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(Major Doug Bartlebaugh, Ken Jones, Lieutenant Kevin Johnson, Sarina Vasta, Aram Garabedian, Dana Leonado, and Lieutenant Helen Johnson at the Newport Awards Dinner.)

The Salvation Army Awards Dinner a Huge Success!

NEWPORT - On Wednesday, April 10, volunteers, contributors, and friends of The Salvation Army in Newport came together to celebrate, honor, and reflect on the many great achievements of The Salvation Army and its community partners from 2012. The purpose of the dinner was also to raise funds for the Army's Kids and Teen Club.

The Community Partner Honoree, Aram Garabedian of Bliss Properties, gave a moving keynote address about his reasons for contributing to children's programs like The Salvation Army's Angel Tree Program at Christmastime, "I grew up in the North end of Providence, as the eldest of four kids in a working class family, barely making ends meet. This is similar to many of the families served now by The Salvation Army. I remember the day the Providence Journal truck pulled up with toys. It was amazing! That feeling of giving and receiving has never left me. My parents raised me to help others and that is a strong belief I carry with me to this day." His message was one of hope for Rhode Island, as well. Garabedian also expressed his feelings that there is a self-esteem problem in the State: "If we can start people believing that there is opportunity here in our small state of just 1 million square feet, then we can change the economic circumstances in this State."

Community Partner Shaw's Supermarkets of Middletown also contributed in an exceptional manner last year, despite the economic difficulties facing the State. Out of the 166 Shaw's supermarkets around New England, the Middletown store ranked second in a food drive, with all of the proceeds given to The Salvation Army in Newport. "What we love about the management here at Shaw's in Middletown...," said Lieutenant Kevin Johnson, " that they are always trying to do the most good with their resources. They are always thinking of ways they can help others and the community with the goods they have. It is inspiring to others.” The annual Student Service Award was given to Sarina Vasta, a senior at Salve Regina University for her continued dedication to The Salvation Army's Kids Club.

Other awards and recognition were presented to seasonal community partners. The Newport Rotary Club received recognition for being the group that raised the most in the seasonal Red Kettle Campaign. People's Credit Union, Walmart, Salve Regina, and Chapter 180 of the Air Force Association were also given recognition for their support to the Angel Tree program. "It is the community support, participating in programs at Shaw's and with the Angel Tree that make the difference for our neediest families. Without our volunteers and without the generosity of the community, we would not be able to help those who truly need it. We are very grateful" remarked Lieutenant Helen Johnson of The Salvation Army in Newport.

The Salvation Army is currently the largest food pantry on the Island and serves 700 meals a month out of its soup kitchen. In addition, The Salvation Army has extended its partnership with Meals on Wheels by providing pantry food for seniors on the weekend. To become involved or contribute to future events and programs, please call 401-846-3234.






  Generosity keeps doors open, feeding hundreds monthly!


(“This kitchen provides a great service to our community," said Mayor Henry Winthrop, who was on hand to help christen the new kitchen.)

NEWPORT - Local volunteers and community representatives gathered at The Salvation Army's Soup Kitchen on Memorial Boulevard to celebrate their newly-remodeled kitchen.

Work began earlier this summer as part of a larger plan for remodeling the outdated and much-used 1960's era building. "The kitchen was crowded, dark and had almost no storage," said Newport Corps Officer Lieutenant Helen Johnson to a group of past volunteers. "It had become impossible with the outdated and worn appliances to truly provide the services and meals the community needed."

The facility serves five meals a week to a variety of community groups, including two soup kitchens. "The Rhode Island Community Food Bank acknowledges our Soup Kitchen as one of the most economical kitchen in all of Rhode Island because of the way we manage our funds and how we run our donated goods," said Lieutenant Kevin Johnson. This is a bittersweet honor in a state whose unemployment numbers are continuing to grow monthly, making the need for services like The Salvation Army's Soup Kitchen a necessity for many in our community. "We serve 700 to 800 meals a month and the need grows larger. The kitchen is open to serving people day and night, almost every day of the week. With this remodel, we will now be able to cook all of our meals at our facility, instead of relying on partnerships with local restaurants and hotels to help meet the need during the busy holiday season," said Johnson. "Not many people realize that Newport has the highest per capita low-income housing in the state. People see the mansions and the downtown and they think that is all there is to Newport. There are a lot of people here in our city who are on the edge.

"The remodel is so bright and airy. It can really fit a larger team of volunteers in meal preparation." said Major Steven Lopes, Divisional Secretary for The Salvation Army's Southern New England Division, headquartered in Hartford. Lopes and his wife Major Valerie Lopes, head of Women's Ministry, were on hand to lend support. "Even with donated appliances and goods, the kitchen still needs monetary donations and some supplies to keep the lights on." As the largest soup kitchen in the area, money, supplies and volunteers are always needed to maintain this level of service. Jay Noury of the Connell Highway Stop and Shop and Mike Thomas of the Bellvue Avenue Stop and Shop were both on hand to view the new kitchen. "We are so fortunate to have great partnerships with local grocery stores like Shaw's and Stop and Shop. It is because of their generosity that we are able to sustain the amount of meals we are able to provide." Stop and Shop recently gave over $2,000 worth of food for the kitchen, as well as the food for the ribbon cutting. According to Noury, Stop and Shop is interested in providing future volunteers as well.

