All are invited to attend The Salvation Army of Muscatine’s 125th anniversary celebration on Friday, August 4, 2017, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Discovery Park, 3300 Cedar Street in Muscatine. Free hot dogs, anniversary cake and lemonade or iced tea will be provided courtesy of Hy-Vee, and local restaurants will be providing a taste of Muscatine’s best. Entertainment will include bouncy houses for children supplied by Bash N Bounce and Muskie Jump, as well as a live stage with local entertainment.
In 1865, William Booth spent his days preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to the poor, the homeless, the hungry and the destitute people of London, England. In his attempt to reach these people, Booth challenged the accepted concept of church and took his preaching to the streets. Booth traveled throughout England conducting evangelistic meetings. Booth’s services were an instant success. He quickly became well known as a religious leader throughout London and attracted followers who were dedicated to fighting for the souls of men and women.
In 1867, Booth had only 10 full-time workers, but by 1874, Booth’s followers had grown to 1,000 volunteers and 42 evangelists. At this time, the group was serving under the name The Christian Mission. The group officially adopted the title of The Salvation Army in August of 1878.
The ministry migrated to America in 1880 and was in full bloom by 1885, when The Salvation Army’s first meeting took place in Philadelphia. After receiving a warm welcome, The Salvation Army expanded its operation throughout the United States. Today, there are more than 9,000 Salvation Army centers and local neighborhood units in the United States. Members of The Salvation Army serve the poor and needy in 127 countries. Nationally, we have over 62,000 employees and over 3 million volunteers.
Additional historic information can be found at http://centralusa.salvationarmy.org/usc/history.
Services provided by The Salvation Army of Muscatine include:
- A lunch program. On Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., a hot lunch is served to anyone in need. In 2016, 3488 meals were served.
- A food pantry open on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. The pantry is available to provide non-perishable food to anyone in need. In 2016, 422 food boxes were provided to the community.
- Emergent care voucher assistance. Vouchers for rent or utility are provided to community members. In 2016, 435 families received emergent care vouchers.
- Emergency disaster services responding to individuals and families in need and supporting public safety officers during times of natural crisis. Responding to this spring’s tornado in Muscatine, The Salvation Army of Muscatine’s Emergency Disaster Services provided:
- Distribution of over 800 meals (Including packaging, gas, food)
- Distribution of 88 clean up buckets
- Distribution of 10 hygiene kits
- Provision of three days of emergency shelter, staffing and in-corps meals, for a total of $10,000 spent in emergency disaster relief
- “Pathway of Hope” family support, working with families who have a vested interest in becoming self-sustaining and providing skill building services and support to teach and achieve independence.
- Youth development programs. The Safe Haven After School Program runs Monday through Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. including time dedicated to school essentials, group activities and a snack. Kid Zone Summer Day Camp runs Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and includes field trips, music, and varied activities. In 2017, there were 55 children enrolled.
The Salvation Army also offers ministries including a women’s ministry, character building kids biblical program, Bible study, prayer time, and worship. Other seasonal activities include providing toys to Muscatine community children through Angel Tree and collection during the Two Weeks of Love. In 2016, 2856 children were provided with a tangible gift of hope. The Salvation Army also hosts an annual Thanksgiving meal, provided free to the community, with all the trimmings, served by volunteers.
The Salvation Army of Muscatine relies on business/private donations and a small amount of grant support to provide services to those most in need. Of every dollar donated, 82 cents stay in Muscatine to serve individuals and families in the community. 47% of the annual budget is collected at Christmas. The organization recently took a 70% cut in funding from local grants.