and Greenville, South Carolina Corps recently provided meals, snacks, and hydration to emergency first responders participating in a National Level Exercise, a natural hazard exercise with a scenario based on an earthquake held on May 16-18. Two Salvation Army canteens were stocked with food and beverages and positioned near the runway at the SC Division of Aeronautics. Below are details regarding services which were provided courtesy of your Salvation Army.
Photos from the week’s activities can be viewed below.
May 10, 2011
Hundreds of children in our community are homeless or living in poverty. Many receive free or reduced lunch at school. Financial resources to make a positive difference are not always available. The truth is we can’t walk a mile in their shoes, and that’s why the Salvation Army Shoe Fund is so important in helping local children meet their needs.
“One parent was moved to tears when she was told that her children were receiving shoe vouchers,” said Barbara Grossberg, LMSW, Lead Social Worker at Richland School District Two. “These children are so proud to have something brand new, bought especially for them.”
As of Wednesday, April 20, Salvation Army staff members have mailed 197 gift certificates for new shoes to parents and guardians whose children were identified by a teacher, counselor or social worker in area school districts. More Shoe Fund gift certificates may be issued in the coming days as needs are identified. Shoe Fund gift certificates in the amount of $50.00 can be redeemed at Shoe Department or Shoe Show stores in Lexington and Richland counties.
A big way that community members hear about the Shoe Fund is through coverage provided by WIS Radio, the station that in 1992 partnered with The Salvation Army to develop the Shoe Fund. As a partner, WIS Radio promotes the opportunity on-air, encouraging listeners to donate so that children can receive new shoes.
“Years ago at Sunny 100 Gene McKay and Bill Benton were talking about a phony promotion that they held to collect shoes for Bill’s family back in Kentucky,” said Charlie Benton, Sales Manager/Morning Show Host at News/Talk 1320 WIS Radio. “Most of our relatives ‘back home’ wear only one shoe each so we were able to provide enough shoes for everyone within just a few days.”
According to Benton, this humorous conversation led to the realization that there are local children who need shoes. Consequently, a partnership with The Salvation Army Shoe Fund was begun. In fact, on-air promotion begins on November 1 and continues through the end of January.
“Our listeners and MOST people enjoy helping others who are in need,” said Benton. “Being involved with the Salvation Army Children’s Shoe Fund lets us know every year that it’s Christmas time!”
Special recognition given to Delray Jones
Stalwart and consistent, Salvation Army volunteer Delray Jones spends almost every Saturday at the non-profit’s Family Store on Millwood Avenue, sorting clothes, filling the bailer, driving the forklift and cheerfully completing any other project assigned to him. Since 1999, Jones has donated hundreds of volunteer hours to the Family Store. So it was fitting that Jones received one of six Community Impact Awards presented by the United Way of the Midlands at its April 14 Volunteer Awards Ceremony.
Looking dapper in a dark suit, Jones was joined at the ceremony by his daughter, Latondria Jones, and his girlfriend, Kathy Coates. Salvation Army advisory board members and staff also attended the recognition event to show support.
“Delray is so deserving of this award,” said Major Roger Coulson, Corps Officer / Area Coordinator at The Salvation Army of the Midlands. “We appreciate the many years of service he has given to The Salvation Army. He is a fine example of volunteerism at its best.”
The United Way of the Midlands Volunteer Awards Ceremony was held at EdVenture Children’s Museum. Community Impact Award recipients must demonstrate a commitment to volunteering and have made an impact to causes, programs or projects that support human service needs in the Midlands. The Salvation Army of the Midlands is a United Way of the Midlands Certified Partner Agency.