To mark the 125th anniversary of The Salvation Army of the Virginia Peninsula, roughly 200 people will gather at the Historic Post Office in Hampton from 8am to 10am on Friday, September 22, for a banquet to celebrate the non-profit’s efforts in providing emergency, seasonal, and disaster assistance to individuals, families, and communities in need.
“We’ll be bringing together community members, political individuals, former board members, and stakeholders to celebrate the 125th anniversary at the event,” said Lt. Antiono Willis, commanding officer and pastor with The Salvation Army of the Virginia Peninsula. “We’ll spotlight our past service of how we came to be the Salvation Army in this area and tell that story as well as what we are currently doing today, 125 years later. We’ll also be introducing our vision for the future regarding innovation, creation, and renovation.”
The Salvation Army of the Virginia Peninsula serves people who reside in Hampton, Newport News, lower York County, Poquoson, and Gloucester and Mathews counties. Though the charitable group wasn’t able to pinpoint an exact date of establishment, records confirm the Virginia Peninsula branch was officially founded sometime in September 1898.
An international movement, The Salvation Army is affiliated with the universal Christian Church and assists 25 million Americans annually and 130 countries across the globe.
“The mission of The Salvation Army is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination,” said Willis. “Locally, we want to connect the unconnected to Christ through our services and programs with an aspect ensuring that everyone who comes through The Salvation Army doors or has an interaction with The Salvation Army is treated with the utmost respect and has a place within the missions and work that we do.”
Willis said The Salvation Army of the Virginia Peninsula has already begun outreach efforts in celebration of its 125th anniversary.
“Last week we went to different gas stations and grocery stores and paid for individuals’ gas and groceries. We also delivered doughnuts to first responders, teachers, and community organizers throughout the Peninsula and Gloucester,” said Willis. The nonprofit randomly paid for $1,250 in gas and $1,400 in groceries to unsuspecting members of the community.
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