Category Archives: Granite City

Health & Humanity: One volunteer client finds volunteerism to be the therapy she needs

By: Danni R. Eickenhorst, Midland Division

Carol Lee Carter, 55, was diagnosed with COPD in 2002. As a career CNA for more than 15 years, the diagnosis was devastating. “I’d worked in hospitals and nursing homes all my career, and now I couldn’t lift people. I was out of work, and I wasn’t sure what to do.”

Carol found herself struggling to make ends meet once she lost her job, and she reached out to The Salvation Army in Granite City for food pantry aid. “I came in 2002 to get help,” she says, her hands smoothing out her scrubs as she speaks, “and I ended up volunteering. I’ve been here two to three days a week ever since.”

Carol’s illness requires her to keep active to keep her lungs from deteriorating, but to limit her activity. The volunteer work gives her the activity she needs, while allowing her to help others.

“I greet people at the door who come in for help, I work in the food pantry filling orders. Wherever I’m needed, that’s where I go.”

Carol notes that her favorite time to give back is Christmas, The Salvation Army’s busiest time of year. She enjoys taking part in The Salvation Army Christmas basket program and giving a hand up to those who need it most during the holidays.

“The Salvation Army will help anyone that comes through the door. It doesn’t matter who you are. They are willing to help. You don’t find that everywhere.”

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Little Caesars Love Kitchen

By: Danni Eickenhorst, Midland Division

The Little Caesars Love Kitchen pulled up to our Granite City community center on November 10 carrying fresh dough and a crew ready to cook for those in need. The project born out of love, started more than 20 years ago. David Fox the Love Kitchen Driver says, “We drive all over the country, feeding those in need. We primarily cook for homeless shelters and soup kitchens – about 70% of which are Salvation Army kitchens.”

The Love Kitchen arrives at the Granite City community center.

Bab Njai owns seven Little Caesar's locations, which donate a total of 600 to 700 pizzas weekly to Salvation Army food pantries in Southern Illinois.

The Love Kitchen reached out to local franchise owner Bab Njai and asked if he would be willing to donate ingredients and staff so that they might feed the needy in Granite City and he didn’t hesitate to say yes. “We already donate 600 to 700 pizzas per week to local Salvation Army food pantries throughout southern Illinois,” says Njai, “I came from Africa with nothing and I know what it is to have very little. We just want to help those who need help.”

The Love Kitchen provided hot food for more than 220 individuals in the day’s event. Our continued gratitude goes out to Little Caesars and Njai for their support!

Area Target stores grant children of need back-to-school shopping sprees

By: Danielle Eickenhorst, Content Specialist, Midland Division

The first shoppers through the doors of the Edwardsville,Ill., Target store on August 2 were an eager group of children and their parents and chaperones from The Salvation Army’s Granite City Worship & Community Center. Target Stores have generously afforded these children and others like them in the Midland Division a back-to-school shopping spree to ensure they have the school supplies and clothing they need in time for the start of school.

As the children met in the parking lot that morning, excitedly awaiting the opening of the store, they were each given an $85 gift card by Major Nancy Lowder, along with a pep talk. “Target has been generous enough to afford you all the opportunity to get the things you need to start this school year, so don’t forget underwear,” she joked.

Grateful parents escorted their children through the store, gathering supplies and clothing for their children. One parent, Snowwhite James, lamented, “The school districts have recently put the burden of uniforms and $70 calculators on the parents. This opportunity really helps with that burden.”

Another mother, Eanista Bailey, shopped with her children Nehemiah and Zekiah and said, “Without this, my kids wouldn’t have had school supplies in time for the start of school. I am a substitute teacher, and my husband recently started a new job, and with our budget, it would not have been possible to send them with the things they need in time for the start of school.”

“Education is at the heart of Target’s giving and the Target School Spree is one way that we help kids learn and schools teach, paving a path to graduation,” said Laysha Ward, President, Community Relations, Target. “By partnering with The Salvation Army, Target is giving kids in-need the tools necessary to show up to school ready to learn and succeed.”

The Salvation Army has long been a champion of education, hosting both adult and child education programs at local corps community centers, serving more than 100,000 individuals through these programs in the Midland Division in 2010 alone. The Salvation Army is thankful for the generosity shown by Target in granting 300 children inMissouriandIllinoisand more than 12,000 nationwide the opportunity to start the school year off on the right foot.

Granite City Salvation Army opens T.L. Williams Job Resource Center

Center comes in response to recent federal budget cuts

By: Danni Eickenhorst, Content Specialist, Midland Division

In response to federal budget cuts that have forced the closure of local job search resource centers in Madison County, the Granite City Salvation Army, located at 3007 E 23rd Street in Granite City, Ill., has opened the T.L. Williams Job Resource Center.

Those seeking employment may visit The Salvation Army Monday through Friday from 1 to 3:30 p.m. to meet with professionals who can provide job search assistance and interview coaching. Resident employment expert LaTonya Burkes will provide assistance with resume writing, and a computer lab is available for seekers to use when applying for jobs.

“While the job center doesn’t completely replace workNet, which was forced to close, we hope that it will help fill the gap so that those who are looking for employment have every opportunity to succeed,” said Major Garry Lowder, Granite City Worship and Community Center officer.

“The [Salvation Army’s] Granite City corps location provides social service assistance to area residents who need food, fuel and help with utilities. This is just another phase in meeting the needs of the community,” said Lowder.
Job seekers may visit the corps Monday through Friday for assistance, and can call to speak with LaTonya Burkes at (618) 451-7957.

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