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Wilson Cherry: Support your Salvation Army

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Wilson Cherry

By Wilson Cherry

Special to the Salisbury Post

As a lifelong resident of Salisbury and Rowan County, I was recently appalled and disgusted to learn of the vandalism and destruction at our local Salvation Army. When times are tough and crises impact the ordinary order of our lives, the Salvation Army has proved to be a valuable resource in helping individuals and families get a hand up rather than just a handout.

I am a living testimony as to how their generous assistance and support positively impacted and inspired my life. I grew up the son of God-fearing, hardworking parents, and my father became permanently disabled and unemployed. When I was 11, my family needed assistance that Christmas. The local Salvation Army assisted my family with food, clothes and other items. My mother was able to purchase me a 10-transitor radio, the boom box of my day. Little did I imagine that this sacrifice by my mother, and the compassion and resources from the Salvation Army, would inspire me to turn a passionate hobby into a career in broadcasting.

When exploring the many resources and services provided locally, nationally and internationally, the Salvation Army has been at the forefront when emergencies and disasters strike. As we survey our local environment, the Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels and Rowan Helping Ministries are just a few of the local non-profits that frequently go “all hands on deck” when we have catastrophes.

This agency, along with the 14 other United Way agencies, has proven time after time that the citizens of Rowan County will rise to the occasion. Salvation Army services include providing food, clothing, medicine, furniture, transportation, substance abuse programs, and shelter in some areas, as well as job training and retail stores that support the programs. After-school and summer programs emphasize work ethic and moral standards. Summer camps are available to the youth.

Perhaps the most notable symbol of the Salvation Army is the red kettle which is managed by bell ringers throughout the Christmas season and manned by volunteers.

As an employee of Rowan Vocational Opportunities, I am truly appreciative for the Salvation Army as they assist our consumers with their Christmas Happiness and emergency aid. The commitment from the Salisbury Post, the Rowan County United Way and numerous volunteers and donors who support the Christmas Bureau surely is a blessing to the many individuals and families that are in vulnerable financial and employment situations. Having had the privilege and opportunity to serve as a bell ringer, Santa Claus and Christmas Bureau volunteer has truly enriched my life.

There are programs in place to link people into long-term support agencies for parenting skills, employment training, short-term housing, substance abuse counseling and combating human trafficking.

The word “others” summarizes the mission of the Salvation Army in doing the most good in trying to meet the basic human service needs in a Christ-like manner without discriminating against anyone.

As we welcome Capts. Karl and Janice Dahlin to our community, let’s show them how we appreciate and embrace their efforts to keep Rowan County the generous, compassionate and family-oriented community that we are. The Salvation Army has always been a beacon and guiding light in providing assistance in our community.

Thank you, Captains Dahlin, and welcome to Rowan County.

Wilson R. Cherry is director of community affairs at Rowan Vocational Opportunities, one of 15 United Way agencies in Rowan County.

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