Salvation Army strikes success with donation event at Hub Lanes

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On Sunday, Sept. 16, Hattiesburg locals got the chance to help their community by donating to the Salvation Army’s Stuff the Truck event. The donation drive was held at Hub Bowling Lanes in Hattiesburg. This campaign was an effort to bring in used clothes, toys, household goods and more to provide for those in need.

The Salvation Army officially opened in Hattiesburg in 1907 and has been at their present location at 5640 US 49 since 2001. Although the Hattiesburg Salvation Army regularly hosts donation drives, community service events and ministry services, this is the first time the Hattiesburg branch has participated in a Stuff the Truck event.

Director of store operations Latashia Owens described the mission of the Salvation Army.

“The mission that is set for the whole Salvation Army is preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to meet human needs without discrimination,” Owens said.

Owens mentioned that she is over two family stores where the Salvation Army sells donated merchandise, but they also give to those in need.

“If the customers don’t have any money, we will provide what they need anyway,” Owens said. This mentality creates an environment where less fortunate neighbors can shop with dignity.

While the family stores provide clothing and other goods to the community at bargain prices, they also offer support to Hattiesburg locals through work therapy. According to The Salvation Army website, this program allows men and women to regain self-esteem and learn valuable vocational skills through their work involvement.

People who donated were offered cold sodas, burgers and cheese sticks provided by Hub Lanes’ Strike-View Café. Both the Hattiesburg Salvation Army and Hub Bowling Lanes are run by local families who understand the needs of the community.

In addition to the Stuff the Truck event, the Hattiesburg Salvation Army is also well known for its Angel Tree program and its ministries. According to the Salvation Army’s website, there are no barriers when it comes to community care.

The Hattiesburg Salvation Army used to run a homeless shelter called The Center of Hope, but it was destroyed because of tornadoes. According to the Hattiesburg Salvation Army Family Store Facebook page, the shelter is under construction and will reopen soon. Despite the shelter being closed, services in other areas have remained consistent even though they have been displaced.

Owens believed the Stuff the Truck event went well for their first time and hopes to try again at another location.

For more information about volunteer opportunities with the Hattiesburg Salvation Army, visit their website at http://salvationarmyalm.org/hattiesburg/ .