Released 6 December 2011
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THE SALVATION ARMY'S GREATER VALLEY CORPS RECOGNIZED
FOR "EXCELLENCE IN THE COMMUNITY"
(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!”