Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First Annual "Hope for Tomorrow" Luncheon & Style Show

The First Annual “Hope for Tomorrow” Luncheon & Style Show, benefitting The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club was held on Thursday, August 23.  Fox 4 TV’s Angel San Juan, who was the host for this special occasion, called it “a historical event.”

The program began with a silent auction and boutique-browsing for the early birds. 

After an invocation by Major Floiran Estrada, Corps Officer of The Salvation Army in Beaumont, a delightful lunch was served to 200 attendees.  Honored guests included City of Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames and Mary Archer of The Salvation Army divisional headquarters.

The style show began featuring Macy’s popular back-to-school apparel modeled by BISD students, with commentary by Dee Ware of Macy’s.  Surprise models included local personalities such as Angela Baker, Debbie Cowart and many more.

Michael Perez, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club, explained that the proceeds would go towards extending the facility in order to allow more children in the program.  Every year, there are many more applicants than can be admitted to the program for the simple reason that there is no space.

“We hope that increased awareness will help bring the necessary support to make this project a reality,” says Major Eloisa Estrada.

Judy Kelfstrom, Event Coordinator, acknowledged the local media for the support they give to The Salvation Army as well as other non-profit organizations.  The Salvation Army wants to give thanks to the Luncheon Committee, our sponsors, and our community.

Marcia Stevens, lucnheon sponsor & event model
For more pictures, visit us at facebook.com/salvationarmybeaumont

Friday, August 10, 2012

13 Students at Target School Spree

It was an exciting day for 13 students Wednesday morning at the annual Target School Spree at the store at 5850 Eastex Fwy.

Every summer, The Salvation Army works to provide children with new school supplies in our back-to-school efforts.  However, the highlight is the Target School Spree.

This special event offers the opportunity to provide underprivileged children with brand-new school supplies.  Each child receives an $80 Target GiftCard to cover their purchases as well as guidance from Salvation Army staff and volunteers in making their selections.

For many children it is a special treat to be able to have a new backpack, new shoes, as well as the many items on a standard supply list that add up to be more than some families can afford.

After shopping, they enjoyed some snacks and refreshments, courtesy of Target.  “We want to give a big THANK YOU to the staff at Target for their support and making this such a fun experience for the kids,” says Major Eloisa Estrada.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hot Day Under the Sun for Club 316 Troopers

It’s been a very productive year so far for Club 316.  These troopers have passed their goal for badges earned, participated in Sunday school lessons, Vacation Bible School, and volunteered in several events.  They are also involved in extra-curricular activities at school and church.

Because summer is almost over, it was decided that a last field trip was in order for the hardworking troopers of Club 316.  They hoped to raise enough money to go to Paradise Waterpark.

They needed to raise money to pay for the full costs associated with the trip and so decided on a fund raiser today at The Family Store during the monthly 50% off storewide sale.

Today Club 316 troopers had a fund raiser at The Family Store.  They sold water bottles, snow cones, chocolates, candy, and crackers.  Employees, customers and even volunteers were purchasing refreshments to cool off.

Afterwards, troopers made some sales in a friendly neighborhood, introducing themselves as part of The Salvation Army Club 316.

It was a very productive – and successful – day!  Already HALF of the money needed to fund the field trip to Paradise Waterpark was raised today.  The children are all confident that they can raise the rest before the planned trip next week!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

BIG BIG BIG Sale this Saturday at The Family Store!!!

That’s a lot of BIGs, but we live up to the name!

The Salvation Army Family Store always has quality items at bargain prices, but every FIRST Saturday of the month has a special 50% OFF sale!

That’s a storewide sale of 50% OFF all merchandise!
If you’re looking for some great gifts for a baby shower, we’ve got all sorts of baby items: bassinets, strollers, swings, toys, bibs and more.  If you’re attending a wedding and require a men’s suit, look no further.  If you want to frame a treasured moment, we’ve got great picture frames.

