Most people immediately think of the bells at Christmas when they think of the Salvation Army.
Or so Sgt. Ruthie Forgey, corps administrator for the Salvation Army, told the Sunrise Rotarians at the weekly meeting Thursday.
“It sounds like Christmas to others,” Forgey said.
Since the late 1800s, the Salvation Army has been ringing its bells to collect donations that help fund their programs throughout the year. “To us, its a sound of hope.”
The goal of the Salvation Army is to help people in the community who are hopeless and homeless, she said. And yes, although the Salvation Army is known for being a church or core, as it is known within the organization, it is even more known for its service to the community.
In addition to its thrift store on 17th Street near Keith Street, within the last year and a half, the local Salvation Army has helped 240 families with utilities assistance, 8,000 with clothing, 7,000 with meals and 2,000 with groceries. It served up 500 meals at two locations for Thanksgiving dinner.
It has also sent an emergency team to help in the aftermath of the Hixson tornado, provided 3,000 bottles of water for the Fans of Hope event, as well as provided packs of supplies to homeless shelters and back-to-school packs for students.
Its Angel Tree program gave Christmas presents to the children of 574 families last Christmas.
Free counseling, including teen addiction programs, and summer camp programs are also available through the Salvation Army.
Worship services also are given every Sunday.
The Salvation Army tries to help the “broken, hurting, homeless,” Forgey said. It has provided “a lot of programs in the last year and a half; lots of lives have been transformed. ... We meet the need in front of us every day. ... We are only limited by our donations.”
In other business:
n Aaron Sanders, M.D., retired thoracic surgeon and Sunrise Rotarian, recently returned from a trip to the Mary Diana Samuel Home orphanage in India. While there, Sanders and his fellow travelers attended a Rotary meeting in Madras.As is the custom in Rotary, the Indian Rotary group gave one of its flags to Sanders to give to the local Sunrise Rotary, which he presented to the Cleveland group Thursday. Through the district and international Rotary organizations, Sanders and others are collaborating with the Madras Rotary to obtain a school bus for the orphanage.
n Andy Anderson, Sunrise Rotary member, presented a $1,000 check from the Rotary Foundation to Forgey, of the Salvation Army. The monies primarily will be used for utility assistance.
n The Sunrise Rotary Gala on June 17 will feature Derek Dooley, head football coach of the University of Tennessee Volunteers, as its speaker. In addition to the local Sunrise Rotary organization, which can be contacted through Bob Anderson, president, at 432-0347, Gala information now can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.
n Some missing classifications for the Sunrise Rotary organization include editing, electrical engineering, engraving, entertainment, and environmental science.