The Salvation Army traces its roots back to London in 1865 when William Booth, an ordained minister, and his wife Catherine formed an evangelical group dedicated to preaching among the “unchurched” people living in the midst of appalling poverty in London’s East End. In addition to preaching the gospel, Booth lived out the gospel of Jesus Christ by feeding and sheltering the hungry and homeless and with the rehabilitation of alcoholics. Booth and his group originally known as “the Christian Mission” became The Salvation Army in 1878, and today in its 150th year, its mission still continues to preach the gospel of Christ and to meet the human need in Jesus’ name.
The Salvation Army has two branches within the organization that serve to meet the needs of the community. Their Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) is a specialty division, which functions to provide long term care to those suffering from substance abuse and chronic homelessness, while their Area Command is expanded to include many different programs. These programs under the umbrella of the Area Command focus more on short-term need including social services, food pantries and night by night homeless shelters. Both parts of the Salvation Army function together as a whole to meet the needs of the hungry and the homeless.
In South Florida, there is a single operation in Palm Beach County, two divisions in Ft. Lauderdale and two in Miami.
“We are excited about our presence in South Florida and looking forward to involving local organizations in our 150th anniversary celebration,” said Jim Moyer, Community Outreach Director for Ft. Lauderdale’s Adult Rehabilitation Center.
This year, Jim is working on bringing community organizations together in mutually beneficial relationships.
“The plan is to partner with local organizations and their events. While they raise funds for their organization, people will also be able to bring items like clothing, which will then be sold in our stores, which goes directly back to the adult rehabilitation center. It really is a win-win situation.”
In honor of the anniversary, cities in Broward County are being asked to sign proclamations, recognizing The Salvation Army’s 150 years in existence.
“Many cities such as Ft. Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Dania Beach and Miramar have already signed on. We expect many more will join in the coming weeks,” said Moyer.
Salvation Army’s fundraising efforts will also continue on the local level in the upcoming year. And people can be confident in their gift giving, knowing that 82 cents of every dollar spent by the Salvation Army goes directly to client service- among the highest percentages of any major non profit in the world. For information, visit salvationarmyflorida.org/fortlauderdale/.
Melissa Zelniker-Presser is an attorney who is following her God-sized dream of becoming a full time writer. Melissa currently runs a blog workforthecausenottheapplause.com and is also working on a non-fiction book detailing her journey to Christ as a Jewish believer. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.