Salvation Army debuts canteen, thanks donors
By Becky Barclay
Published in News on June 12, 2012 2:26 PM
Donors got a meal, disaster volunteers got hands-on training and a new canteen got a run-through at a Salvation Army event this past weekend.
During a donor appreciation day, anyone who contributed even the smallest item to the Salvation Army's thrift store was treated to a hot dog/hamburger meal with chips and a drink.
It was a chance for disaster volunteers to also explain to donors exactly what their donation would mean to local people.
"Most donors have no idea what we do," Salvation Army commander Lt. Kenny Igleheart said. "They have no idea that funds generated from their donation may help one of the guys stay in the shelter for a week. It may help someone with their utility bill. It may put food on the table for someone. And some of the clothing they donate may be given to someone in need.
"And funds generated through the thrift store stay here in Wayne County."
Shena Santillana was one of those donors, dropping off clothing and shoes.
Although it was her first donation to the Salvation Army since moving back to Goldsboro a few weeks ago, Ms. Santillana was a regular donor in Texas.
"I donated once a week in Texas," she said. "I even shop at the Salvation Army thrift store so I can reuse and recycle clothing."
Wendy Boyette was one of the new volunteers learning the ropes.
"It makes me feel great," she said. "It makes me feel like I'm giving something back to the community."
She said Wayne County definitely needs the Salvation Army because it reaches out to people, to the needy.
"We want to bring them to the Lord, too. That's a goal. We're about God and not just about giving to them. We're helping them physically and spiritually."
Her husband, Dan, has been a Salvation Army volunteer for 50 years. He grew up in the organization where his parents were members.
"This is a new truck and we're preparing it to be ready to be dispatched in the event of a disaster. Hopefully within 30 days it will be ready. It's got to have new tires, the AC replaced and some things fixed. It has a brand new refrigerator, stove and freezer and that was very expensive."
Boyette said the Salvation Army's goal is to feed people as well as ministering to them.
The canteen has the capacity to feed 800 to 900 meals a day with food prepared right in the truck.
During donor appreciation day, he was thanking donors for their contributions and telling them what the Salvation Army does.
In its day-to-day operations, the Salvation Army deals with all kinds of people -- those down on their luck, the homeless, the drunk, the drug addict.
"These are people who aren't reached anywhere else," Boyette said. "We don't shun anyone. We'll go to the lowest of the low and try to help them.
"Sometimes we can help them, sometimes we can't. But we always try. We never stop trying because everybody is a human being, no matter what their station in life, no matter how much money they have or don't have, no matter what color they are, no matter what they've done. We're passionate about it. We don't hold back."
And it's due to donors like those who dropped items off to the thrift store this past weekend.
"Without donors, we can't survive," Lt. Igleheart said. "This was an opportunity to thank them for all they do.
"And it gave our new disaster team the opportunity to get hands-on experience in the canteen at a time when it's now crowded.
"When they go on a disaster, they may have hundreds of people standing there hungry, and we've got a brand new truck that they may not be able to figure out how to turn the grill on. This was practice. It was also an opportunity for us to see if we need to add something like a spoon we don't have or something else."