With so many items every family needs, you’ll find:
· Furniture
· Shoes
· Household items
· Clothing
· Electronics
· Toys
· Children's Clothing
· Books
· Music
· & Much More!!! 
And all these great items at HALF the price!  So don't miss out on this Saturday's 50% OFF storewide sale. In The Family Store, you never know what treasures you may discover!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Cool Way to Get Cool

This summer’s Cooling Station and Beat the Heat programs have certainly proven to be the “cool” way to get cool. From Monday to Friday, visitors are hanging out in the Cooling Station, watching TV and enjoying the air conditioner with some cold water.

This summer’s Beat the Heat program has certainly proven to be the “cool” way to get cool. Low-income seniors (who do not have air conditioning or are not able to afford the high rates during hot summers) are able to apply for a fan. Just last Thursday, 120 oscillating fans were donated by Entergy Texas, and by early this week, all fans had already been given out! That’s 120 fans from Entergy Texas plus 20 or so that were donated by a caring community, equaling more than 140 fans going out to the elderly.

It certainly gives evidence that the need for fans this year is substantially higher than last year.

Another significant contribution to the Beat the Heat program is still to come. The 7th Annual Box Fan Bash will be held at Madison’s on Dowlen on July 15. Woo-hoo! Owner Frankie Randazzo welcomes you to drop by anytime from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. to support the cause. As usual, you can count on great food and a lively performance from local bands, so bring the whole family!

Donations are welcome, a box fan or some plain old cash will help out those in need of some respite from the heat. The summer heat will be intense and oppressive; many seniors still need help to “beat the heat.”

The Salvation Army relies on people like you to help those in need in our community!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

FIRST Saturday of Every Month - 50% OFF!

Are you looking for furniture?  Have you been trying to find quality items at bargain prices?  Look no further than The Salvation Army Family Store located at 4295 College Street in Beaumont, open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Discover many great pieces of furniture, find toys at low prices, many great books, and get necessary household items all at The Family Store.  Prices are always low and affordable! 

On the FIRST Saturday of every month, these low prices are even better!  You get 50% off all merchandise (excluding the boutique).  That's half the price on:
  • Furniture
  • Household items
  • Clothing
  • Electronics
  • Toys
  • Children's Clothing
  • Books
  • Music
  • & Much More!!!
So don't miss out on this Saturday's 50% OFF.  In The Family Store, you never know what you may discover!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beat the Heat: Responding to Scorching Summer Temperatures

The summer heat in Beaumont may be typical in Southeast Texas, but that doesn’t make it any less unbearable.  For 12 years now, Entergy Texas has partnered with The Salvation Army for the “Beat the Heat” initiative.

The heat can be particularly stifling to those without air conditioning at home.  As such, “Beat the Heat” makes fans available for elderly low-income residents.  Clients only need to bring an electric bill and identification.

Entergy Texas has donated 120 fans to The Salvation Army of Beaumont for this year’s program.  “With the demand for fans growing every year, we are pleased to provide oscillating fans this year in order to help our customers remain as comfortable as possible,” says Pam Williams, manager for customer operations support for Entergy Texas.  The program certainly has gotten very popular and is one of the most anticipated summer services in Beaumont.

Madison’s Restaurant, owned by Frankie Randazzo, will also be supporting this project with their 7th Annual Box Fan Bash on July 15th from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  Local bands will be performing, and a silent auction will be held.  It will be a great evening of entertainment, but more importantly, it will be a significant contribution to a good cause.

Many thanks to Entergy Texas and Madison’s Restaurant for helping The Salvation Army help others! 
Debi Derrick of Entergy Texas

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Special Contribution to the Emergency Shelter

The Beaumont community has many supporters for the work of The Salvation Army.  This collaboration makes it possible for The Salvation Army to continue meeting “human needs in His name without discrimination.”  

The Episcopal Church Women (ECW) of St. Mark’s Church made a gift of $2,000 to The Salvation Army.  This gift was for the purchase of 2 new commercial dryers for the Emergency Shelter as well as to the food pantry.  “We are so glad that we can play a role in helping you meet critical needs in our area,” says Gail Davis, Chairman of the Community Outreach Fund.

