Salvation Army marks 150 years

Published 9:24 pm Monday, June 8, 2015

By Derek ThompsonThe Selma Times-Journal

The Salvation Army celebrated 150 years of service Monday, June 1.

The organization was established in 1865 and is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church devoted to helping those in the deepest need.

“At The Salvation Army of Selma, we stand ready to offer food and clothing, but we also can help overcome addiction, develop musical and other artistic talents and skills and get a child back to the outdoors at summer camp,” said Major Steve Welch, local Commanding Officer.

Welch and his wife have served in The Salvation Army as officers for 35 years because they believe it is their calling to help their community.

“This is how we live our motto, ‘Doing The Most Good.’ We don’t care where there is need. As long as there are needy people we will be there to help,” said Major Mary Welch.

Monique Breach, bookkeeper at the local Salvation Army, said her 10 years working for the organization has been rewarding because she has got to help a lot of people.

“Especially at Christmas time we do a lot of good work with the kids,” Breach said. “Money is tight so we can’t really do the social services that we want to do because we don’t have the funds. That’s hard when somebody comes to the door and says they need help with their power bill or their rent, and we don’t have the money. Selma is hard because there is not a lot of funding around here.”

Betty Goodman, sergeant major of the local corps, said the anniversary means a lot to her because she has been a member for over 65 years.

“My children go and my grandchildren go,” Goodman said. “If (The Salvation Army) has been around that long, they will be around much longer.”

The 32 local corps across the Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi Division, served over 1.2 million meals in 2014, and sheltered over 1,000 people per night. The Selma Corps of The Salvation Army provided Christmas to 254 families, 564 “Angel Tree” children and will be sending 13 children to summer camp for a total of 16 weeks.The Salvation Army is active in every zip code across the United States, and 3.5 million people have volunteered with the organization.

“This is why we are here. Our hope is that the community will join us by donating their time, money and goods, so that no one will go without,” said Major Steve Welch.

To support your local Salvation Army with a credit card, you can call 1-800-SALARMY or online at www.salvationarmyalm.org.

Cash or checks may be dropped off at 2104 Franklin St. or mailed to P.O. Box 1166, Selma, Alabama 36702.

To donate used clothing, furniture, etc. call (334) 526-2718.

For additional information, call (334) 872.1646.