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Salvation Army expanding

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By Todd Cohen

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — As it celebrates its 100th anniversary, the Winston-Salem Area Command of The Salvation Army has begun a $3.15 million capital campaign to expand services, and is undertaking a marketing effort to better tell its story.

“A lot of people don’t know what The Salvation Army is,” says Lt. Col. Jack T. Waters, area commander.

Chaired by Nathan O. Hatch, president of Wake Forest University, the capital campaign has raised $500,000, including two gifts of $200,000 each and $100,000 from board members.

Funds will be used to complete construction of a new Boys and Girls Club on Reynolds Road and for expansion of its Boys and Girls Club branch in the Walkertown neighborhood; expansion and renovation of its Trade Street Housing Facility for homeless women, children and families, and for pre-release prisoners; and a new headquarters.

The new 22,000-square-foot Boys and Girls Club will replace the facility on Martin Luther King Drive, which the Salvation Army plans to sell.

Construction will begin in 2008 on expansion of the Boys and Girls Club’s Walkertown branch, which serves mainly Hispanics.

The Salvation Army, which also operates an International Corps Community Center and Boys and Girls Club branch in the city’s Astor neighborhood, also plans a new branch this year in Mocksville in Davie County.

The Mocksville branch will be located in vacant space in a building the Salvation Army leases that already houses one of its four thrift stores.

The Salvation Army will renovate the Trade Street Housing Facility and add four large apartments for its homeless program, which now has 43 beds and serves as the city’s only homeless shelter for women, children and families.

The prisoner pre-release program also has 43 beds.

The new 6,000-square-foot headquarters will be located south of downtown and will replace the 3,000-square-foot facility at 836 Oak Street.

The Salvation Army is relocating to leased space on Stratford Road near the Business 40 exit until its new quarters are ready in 2009.

With a staff of 100 people, 1,000 volunteers and an annual budget of just over $7 million, the Salvation Army serves 30,000 people in Forsyth, Davie, Stokes and Yadkin counties.

Programs include its Boys and Girls Club; three Corps Community Centers, all in Winston-Salem, that include group club activities and full church programs; its homeless shelter and prisoner pre-release programs; a Christmas program that last year provided clothing, food and toys for 10,000 individuals; an emergency financial-assistance program; a drop-in program for senior citizens; summer camps; and a “conservatory” that provides musical training.

The conservatory, thanks to a $12,500 grant from Salvation Army regional headquarters in Charlotte that was matched by the Winston-Salem Foundation, serves 80 people, mainly children, who meet at the Walkertown Boys and Girls Club branch.

This year, working with public-relations firm Mullen, the Salvation Army will be the focus of banners on utility poles throughout the city and on advertising on city buses, as well as a special parade.

“What we’re concentrating on,” says Waters,” is trying to make sure the brand is out there and people understand what the Salvation Army is all about.”

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