The 2 new dryers arrived on Wednesday, July 27.  Many thanks to the ECW!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Letter From the Majors

Friends of The Salvation Army:

For over 112 years, The Salvation Army has been fulfilling our mission to “meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”  This year is no exception.

Through our shelter, soup kitchen, social service, and our Boys & Girls Club, we are reaching out to serve those most in need.

In the last few years, the numbers of individuals and families that come to our facilities for help have been increasing.  The economic crisis has greatly impacted Southeast Texas.

While monetary donations have been decreasing, services to the community have actually been increasing as a response to the growing demand.

The time has arrived for our local Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club to expand our facility so that we may be able to serve more youth in the area, particularly expanding the age group to include teenagers as well.  This is a big project, and we invite you to be a part of it.  Together, we will succeed in having this extension built.  We will have a positive impact on the lives of our young people.  You may look under the Announcements tab for more details on this project.  I know that many of you will be interested in helping us because the people in Jefferson County are among the most compassionate and caring people in Texas.

We thank God for the opportunity that He gives in being a part of the process to help so many people.  We thank God for each one of you who make this work possible, through your monetary donations, through the time you give volunteering, and through your prayers.

Together, We Do The Most Good!

Majors Floiran & Eloisa Estrada

Friday, June 22, 2012

June 17: Father’s Day, VBS Sunday & Family Carnival

June 17 was a day for special observances: Father’s Day and VBS Sunday.

At The Salvation Army church, we had a great worship service with so many families whose children were from our VBS program. The chapel was so full – there were no empty seats!

A video summary of the “VBS experience” was shown at the beginning of the service.  It included many highlights of the week: special visit from our favorite clowns, praise & worship, arts & crafts, recreation, Bible quizzes, and much more!  “It’s great for giving the parents a small taste of what their children experience this week,” says Joanna Estrada, Christian Education Director.

VBS kids enthusiastically performed two songs: "Oh the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus" and "Majestic.”  Plenty of proud parents had their cameras out and ready recording this special moment.

The message was given by Major Floiran Estrada, based on Deuteronomy 6:5-7.  After the worship service, there was a Family Carnival with refreshments, games, and prizes!  Games included Archery, Egg-citing Spoon Race, Bean Bag Toss, Hula-Hoop Competition, Ducky Pond, Roulette Wheel, Water Game: Cops & Robbers, Knock ‘em Down, and One-Shot Mini-Golf.  When not playing to earn tickets for prizes, children were jumping around in the bounce house.

The canteen was out serving refreshments: lemonade, hotdogs, and watermelon.  While the parents were relaxing under the shade of the tent, children couldn’t get enough of the games.  As the kids kept winning, the parents became bombarded with stuffed animal prizes.

It was a great time for family and fellowship.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cooling Station Open for the Summer

The summer heat in Beaumont can be unbearable – not surprising when 100+ temperatures are not uncommon for the summer.  For those without air conditioning, having a place to go to cool off during the hottest hours of the day is essential. 

That’s what the Cooling Station at The Salvation Army is for.  It provides those in need with a respite from the heat.  Visitors enter the sitting area where they can relax and cool down, enjoying the air conditioning and watching television or read a magazine.  Cold water and snacks are also provided to anyone free of charge.  “But the real draw,” says one volunteer, “is simply catching a break from the heat.”

The Cooling Station is located at The Salvation Army Social Service Center on 1490 7th Street and operates from Monday to Friday; it’s open from 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (except on Friday when it closes at 3:00).  Beat the heat!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Last Day of Vacation Bible School - Huge Success!

Today was the last day of Vacation Bible School "Deep Blue Sea" at The Salvation Army.  With our program running from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., our schedule is as follows:
  • Opening Assembly
  • Bible Class
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Music Class
  • Snacks
  • Recreation
  • Closing Assembly
VBS this year served over 130 children!  On the first day, kids are sorted into 4 pods by age.  (Why pods?  A group of dolphins is called a pod.)  Each pod goes to the different classes after the Opening Assembly. 

