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Released 6 December 2011


GVCAward(The Salvation Army’s Greater Valley Corps’ Officer Theresa Burkholder accepting her award with employees Lynn Herbert - Food Site and Case Manager and Cheri Cerrone - Program Assistant.)

Derby - The Valley Council for Health & Human Services held its Annual Meeting and Awards Presentation on Monday, December 6, 2011, featuring a keynote presentation by Representative Rosa L. DeLauro. The breakfast meeting, which was generously sponsored by Naugatuck Savings Bank, was held at Grassy Hill Lodge in Derby, Connecticut.

The Salvation Army’s Greater Valley Corps was presented with the Agency/Program of the Year Award, which is presented to a nonprofit agency or a program whose staff and volunteers exemplify excellence in the community and whose services have made a significant and lasting contribution to the health and well being of the residents of the lower Naugatuck Valley.

The Salvation Army has been serving the Valley community since 1891. Currently, Major Theresa Burkholder, two part-time staff members, and a dedicated group of volunteers work together to fulfill the Greater Valley Corps’ mission of meeting the basic human needs of Greater Valley families. They do so through a wide variety of programs, including a Food Panty, Community Meals program, clothing and furniture vouchers, and emergency rental and utility assistance.

During a time when an increasing number of families have been suffering economic and other hardships, The Salvation Army has made a tremendous impact. This past year, the Food Panty alone provided over 4,400 bags of groceries to benefit in excess of 1,000 individuals, an increase from the more than 3,900 bags provided the previous year. To address the increased food needs in the community, the Greater Valley Corps has expanded its outreach and collaboration efforts. This has made it possible to obtain additional fruits and vegetables from a local farmer at the close of the Seymour Farmers Market. In addition, earlier this year, through the Connecticut Food Bank, staff and volunteers began picking up groceries and other goods from Target. Another partnership developed this past summer, with the help of the Connecticut Food Bank, including obtaining produce and fruits from a farm in Shelton, CT, giving recipients even more healthy, locally-grown choices.

The Salvation Army's Greater Valley Corps met additional needs among Greater Valley families in the past year by distributing approximately 3,000 clothing articles, over 50 clothing / furniture vouchers, and 21 utility vouchers this past program year. Through its Back-to-School Supplies Distribution and Fun Fest, The Salvation Army provided backpacks, school supplies, and clothing to children residing in the Greater Valley area. Last holiday season, the Corps also distributed more than 1,800 gifts for children and adults in need.

The Salvation Army staff and volunteers are known for going above and beyond the call of duty to work with other Valley agencies to address people’s needs. For example, as one nominator pointed out, “The Salvation Army, led by Major Theresa, was at Harvest House IV all day sorting and stocking food on the Harvest House walls.” This nominator pointed out that The Salvation Army is consistently responsive whenever presented with an individual or community need.

At no time has this dedication to respond to community needs been more evident than in the recent aftermath to the October snowstorm. When residents of Seymour and Oxford were left without electricity and heat for an extended period, The Salvation Army decided to act. They supplied resources to serve meals at the emergency shelters in both communities, as well as at the Norman Ray Congregate Housing on Walnut Street in Seymour. As the nomination stated about The Salvation Army’s Greater Valley Corps, Major Theresa and her dedicated staff and volunteers truly “walk the talk!”

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