Community is an ‘Army within The Army’

By: E. Ken Tokutomi, The Salvation Army of Auburn
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The Salvation Army of Auburn recently held its first annual Celebration Breakfast at The Ridge. During the event, The Army honored and celebrated each person’s community spirit, showing The Army’s sincere appreciation for the community’s help which allows us to continue to do the Lord’s work! We are blessed to be able to live in such a great community. Service organizations and local churches were honored, including the Auburn Kiwanis Club, Pioneer Methodist Church, First Congregational Church, Hope, Help and Healing, Placer County Board of Realtors, Feed the Hungry of Auburn, Lyon’s Real Estate, the Sugar Plump Fairies, and local law enforcement. Some of the individuals honored were Jan Haldeman, Marva E. Beadle, Diane Felt, Craig Holyfield, Ed Larson, Fred Relaford, Gail Gentry, and the 15 individuals who have faithfully served at The Corps in the social services department for over 15 years. We refer to all of our wonderful volunteers as, “Our Army within The Army,” for without their dedicated efforts it would be impossible to accomplish the vital work for which The Salvation Army is so well known. Throughout the year The Army partners with the community and businesses to provide services for the needy, the disadvantaged and the less fortunate. In November The Salvation Army will attract a large compliment of volunteers who will once again cook and serve meals at our upcoming Community Thanksgiving Day dinner. They give freely of their time to do this every year because they enjoy the fellowship and sense of doing something good for the community. Through this event we establish a partnership to provide this wonderful Community Thanksgiving feast. We invite and encourage all of our families to come and enjoy the day as we break bread together. Beginning on Nov. 22, the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle’s and Silver Bells will once again be seen and heard throughout this community as we begin our annual appeal at Christmas. Several years ago The Auburn Salvation Army Advisory Board decided to convert our largest fundraiser, our Christmas kettle program, into an all-volunteer work force. This was a great leap of faith by the board considering this fundraiser is the largest part of our yearly income. Using volunteer bell ringers enables people to volunteer and empowers them with a pride in their community service. And so, as we once again approach this vitally important volunteer Christmas Kettle campaign, we ask that each of you consider taking a couple of hours out of your busy schedules to ring bells for The Auburn Salvation Army. Our Kettle coordinator is Ashlee Southworth and she can be reached at (530) 889-3993. If you have a couple of hours, we have a spot for you to ring; and we can assure you that you will enjoy the experience and know that you have made a significant contribution to your community. We are also in need of volunteer drivers during the work day to help with daily operations. Again, if you are interested and have the time, call Michelle at (530) 889-3993. We are also very pleased and excited to announce that very soon we will partner with law enforcement and disaster relief personnel by providing yet another service for which The Army is well known: a local Emergency Service Canteen to assist in local or regional disasters. Finally, we want to thank the Auburn Kiwanis Club, Gary and Lois Croman of Transcon Dealer Services, and the Ridge for providing the funding and facility for our celebration in honor of our volunteers. We also thank each and every one of our volunteers, and our generous donors, for their continued support. May the Lord bless you and keep you! E. Ken Tokutomi, CPA, is the chairman of the Auburn Salvation Army Advisory Board.