In Bible Class, they learn a new Bible story and memory verse on which they will be quizzed the following day.  Those who memorize the Bible verse and/or answer questions correctly earn prizes!  In Arts & Crafts, children paint, make bead-work, color, and arrange interesting crafts.  Music Class is where they learn new praise songs and motions to go along.  Two special songs will be performed on Sunday, June 17 in celebration and recognition of VBS Sunday.  Towards the end of Music Class, it's time for snacks and fellowship.  Of course, all fun programs need some time for recreation, and the children always enjoy playing active games in the gymnasium.

The Prize Room
Every year, we give the children a special treat: The Prize Room.  So what is The Prize Room?  Well, you can guess it's full of prizes - dolls, remote-control cars, board games, and lots of other toys!  The "best pod of the day" - determined by behavior and participation - get to visit The Prize Room.  Like last year, all the pods this year were chosen for these special rewards.

Free VBS T-Shirts
Another popular aspect of VBS at The Salvation Army is the free t-shirt.  "From the first day of VBS, I had lots of kids asking me when they would get a t-shirt like mine," says Joanna Estrada, Christian Education Director.  These t-shirts have the Deep Blue Sea theme, complete with a submarine picture and a Bible verse on the back - "Deep is the love of Christ" (Ephesians 3:18).  The children wear their shirts proudly for the rest of the week as well as the special performance on VBS Sunday.

Special Awards - Top 3
Today, on the last day of Vacation Bible School, we had some special awards for the 3 most outstanding students in the week: Alexa Fuentes, Crystal DeAnda, and Alex Beacs.  These winners were determined on the basis of behavior, participation, and attendance.  "When you have so many kids in the program, it's difficult to choose just 3!" says one of the volunteers.  While these 3 stood out for an extra award, all the children were certainly winners!

VBS Sunday & Family Carnival - this June 17 at 2350 i-10 East at 11:00 a.m.  Don't miss out!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

VBS Sunday & Family Carnival - June 17

This Sunday will be a blast at The Salvation Army church.  Not only will it be a great Father's Day (what better way than to spend it in the Lord's house with your family?), but it will also be VBS Sunday!

This is our 3rd Annual VBS Sunday.  All the children who participated in Vacation Bible School this week are invited, along with their families, to attend this special Sunday.  VBS kids will perform 2 special songs, wearing their VBS themed "Deep Blue Sea" T-shirts.  Parents get to see their children perform some of the songs they sang during the week and a small taste of the VBS experience.

After the worship service, there will be a family carnival with games, refreshments, and prizes!  Children will get to jump in the bounce house, hop to the finish line in a potato sack relay, aim for the bull's eye in the archery zone, and play many more games.  Parents can play too!

It's a great day for the whole family, so don't miss out!  VBS Sunday at The Salvation Army, located at 2350 i-10 East.  Worship service begins at 11:00.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

From the Chairman

The Salvation Army continues to serve the many who are in need of a place to sleep and a meal to eat. The economy is still suffering and gasoline prices continue to rise. A lot of construction jobs are ending and unemployment is still high. 

Thanks to you, our many donors, Channel 6 Toy Drive and the Angel Tree program, The Salvation Army was able to provide Christmas gifts and food to more than 500 families and continues to assist families today.

With the summer heat around the corner, we'll be providing fans to many families with the help from Entergy and Madison's Restaurant as our partners in this endeavor.

The Boys & Girls Club is now in the middle of a Capital Campaign to expand the facilities so we can meet the much needed room for children of our area. The Boys & Girls Club provides a safe and learning environment for our boys & girls. If we can help them today, then they will succeed in the future.

Remember these boys and girls are our future and desperately need our help. If you can contribute to our campaign or know someone who might want to help, please give us a call.  Pledges can be paid out in 3-5 years.  Also remember to visit our Family Thrift Store located at 4295 College and see the many bargains we have. 

From our Advisory Board to you, we want to say thank you.  You have made a difference in the lives of many.  To quote Charles Stanley, “It is not what we get out of life but what we give that God honors.”

Thank you and may God bless you and smile upon you always!

Pat Anderson
Advisory Board Chairman

Saturday, June 9, 2012

HOPE FOR TOMORROW! Luncheon & Style Show

Pencil us in for August 23rd!

