ORGANISATION OF THE MONTH
One of the oldest organisations in the world, The Salvation Army stays true to its roots: providing care for the underprivileged through its many ministries around South Africa
Through its many ministries around South Africa, The Salvation Army spreads festive cheer by organising soup kitchens, carolling brass bands and more!
The Salvation Army was started by English Methodist evangelist William Booth in the 1800s to address the social injustices that were prevalent in the West End of London at the time. “The word ‘salvation’ identifies us as an organisation,” says The Salvation Army’s public relations secretary for the Southern Africa Territory, Major Carin Holmes. “We’re an army fighting the social injustices in the world while spreading the word of Jesus Christ.”
She adds that The Salvation Army is at the forefront of addressing social issues by looking after the homeless, the poor and those who cannot fend for themselves. This is done through The Salvation Army’s two pillars – faith and community – hence, the organisation provides for people’s needs first before ministering the word of the Lord to them.
“We give a loaf of bread in the name of Jesus Christ – the love of God compels us to do what we do,” Carin asserts. She shares that the organisation’s community arm operates through a diverse range of ministries, including day-care establishments, family care facilities, drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities and different food programmes/soup kitchens run by various corps (Salvation Army units established for the preaching of the Gospel and service in a community) around the country. “There are over 230 corps in South Africa. Each one identifies the need in their community and draws up a feeding scheme accordingly,” Carin explains. On certain days during the festive season, the different ministries also hold special Christmas lunches for the underprivileged.
Additionally, another part of The Salvation Army that is most active during the holidays is the different brass bands across the country, which are invited to perform at malls and townhouse complexes. “We get a lot of requests for our bands to perform Christmas carols,” Carin smiles. “Usually, the entrance fee is toys, which we distribute to the less fortunate.”
Being a season of giving, Carin encourages the public to give to the underprivileged. She says people need to share what they have with those who don’t. “Instead of waiting for The Salvation Army to do something first, go out and see how you can help someone,” Carin advises. “For instance, there must be a person in your vicinity you can offer a plate of food to on Christmas Day.”
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Any donations are welcome. Visit The Salvation Army’s website (details below) for information on your nearest corp and how you can contribute. For monetary donations, use the following details with the corp’s name as reference: First National Bank; Branch code: 251905; Account name: Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal; Account number: 50540087604
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: THE SALVATION ARMY’S BRASS BANDS PERFORM CHRISTMAS CAROLS AROUND THE COUNTRY; A HOME FOR THE ELDERLY RUN BY THE ORGANISATION IN SOWETO; SOUP KITCHENS ARE ANOTHER WAY OF GIVING BACK TO LOCAL COMMUNITIES
THE SALVATION ARMY’S PUBLIC RELATIONS SECRETARY FOR THE SOUTHERN AFRICA TERRITORY, MAJOR CARIN HOLMES,SPENDS SOME TIME WITH UNDERPRIVILEGED CHILDREN