The Salvation Army Community Care Ministries seek to demonstrate the love of Christ through holistic practical service that meets human need and transforms communities.
This ministry involves neighborhood members in the practical care and spiritual encouragement of those in need. It includes visitation of those who are in nursing homes, hospitals, Veterans Medical Centers, and prison. Members carry out various acts of kindness, such as spending time with the lonely, doing yard work, housework, minor repairs, and running errands for the elderly and others needing assistance.
Community Care Ministries
Formerly known as League of Mercy, Community Care Ministries was officially inaugurated in Canada in the year of 1892, its ministry and mission having begun in the mind of Mrs. Commandant Herbert Booth. It spread to the United States of America in 1905. Today it is international in scope.
This ministry is accomplished through organized groups and individuals. Recognizing the importance of all ages in this endeavor, youth involvement was acknowledged by the Western Territory with the development of an official Junior Community Care Ministries program in 2001.
The basis for the Community Care Ministries is found in Matthew 25:35-36 (The Message):
"I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me."
Older Adult Ministries
People who are 55 years of age and older represent the fastest growing age group in the U.S. The Salvation Army's ministry with older adults is characterized by diversity. Programs are offered in a variety of contexts: cultural, social, spiritual, age-specific, and inter-generational. Opportunities for fun fellowship, life-long learning, and volunteer service are found in many corps community centers across the nation, as well as a place to gather to share interests, develop new skills, enjoy the company of their peers, and participate in community oriented activities. Many of our seniors are homebound and we offer personal contact through visits, phone calls, meal delivery, and in some cases, transportation to medical appointments.
Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service
VAVS is a plan for community participation in the Veterans Affairs program of care and treatment for veterans who are receiving health care through the Veterans Health Services and Research Administration. Through this plan, community volunteer efforts are brought together and made a meaningful part of the program for the veteran patients. Thus, the hospital becomes a living part of the community.
Prisons today are overloaded with men and women who need Jesus. Many of these people have not had good influences in their lives, which has led them to where they are today. But incarceration can be an opportunity for a new beginning and we are here to help! We visit any inmate who desires it, wherever they are. Evangelistic meetings are held once a week to encourage inmates in their relationship with Christ. In addition, we try to get them involved in a correspondence course run by The Salvation Army.
The other ministry we offer is mentoring. We work with those who are scheduled to be released within the next six to 12 months. After their release, we continue contact and support for an additional six months. Four topics are covered: spiritual formation, relationships, Christian 12-step programs, and life skills.
Junior Community Care Ministries
Training, opportunity, and guidance are provided by the corps for all youth, ages 7-13, who desire to be a part of the Junior Community Care Ministries. At the age of 14 they may be enrolled as a Senior Community Care Ministries member.
The goal is to teach our children to CARE for OTHERS...
C—Compassion toward OTHERS
A—Awareness of OTHERS
R—-Responding to OTHERS
E—-Encouragement of OTHERS
...through visitation, practical services, acts of kindness, and helping hands.