BY RENEE HENDRIX –
Salvation Army in Mena has been serving the needs of the people in Polk County in their new location on Sherwood Avenue since September 2015. With their helping hands and warm hearts, local manager Roxanne Aleshire and her team help an average of 5 to 10 families a week.
Salvation Army is an organization that is rich with history, starting back in the mid 1800’s and now has grown to such an extent that it is active in virtually every corner of the world. In the year of 1852, William Booth had a burden to reach out to the undesirables of England. He took to the street of London, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to the poor and homeless. He became a beacon of hope to the hungry and to the destitute.
From this humble yet honorable endeavor birthed the beginning of a humanitarian program in which people reach down to help their fellow man. The mission of Salvation Army states, “The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible.” From humble beginnings it has grown into a worldwide organization. One of which is our own local Salvation Army Family Store of Mena, Arkansas, where they offer numerous outreaches to aid families in Polk County.
One of these services that they offer to the local community is helping out families after the destruction of their home due to a house fire. As this writer well knows, in the summer of 1999, we lost our home and everything we owned in one night. Being 7 months pregnant at the time just made it more devastating. Salvation Army stepped in and gave us a lending hand. They brought some sanity and comfort in a much needed time of need.
This family store assists the local community in so many unique and different ways, from helping with utility bills, with their emergency financial program, to aiding families after house fires and providing quality reasonably priced items to people who may not otherwise be able to afford them. They offer a safe work environment for single moms in the T.E.A. program so they can receive an income for their families. They provide a place where people with community services can lend a helping hand in the community. “We desire to be a light in a dark world.” Aleshire stated. She went on to state, “People don’t even realize what all we do.”
Every year Salvation Army contributes to the local foster children by purchasing gifts for them. This year with all the help from the community, they were able to purchase iPads for a special group of children with special needs. They have been able to donate to the local and upcoming chapter of the CALL, as well.
Anyone interested in joining this team may contact Roxanne Aleshire at the local store. “Any support and prayers are always appreciated,” said Aleshire.
Aleshire credited the supportive local community with the many programs and assistance they are able to provide.