The Salvation Army has been helping Arizonans overcome poverty, addiction and economic hardships through a range of social services for more than 125 years. By providing food for the hungry, clothing and shelter for the homeless, disaster and heat relief, senior activity and outreach, adult rehabilitation, and opportunities for underprivileged children, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at more than 50 centers of operation across the state. Approximately 82 cents of every dollar donated to The Salvation Army are used to support its life-transforming social services. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities,” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately-funded, direct-service nonprofit.
The Salvation Army is monitoring the COVID-19 situation daily and has ramped up efforts to slow the spread of this virus among its employees, volunteers, and the homeless and other vulnerable people it serves.
The pandemic resulted in a 415% increase in Arizonans receiving services from The Salvation Army for the first time in March and April 2020 compared to March and April 2019. In response, The Salvation Army activated its Emergency Disaster Services and has been providing things like meals, emergency food boxes, shelter, hygiene kits, cleaning supplies, and emotional and spiritual care to neighbors in need … as well as PPE, food and water to our dedicated first responders and healthcare workers on the frontlines.
“Because of big-hearted partners like Valley of the Sun United Way and the generous support of local donors, The Salvation Army has been able to meet the increased need we’ve seen during the pandemic. For that, we are extremely grateful.” - Major David Yardley, The Salvation Army Metro Phoenix Program Coordinator.
Several residents of Superstition Buttes Mobile Home Community in Apache Junction, many of whom are seniors, were struggling in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, not willing or able to leave their homes to get supplies and food.
Karen Mata, a resident of the community reached out to her nephew, Daryl Howard, who is a cook for The Salvation Army Mesa Corps Community Center. Mata asked Howard if he thought The Salvation Army could help. Daryl spoke with Salvation Army Mesa Corps Officer Major Scott Ramsey, who quickly sprang into action.
Major Ramsey assembled a team that began preparing and bringing hot lunches to the community each weekday. Mata organized a group of residents who were able to deliver the lunches to those homebound. The effort continued for well over a month, and often more than 60 lunches were delivered a day.
“People were so very, very thankful for the meals. I heard that every single day,” said Mata.
The meals helped the homebound residents stem the tide during a very difficult time.
The Salvation Army has supported the most underserved members of the community for more than 125 years, and even in the midst of a pandemic, they continue to lend a helping hand to those who need one. Organizations like The Salvation Army remind us every day who and what we are fighting for and UNITED we will continue to be a helping hand when someone needs it.
For more information on grants distributed in the community, please visit www.vsuw.org/covid19grants. To learn about our organization’s first seven weeks of local response read our ‘Response Report’ available at www.vsuw.org/covidreport.