When you’re in need, you can be thankful that the Salvation Army is there.
About 5,000 people a year in Mesquite are thankful the Salvation Army is here, says Roberta Franco, director of operations for the Mesquite office.
The Salvation Army in Mesquite offers a variety of programs for people in need. The organization offers programs for people of all ages, including families, in the Mesquite and Bunkerville area, and the Arizona Strip communities of Beaver Dam, Scenic and Littlefield.
“We are very busy, we have at least 100 people come in here every week” Franco told the MLN in an interview last week.
One of the popular programs is the U.S.D.A. food program that runs six times a year.
“We have three different food programs here,” Franco explained. “That one (U.S.D.A.) has certain requirements.”
Those requirements include proper identification and meeting federal income guidelines. The next U.S.D.A. food program is scheduled on July 26 and goes from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
“We also have the senior food program and that is called the C.F.S.P. and that is a monthly program” Franco added. To meet the requirements for the C.F.S.P. program a senior must be over 60, have proper I.D. and a monthly gross income below $1,174 – at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. The third food program is the food bank.
The Salvation Army has a few seasonal programs, as well, including the Christmas time programs the Angel Tree (for both children and seniors) and Toys for Tots.
“Anybody who walks in here asking for toys for their kids for Christmas will not walk out empty handed” Franco said.
“Another program we do is Backpacks to School. You can come in and apply for backpacks and school supplies for your kids” she added. There are a number of other programs for children, such as the safe-sitter program where kids 11 and up can learn how to babysit safely.
“You’re not going to be able to give an infant crayons and a coloring book to keep them occupied,” Franco explained. “We teach them different ins and outs on what to do for each age of children and their appropriate development.” They also learn how to help a choking child and infant rescue where the children learn how to keep both the kids and themselves safe. Some other programs include a car seat and a class about the dangers of shaking a baby and fire safety. All of these programs are done free of charge.
“We like to say we are a hand up, and not a handout. We are all about empowering and educating parents. We want to empower our community with some education,” she continued.
“Maybe you are coming in and applying for child-care assistance, and you don’t know what to look for in who is going to watch your child. We want to give you some different information on what you should look out for.”
People who want to do volunteer work for the Salvation Army can simply stop in and say they are looking to help out. Volunteers are needed most for the seasonal programs, such as the Kettle-donation program in November and December, where over 1,500 hours of volunteer work is needed.
The Salvation Army also takes money and food donations all year.
“If you have a lemon tree in your back yard and they are just falling off going to waste, pick them up and give them to us. Or give me a call and we will send someone over there to pick them up. We can give all that stuff out to the clients” Franco says cheerfully.
The Salvation Army is located at 355 W. Mesquite Blvd. B-50. You can contact the office by calling (702) 345-5116 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., weekdays.