Released 19 April 2013
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Giving out food, clothes, toys and gifts to more than 1600 children every Christmas takes hours and hours of work. From coordinating food and toy drives, to sorting the clothing and food, promoting "Angel" gifts in the workplace, coordinating the correct gifts with the correlating families and distributing the gifts and food, nearly every step of the way is assisted with dedicated Salvation Army volunteers. Volunteers are also instrumental in the success of The Salvation Army Red Kettle Program, giving countless hours manning the iconic Red Kettles at local businesses. These Christmas volunteers and area organizations were recently honored at The Salvation Army of Martin County's Annual Civic and Volunteer Recognition Luncheon, held Wednesday, April 3rd at the Yacht and Country Club in Stuart.
Receiving the volunteer bell-ringer award was Ms. Pam Boston of Hobe Sound. "Ms. Boston took it upon herself to staff the red kettle at the Hobe Sound Publix several days throughout the season," said Lt. Scott Hoover, Corps Officer for The Salvation Army of Martin County. "Her friendly smile was a real blessing for us this Christmas."
Stuart Congregational Church took the award for an organization helping with the Red Kettle campaign. "Under the direction of church member and long-time Salvation Army supporter, Advisory Board member Charlie Stracuzzi, this community-minded church gave us a total of over 300 hours manning the kettles at the Stuart Walmart." Lt. Hoover also recognized the residents of Monarch Country Club for their bell-ringing efforts.
Receiving awards for their assistance with the Angel Tree Christmas Assistance Program were Joan Smith, Erlinda Cerda and Chris Urban. "Chris was really the muscle behind our distribution process," laughed Lt. Andrea Hoover. "He gave many hours of back-breaking labor during the coordination of the family bags," she explained. She added that Mrs. Smith was recognized for her dedication to providing clothing for every child who received assistance through the Angel Tree program, and Mrs. Cerda was recognized for her cheerful spirit during both the intake and distribution processes.
Several area civic and social organizations were also honored for their contributions to The Salvation Army's Christmas effort.
Immanuel Lutheran Church in Palm City for conducting food drives throughout the year as well as an Angel Tree toy drive at Christmas
- The Treasure Coast Parrot Head Club for coordinating a major Angel Tree toy drive as well as for their volunteer hours coordinating Angel Tree family bags and during Angel Tree distribution
- The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Stuart for coordinating both a toy and a food drive during the Christmas season
- VFW Post 10066 for conducting a food drive as well as for volunteering as bell-ringers.
The Salvation Army of Martin County works throughout the year to provide food and financial assistance to those in distress. Other programs offered by The Salvation Army include emergency disaster assistance, a Friday night food ministry (which provides a hot meal to over 100 people weekly), youth character building programs, a morning Breakfast Club (providing pastries, bread and coffee free of charge), Sunday worship services, bible studies and youth ministry. The Salvation Army of Martin County also operates Compassion House, which provides transitional housing to homeless women and women with children.
The Salvation Army is located at 821 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in East Stuart. For more information, please call 772-288-1471 or visit www.salvationarmystuart.org.