NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – The Salvation Army’s local New Rochelle chapter, along with many others throughout the world, helps the local community, especially during the holidays. However, the local chapter’s organizers said it is currently “struggling.”
According to its leaders, the holiday season is crucial for the organization, which has volunteer bell-ringers throughout the community who collect donations that go towards the upcoming year’s services. “It’s part of the mission of the Salvation Army,” said Lt. Daniel Diakanwa. “We believe that we have to feed people, to cloth them, and also be available to them.”
The organization’s funds go toward helping the needy with food, clothing, and furniture purchases, as well as the funding of some after-school programs. Diakanwa said The Salvation Army continues to help those in dire need of its services but, “We’re struggling.”
Salvation Army volunteer Michelle Miller said she enjoys the satisfaction of giving back to the group that once helped her in times of need.
“When I was having some financial problems and some spiritual problems the Salvation Army was there for me and I’d like to give back to them,” she said.
The Salvation Army was started by William Booth in 1865, according to its website. Upon its inception, Booth spoke to a small congregation in the poorer parts of London, England, including thieves, prostitutes, gamblers, and alcoholics in order to convert them to Christianity for spiritual guidance.