Starkville branch celebrates National Salvation Army Week

Starkville Service Center Manager Katie Walker holds a quilt donated by Anne McDonald for the National Salvation Army Week grand prize giveaway. (Photo by Mary Rumore, SDN)
Staff Writer

The Starkville branch of the Salvation Army is celebrating National Salvation Army Week May 14 through 20.

National Salvation Army Week was established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Congress in 1954.

Starkville Service Center Manager Katie Walker said the Family Store will be offering discounts and giveaways throughout the week to celebrate, and volunteer Anne McDonald donated a Mississippi State University t-shirt quilt as the grand prize giveaway for the week.

Walker said each day on their social media and in store, the five core values of the Salvation Army will be highlighted: brave, compassionate, passionate, uplifting and trustworthy.

"Tuesday is ‘brave,' and so it highlights how in the early 1900's there was a hurricane that hit Galveston, Texas, and that's where the Salvation Army first ever responded to a disaster," Walker said. "So for us it highlights the bravery of being first responders to a disaster and how people can get involved in that response. The most recent one here would be tornado in Louisville."

Each December, Starkville Salvation Army participates in the Angel Tree program and the Red Kettle campaign, Walker said, but the local branch of the organization services people in Oktibbeha, Choctaw, Webster and Winston counties year-round.

Walker said Starkville Salvation Army offers a food pantry, utility assistance and material donations to those in need due to a fire, loss of job or other emergency.

"We're very visible in December with Red Kettle and Angel Tree, but there is need all year-round," she said.

Walker said the branch tends to see more of a need when it is hot and cold outside, Starkville Salvation Army has also partnered with 4-County Electric Power Association and Starkville Utilities through the Warm Neighbor program which allows customers to donate money to help low income family pay their utilities.

Recently the branch partnered with MSU for residence hall clean out and received canned goods, food items and household goods, Walker said.

"It's our second year to do it," she said. "If they didn't want linens or household items or food, we were able to bring those items here and put them back into the community."

The Salvation Army has been open in Starkville since 1984 or 1985, according to Walker.

"It's been around and supported by the community for over thirty years," she said "To me that speaks volumes of the support that Starkville gives to the Salvation Army."

Anyone interested in getting involved can volunteer at the food pantry or warehouse.

The Family Store is currently accepting any gently used clothes, furniture, linens, working electronics, dishes, pots and pans, shoes, decorative items during store hours. Mattresses are not accepted. Items can be dropped off at the store or pick up can be arranged by calling the store at (662) 324-3304.

Walker said the Salvation Army is also giving back to the community through a free summer camp for children ages seven through 12 June 18-23 at Camp Hidden Lake in Lexington. For more information or to register, call (662) 324-3304.