“It has really been a mammoth community effort,” said Lona Courington, Salvation Army director. “For those who have hammered, painted, scraped, roofed and wired, the magnitude of the renovation project will come as no surprise. Still, I think everyone will enjoy seeing it finished and celebrating the improvement in services that are a direct result of the improved facility.”
The service center which has been located at the corner of Corona and 20th Street East since 1996, was damaged on April 27th when a 14 foot bay door blew in and some guttering was left dangling. It suffered wind and water damage again on July 4th of 2011 when the building lost a major portion of a flat roof covering the food bank and receiving areas for the thrift store.
“We were very much like many of the families who suffered losses in the April 27th storms,” said Courington. “Our building had a lot of rotting wood and deferred maintenance of a decade or two that contributed greatly to the severity of our damage. We were left slogging around in rain water as we continued serving as a food bank and taking in donations needed by disaster victims.”
Salvation Army was forced to suspend food bank operations during June 2011 as the facility was repaired and a new office area added to house the social services function of the center.
“We owe a lot to those Salvation Army pioneers who established the program under the direction of Nora Lane Estill and her board and volunteers,” Courington said. “Had the reputation of Salvation Army not been one of caring and serving we might not have had the kind of support we needed to rebound from this natural disaster. But the community wanted Salvation Army to survive and the funding organizations put up the money to make that happen. This is a shared celebration on many fronts. We hope everyone will turn out to help us celebrate this landmark.”
For more information on The Salvation Army or the Grand Re-Opening event, you may call Lona Courington at 205-221-7737.