Living Columns & Blogs

The Salvation Army of State College helps kids go back to school and more

As thousands of young people across Centre County will soon return to class, the Salvation Army of State College is there to lend a helping hand to families struggling to make ends meet. It starts with back-to- school assistance and runs through the year with valuable programs to engage and enrich their children’s lives.

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in his name without discrimination. Through the leadership and pastoral guidance of Envoys Derek and Betty Ellen Barrett, the Salvation Army of State College is able to meet the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of individuals and families through many programs and services.

For hundreds of young people in our area, the start of a new school year brings with it a level of anxiety and shame, because their families cannot afford new clothes, shoes and the necessary school supplies, all of which are shown to be essential to students’ self-esteem, confidence and academic success through the year. Thanks to the generosity of the community, the Salvation Army of State College is proud to have provided hundreds of young people with new back-to-school supplies and clothing this summer.

As the new school year gets underway, families may enroll their children in free music instruction at The Salvation Army of State College. After-school lessons are offered once a week. Students will learn to play brass and percussion instruments, such as the coronet, trumpet and tuba. They will have the opportunity to travel to other Salvation Army Corps Community Centers throughout central Pennsylvania to participate in big band events with dozens of other young musicians.

Children may sign up to learn “sacred dance,” a form of dance and movement to express one’s spirituality. Drama classes are offered as well. Research shows a well-rounded education that includes the arts can play a key role in keeping students in school and on track to graduate.

In addition to programs and services for school-age children, the Salvation Army of State College provides those in need with rent assistance, heat and utility payments, budget counseling, emergency disaster response, summer camp, food and holiday gifts and Bible study.

The generosity of the community makes it all possible. If you would like to make a gift or you or someone you know is in need of assistance, contact us at 861-1785 or visit our website, www.Salvation The Salvation Army of State College is located at 2603 E. College Ave., Suite G, State College.

Envoy Betty Ellen Barrett is regional manager of The Salvation Army State College Corps.