The first annual “Hope for Tomorrow” Luncheon & Style Show benefitting The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club will be held Thursday, August 23 from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at Beaumont’s beautiful Botanical Gardens at Tyrrell Park.

“The theme ‘LEARN from yesterday, LIVE for today, HOPE for tomorrow’ will bring together lessons learned from the past, setting goals for today and reaching out with great HOPE for a brighter future tomorrow for all of our youth,” says Judy Kelfstrom, Event Coordinator.

Macy’s at Parkdale Mall will provide the fashions headed up by Macy’s own Dee Ware.  Michael Perez, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club along with Majors Floiran and Eloisa Estrada have invited several students from the BISD elementary, junior high and high school to join members of the Boys & Girls Club as guest models in the style show.  Each student selected was nominated by a teacher for their academic achievement and community service during the 2011 – 2012 school year. You might even see a teacher showing off the latest Macy’s fashions.

Don’t be surprised when our celebrity models take to the stage as well, but shhhh, no peeking just yet.  We don’t want the Paparazzi crashing our show!

Pencil us in for a great afternoon of food, fashions, fellowship and fundraising.  You will be amazed at the treasures you will find in our very own Boutique featuring the latest in gently used fashions and accessories all at bargain prices.  There is sure to be a silent auction item or two that you just can’t live without.  Proceeds will benefit the new building club expansion.

For ticket information, contact any of our committee members:
  • Judy Kelfstrom - Event Coordinator @ 409.338.3106
  • Pat Barker
  • Tina Breland
  • Georgia Dunlap
  • Alberta Jones
  • Evelyn Lord
  • Dora Nisby
  • Birdie Harrison
  • Major Eloisa Estrada
  • Joanna Estrada
  • Shelly Vitanza
  • Michael Perez                               

Friday, June 8, 2012

Club 316: Character Building for Kids

The Salvation Army offers a number of ministry programs and events for young people that will help them to develop an unwavering character while at the same time helping them to grow in an understanding of God’s love through a life-long relationship with Jesus Christ.  Like other scout and troop programs, Club 316 uses achievement emblems as an incentive for further learning and accomplishments.

Some of the badges earned include: Cooking, Bible Study, Indoor Sports, Astronomy, Friend to Animals, and Service to Others.  Badges often take about a month to earn, doing various activities and assignments.  “One of the activities we did when learning about the Solar System was to calculate our weight on each planet.  We had to multiply our weight [on earth] by another planet’s gravity factor.  It was very interesting,” says Joanna Estrada, Christian Education Director.

Because students often visit a planetarium for a school field trip, it was decided that Club 316 would do something different.  As part of their astronomy badge, they took a field trip to the Johnson Space Center in Houston.  They were able to take a tour around NASA and participate in a Feel of Space simulation to learn about how astronauts live in a space environment.  There were modules to demonstrate actual training exercises astronauts have to take as well as an astronaut gallery that had many different spacesuits.

Several of the children also presented projects on a given planet of the Solar System providing visuals and relevant information.  They presented at the Sunday morning worship service at The Salvation Army.

Club 316 really takes a hands-on approach to learning.  In order to experience how the blubber of arctic animals like penguins and seals can protect them from extreme temperatures, they prepared a large bowl filled with water and ice – it was freezing!  All the children wore a food service glove on their left hand and dipped it into a can of solid shortening; then they took turns to place both hands into the water, with only the left hand covered in shortening.  The result was very cold right hands!  “The idea was to discover how the shortening acted like insulation, keeping the left hand warm just like blubber helps to keep arctic animals warm too,” says Joanna.
As part of their assignments for the Friend to Animal badge, the troop made a visit to PetSmart where they were given a fully detailed tour of the pets, how to care for them, and unique facts about them.  Other activities to earn the badge included: giving a presentation on a specific animal, a group project caring for live hermit crabs and learning about various animals in the wild.

More recently, the children have been working on a Service to Others badge. They visit nursing homes, help serve food, and volunteer to help in other activities as well.