The construction for the new kitchen was done by All American Mid-west, who even helped donate some appliances. The clean, open, airy design was donated by Spencer McCombe of Spencer Cordtsen McCombe Architecture and Design in Newport. With the new kitchen open, The Salvation Army will begin to focus on its next projects, finding increased storage space for the needs of the organization and repairing the roof. But as in all things with the Newport Corps, the programs and missions of the group will go on despite repairs and need. Says Lt. Helen Johnson, "I was so proud, that even though we had construction going on, we had such a great group of volunteers and a construction/design team that we never had to close the soup kitchen once during the entire process. We found solutions like grilled foods and were able to keep serving the people who need us the most."

For more information about volunteering at the Soup Kitchen, please contact Lieutenant Kevin Johnson at 401-846-3234.


(Lieutenants Kevin and Helen Johnson discuss ongoing needs of their Soup Kitchen in Newport with Jay Noury and Mike Thomas.)


(Jay Noury of the Connell Highway Stop and Shop and Mike Thomas of the Bellvue Avenue Stop and Shop, with Majors Stephen and Valerie Lopes of The Salvation Army's Southern New England Division, and Spencer McCombe of Spencer Cordtsen McCombe Architecture and Design in Newport.)


(Another image featuring the newly-remodeled Soup Kitchen.)



(Kids from the Newport RI Salvation Army)


HARTFORD – Between July 16 and September 15, more than 12,000 students in need across the country will be putting $80.00 Target GiftCards toward purchasing school supplies, clothing, and other must-have, back-to-school needs. The Target School Spree will help kids from across the country selected by The Salvation Army to gear up for the 2012 academic year. In The Salvation Army's Southern New England Division alone, 300 children are participating. Specifically, The Salvation Army's operating units in Ansonia, Bridgeport, Bristol, Danbury, Hartford, Meriden, New Britain, Newport, Pawtucket, Providence, Torrington, Waterbury, and Willimantic are partnering with their local Targets this year.

The shopping has already begun! Eager children from Willimantic, Meriden, and Torrington have already thanked us for the backpacks, calculators, pens and pencils, art supplies, binders, clothing, uniforms, and other must-have supplies that this opportunity has made possible. Target and their employees continue to serve as worthy hosts and look forward to the event each year themselves. The Salvation Army's volunteers are also always eager to help. Children are accompanied by adults (not their parents) with shopping lists and calculators. They then proceed around each Target store, picking out their back-to-school needs.

"This is a great opportunity for these kids, so they can be prepared for school," said Lisa G. Cretella, Director of Development for The Salvation Army's Southern New England Division. "We are once again tremendously grateful to Target for this generous partnership to help children start the school year on a positive note. I want to thank all our volunteers, friends, and advisory board members for chaperoning and signing up to do so thus far and into the end of August. Each event throughout our division is always a wonderful time."

Education is at the heart of Target's giving and the Target School Spree is one of many ways that Target acts locally to help kids learn and schools teach, paving a path to graduation. As part the Target School Spree program this year, Target awarded all 40 of The Salvation Army Divisions nationwide a total of $960,000 worth of Target GiftCards. Recipients of the gift card shopping sprees were identified from the hundreds of youth programs the Army operates across the country. Each $80 Target GiftCard will provide a child with the supplies needed for the new school year. More pictures and stories directly from the operating units to come!



As Newport Gulls Play Ball to Shutout Holyoke Blue Sox 9-0!



(Lieutenants Kevin and Helen Johnson, Corps Officers for the Newport Corps, throw two of the first pitches for the game!)

NEWPORT – On July 13th, Cardines Field was home to a 9-0 shutout as the Newport Gulls took on and defeated the Holyoke Blue Sox. The Salvation Army had staff and many fans of both the organization and team in attendance to cheer on the Gulls and support a great cause. Funds were raised, friendships were made, and baseball fans just kept coming, with rumors of a record attendance for a Newport Gulls home game this summer.

The Salvation Army’s Newport Corps offers a variety of programs and services to those in need from Newport. For example, a bread pantry is offered throughout the week, with a food pantry open Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays to help address hunger issues in the community. A Friday and Sunday Soup Kitchen and seasonal garden, with food distributed through its pantry, is also provided. When funds are available, energy assistance and clothing vouchers are also given to those who qualify. This is just a sampling of why every opportunity for recognition and donations is critical, to meet the need. The Salvation Army is grateful for July 13th being The Salvation Army Night for the Newport Gulls and the impact such participation has on the Newport Corps’ ability to serve others.

The Newport Gulls continue their first place lead in the Eastern Division and The Salvation Army wishes them the best of luck and encourages you to attend their games and cheer them on throughout the remainder of the season. Below please find a selection of pictures, with many more available via the Newport Gulls’s The Salvation Army Night 7/13 Facebook Photo Album.





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