Salvation Army hands out supplies, dedicates new computer lab
SALISBURY — In a community where many are out of work, where many are in need, every bit of assistance is a blessing.
That’s what Tara Pharr said, as she and daughter She’Lia Teamer, 9, stood in line waiting for school supplies to be distributed at the Salvation Army church on Bringle Ferry Road on Thursday.
The event was expected to draw about 200 people, organizers said, but the crowd had already filled the parking lot and hallways well before the scheduled 5:30 p.m. start time.
And that’s a sign of the need, people said.
“We need all the help we can in this community,” Pharr said. “We need all the resources we can get, because of the lack of jobs.”
Teamer is going into the fourth grade at Isenberg Elementary, she said, and enjoys math and reading.
“What do you tell me you’re going to do every semester?” Pharr asked her daughter.
“Get on the ‘A’ honor roll,” Teamer said.
Pharr said she hopes that the supplies will help get the year off to a good start.
What’s more, she said she hopes she’ll be able to find success — Pharr is enrolled in online college courses — so that she can inspire her daughter.
Along with bookbags, refreshments and a raffle for bicycles, staff and volunteers cut a ribbon and dedicated a new computer lab at the church.
Salvation Army Lt. Joshua Morse was joined by Paul Fisher, chairman and CEO of F&M Financial Corp.
F&M Bank donated the computers and equipment for the new lab, Morse said, replacing machines that were about 10 years old.
“Our computer lab before hadn’t been up and running on about three years,” he said.
Thursday, some kids were already getting online to play games and listen to music, though Morse said the computers will typically be used by adult job-seekers and those who want to continue their education.
Kids taking part in after-school programs can also use the computers for educational purposes, Morse said.
In his prayer, Morse expressed his hope that “many jobs will be found, many adults will find success” as a result of the new facility.
That hope was shared by some in the crowd.
“I’ve been out of work for three years,” said Alecia Turnbull, resident of Broad Street in Salisbury.
She and her son, Terry Ross-Turnbull, 8, were waiting near the new computer lab as the supplies were prepared for distribution.
Turnbull said she was glad to have the new lab at the Salvation Army building, because it was difficult for her to get to the public library. “I can get to the Internet now, and can look for a job,” Turnbull said.
As the backpacks were distributed, kids stopped in the hallways and outside to compare what they’d gotten.
Pencils, paper, crayons and colored pencils — “pretty much their basic needs,” Morse said.
“It is awesome. I’m glad to see them here,” said Melissa Cline, staff member at the Salvation Army of Rowan County.
“I love kids, and love helping kids, and I’m thrilled that I get to do this,” Cline said.
Contact Hugh Fisher via the editor’s desk at 704-797-4244.