On Saturday, May 12, Club 316 went on a field trip to the Houston Zoo where they were able to see and learn about many different animals, even pet some in the petting zoo.  On Sunday, May 17, Club 316 troopers made a special presentation to complete their Bible Study badge.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer Day Camp at the Boys & Girls Club

Summer Day-Camp at the Boys & Girls Club has arrived!  “We’re averaging over ninety kids a day,” says Executive Director, Michael Perez. 

The Club Staff are busy gearing up for extended operating hours and increased numbers of kids.  The Club will be open for nine weeks this summer, Monday to Friday from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm. 

Club members will not only enjoy plenty of recreation and exercise, but also both educational and recreational field trips as well as classes on nutrition, etiquette, conflict resolution, vocational skills training and drug prevention. 
The demand for this kind of program is huge.  Club Site Director, Linda Fleming, notes that she opened summer registration on April 2 with 140 spots available and all spots were filled by April 25—less than four weeks later!
Families that inquire after all the spots are full will be placed on a waiting list that often tops one hundred names before the staff stops placing additional names on the list. 

If you would like to visit the Club for a tour and additional information, please contact Executive Director Michael Perez at michael_perez@uss.salvationarmy.org or (409) 350-1268.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

National Salvation Army Week

National Salvation Army week was May 14-19. The week was observed in Beaumont with some of our traditional activities, such as the Free Book Fair. Considering the success of this event in this past, this year we had 2 Free Book Fairs.

The book fair took place at Pointe North Apartments and Regency Apartments. The canteen was out serving cool orange juice, water, fruits, and snacks while children were making their picks of the books offered. Hundreds of books were given out!

The book fair is a great event because it encourages reading, imagination, and education among the children of the community.

It also offers an opportunity to speak with and inform children and parents about the programs and services of The Salvation Army.

Aside from the Free Book Fair, the Family Store had a special 25% off sale on all merchandise for the entire week. On Wednesday, even the boutique had a 25% discount on all items. These special sales make bargain prices even lower and make for a great shopping experience at The Salvation Army Family Store.

Basketball Season at the Boys & Girls Club

"The 2012 Basketball season at the Boys & Girls Club was another huge success!" says Michael Perez, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club. Over 100 Club members participated, playing on a total of 10 Boys & Girls Club teams ages 5-13.

The impact of this program has expanded beyond our own Club members as our league grew from 20 teams last year to 28 teams this year. In addition to our own teams, there were 18 additional teams from the surrounding area that played in our league. Our Club is becoming a leader in Southeast Texas for organized sports as other youth sports programs look to us to lead the way in organizing city wide leagues.

Participating organizations in this year’s league include The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Orange, Success Through Athletics (STA Raiders), The Beaumont Bees, Harvest For Lost Souls and the Lumberton Heat.

The season lasted for 7 weeks of regular season play followed by a two week play-off and championship. Games were played in our gym with some additional games played each week either at the gym at The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Orange or at the West Tabernacle Church gym. The average game-day this year saw over 500 men, women and children visit the Boys & Girls Club to watch or participate in the games.

We would like to thank our dedicated volunteer coaches for giving so much of their time and energy to coach our kids, teaching them the fundamentals of the game, and providing mentorship, and character building experiences.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

7th Annual Box Fan Bash

The Seventh Annual Box Fan Bash will be held at Madison’s on Dowlen again this year.  Lee Pelly (promoter) and Frankie Randazzo (owner) invite everyone to stop by on Sunday July 15 from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. to enjoy great food and fantastic entertainment, all to help a worthy cause.

Local bands will be performing on stage inside and outside in the garden.  Performers like Jimmy Kaiser, Chris Harper, Six String Mafia and many more will woo the crowd all evening.  A silent auction and raffle will keep you on the edge of your seats all night long as the names are drawn.  Come on down and bring the entire family for an evening of great fundraising entertainment; you’ll feel great that you did.

No cover, however donations are welcome – either a box fan or cash.  Anyone wanting to sponsor, donate or perform can contact Lee on his facebook page or by email at Lpelly11@yahoo.com.  Don’t miss out!