The Salvation Army, now located at 801 N. Sumner, held a grand re-opening on Wednesday afternoon after a year of re-configuring the non-profit.
“We originally were a Corps. when they acquired the (old) building [at 200 N. Cuyler],” Regional Representative Shelby Huff said. “They were a Corps., which is a church. It evolved over the years in many different ways. We had a thrift store, which became income for the service center.”
After the church and officers left the Salvation Army, the building became a “service center.”
“We maintained the building, had employees and had a thrift store,” Huff said. “Then over the years, the dynamic in Pampa changed and now we are what’s called a ‘service unit.’”
The primary difference between a service center and service unit is the unit is operated solely by volunteers.
“In July of last year, we restructured down to a service unit,” Huff said. “Our Red Kettle Season has gone down (nationwide). When I started three years ago, I had over 150 volunteers. Now, I’m over just about 100.”
The building on Cuyler Street has now been sold and the Salvation Army has moved into their location on Sumner Street and has a new 10-member Advisory Council.
“I’ve been re-building the Council,” Huff said. “The Council at that time felt like it was the closing of a chapter for them. So, most of them retired. A lot of them had been on the Council since the 1980s. We’ve got new insight, new eyes and new excitement.”
The Salvation Army’s new board of directors is comprised of: Tommy Cox (Chairperson), Nicole Sturgill (Secretary, Camp Director), Sandy Crosswhite (Social Services Director), Arrika Mitchell, Amy Crain, Bill Roy, Lois Parks, Destiny Pack, Dora Ryan and Serenity Ford.
Huff, who is from Pampa and employed by the Salvation Army Headquarters, said this is her community and she takes a special interest in it.
The new office will be open two Wednesdays (the first and third) a month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Sandy Crosswhite is our Social Services Director,” Huff said. “She will be in the office and we will have some other advisory council members (all volunteers) that will be in the office that will come in and help clients.”
The Salvation Army aims to provide financial assistance for rent, utilities, prescriptions, gas, fire emergency, food assistance and soon look to develop a Emergency Disaster Services Program.
“I’ve partnered with local emergency personnel,” Huff said. “In the past, we have provided meals and supplies for the firefighters. But, we want to take it and expand that. Our goal is to buy a trailer, canopy tents and tables/chairs. So, we can go to a location and provide meals and a spot to rest.”
In the long-term, Huff would like to see the unit serve more than Gray County with the mobile EDS unit.
The Red Kettle Season is the Salvation Army’s most recognizable fundraiser and the organization will start recruiting volunteers for the 2022 season in October.
The Angel Tree program will also start in October.
“Last year we helped 96 kids with the Angel Tree to provide them with a Christmas,” Huff said. “This year, we are going to partner with Pampa ISD and structure it a little different to hit the ones who might be embarrassed to apply.”
The Salvation Army also has a summer camp program that saw 16 kids from Pampa and 50 from the region go to Summer Camp.
“It’s a free summer camp that is a week-long at our camp in Midlothian, Texas,” Huff said. “They had so much fun and are ready for next year.”
Appointments with the Salvation Army can be made at 806-664-1517. There will also be an application and drop-box at their location.
Huff said the re-opening of the Salvation Army is more than a symbolic occasion for the organization.
“Our Board has some community leaders and when they talk and say they are on the Salvation Army Board, people say, ‘I didn’t know the Salvation Army is still here,’” Huff said.
“Technically, we are. But this grand re-opening was a re-introduction back into the community so they understand how they can get a hold of us and what we’re doing now. We will continue to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”
For more information on the unit visit their Facebook page at “Salvation Army of Pampa.” The Salvation Army is a United Way Agency.
“My vision for this is to help the community 100 percent,” Huff said. “I want the community to rely on us in that they know we are here and we are active.”
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