Salvation Army opens doors to public

GLOVERSVILLE — The Salvation Army of Fulton County is hoping to introduce more individuals and families to what they do during a special week.

Lt. AnnMarie Devanney said Monday through May 21 will be Salvation Army Week in Fulton County.

Devanney said on May 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., the Salvation Army will be hosting an open house at its 10 Spring St. facility.

“It’s a venue for people in the community who may not know as much as they would like to [know] about the Army, and want to find out more” Devanney said.

Advisory board members, who are hosting the event, will be on hand to answer questions and information will be posted around the center.

“This is an opportunity to thank everyone, because the community has been so supportive and encouraging of what we have endeavored to do in the community,” Devanney said. She said tours will be available along with refreshments.

“We will have a small brass ensemble playing music,” Devanney said.

Devanney said the event is a way to say thank you to those who help.

During the event, long time volunteer Bob Perrella will be honored with the Others Award, to honor his years of service.

“It’s giving him his due honor. At the Salvation Army we can’t do what we do without people like Bob and other supportive members of the community,” Devanney said.

Devanney said the event is not a fundraiser, and the agency is not asking anything of those who attend other than to come and enjoy themselves.

“One of our board members called it a friendraiser. We’re looking to build communication and relationships in the community we all care about and serve and support,” Devanney said.

Board members will also be going up and down Main Street giving signage to any businesses who want them.

“It’s to highlight an awareness of the organization for the community,” Devanney said

Devanney said most people are familiar with the Salvation Army’s food pantry and soup kitchen, but may not know that many children’s programs are available.

She said the food services are gateway services that can introduce people to the other available services.

‘We are really trying to connect with the youth in the community,” Devanney said. “We will be starting our third year this summer, my husband and I, so between our gleaning, soup kitchen and pantry are a solid foundation to grow off of.”

An after-school program for children in grades kindergarten through 5 is available. There will be a five-week summer day camp in conjunction with the school district, which allows the Salvation Army to serve as a free lunch program. Devanney said they are still awaiting word on if the summer lunch program will be closed or open to those not in day camp.

“We don’t charge anything for our youth programs because we think one of the main issues is parents need something for their children, but they can’t always afford it,” Devanney said. “For us offering a no-cost program because of contributions we had in the past from donors, we are able to provide these things at no cost.”

This summer for the first time, The Salvation Army in Gloversville will be able to offer 24 children the chance to go to summer camp at a Salvation Army certified sleepaway camp at Seneca Lake.

“They get to go outdoors and enjoy nature. It is an opportunity they may not have otherwise,” Devanney said.

This program will be free of charge, and Devanney is encouraging those interested in the sleepaway camp, or other children’s programs, to stop in to learn more or call the office at (518) 725-4119 to set up a face-to-face conversation with Devanney.

Devanney said they are looking for volunteers for their children’s programs including people such as retired school teachers who may be looking for a way to help out or service clubs.

Devanney said the Salvation Army is looking to reestablish service units in Broadalbin and Northville. She said they are looking for volunteers who could help out in those areas.

“I think right now there is a misconception that we are the Gloversville Salvation Army. But we really want to educate the community that we are here for all of Fulton County. So all of the services we provide, especially when it comes to day to day assistance, with food an clothing and furniture is available for all of Fulton County,” Devanney said.

Kerry Minor can be reached at [email protected]

By Chad Fleck

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