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Volunteer Spotlight: Brenda Osborne

Brenda Osborne has been a soldier and volunteering with The Salvation Army for more than 30 years. She began volunteering in the Thrift Store in the early 80’s and became a soldier shortly after. However, the Corps closed and she moved on to other things. Much to her delight, her daughter invited her to a service at the newly opened Salvation Army in 2011 and she hasn’t looked back! She attends services weekly, is involved in the leadership council and active in Women’s Ministries. Brenda OsborneMore than that, she volunteers more than 40 hours a week as the receptionist for our administrative offices. She assist our homeless friends and neighbors by monitoring their access to showers and laundry services. She eagerly helps the staff by helping make copies for upcoming groups or events, is very crafty and often can create accessories for upcoming events adding just the right touch. An incredible baker, she often makes cupcakes or cakes for upcoming special occasions…with homemade icing of course. “As a retired person, Volunteering gives me purpose and I really enjoy helping other people.” The Salvation Army Cleveland are so blessed to have her and are very grateful for all she does!”

$25,000 Matching Gift Opportunity

Dear Friends,

Some longtime friends who believe in the value of our work have stepped forward with an amazing $25,000 Matching Gift – hoping to inspire you and other in our area to give as generously as possible and help match the gift dollar for dollar.  That would mean $50,000 to help care for neighbors in need.

This couldn’t have come at a better time because more people are coming matching grant smaller pageto us for help.  So we are asking you to consider opening your heart once again and giving a generous tax-deductible contribution to The Salvation Army here in Chattanooga.

We are asking for the sake of people like Stan.  Like so many others, Stan was recently laid off from work.  He struggled to get by on his meager unemployment check as he frantically searched for employment.  Humbly, he turned to us after learning his electricity was going to be turned off.  Thanks for friends like you, we were able to help with his utilities.  The next day, Stan stopped by to let us know he’d gotten a job and to offer hugs of gratitude.

We are asking for your help today also for the sake of people like Miranda.  She was just 18 when her daughter Janelle was born.  And though life was challenging at times, Miranda tool great pride in being able to provide for her little girl.  But when Miranda fractured her leg and became unable to work for an extended period, she got behind on the rent and soon lost her apartment.

Through the support of caring people like you, Miranda and her daughter received safe shelter, food and loving support until she was well enough to return to work.  “I owe my life to The Salvation Army,”  she says.  “Now Janelle and I have a real home of our own.”

I’m also coming to you for the sake of people like Sue.  Her reliance upon alcohol had taken over her life and had led to the loss of her dream job as a paramedic.  But thanks to friends like you, that’s not the end of Sue’s story…

“Because of the new start at The Salvation Army, I regained self-esteem, which has led to my being a productive member of our community,” she says.  “I recently celebrated seven years of continued sobriety, and I have now enjoyed employment with the same company for almost six years.”

There is no question…The Stans, Mirandas and Sues in Chattanooga are worth it.  Worth every penny we invest, every hour we labor, every tear we shed, every prayer we offer up to heaven.

But we simply can’t continue responding to every need unless the caring citizens of our community continue giving us their valuable support.

That’s why the Matching Gift is such a great opportunity.  As caring friends like you match the gift, we’ll have $50,000 to help keep all of our efforts going strong.  Doing The Most Good just like we’ve been doing in Chattanooga for 123 years.

Click here to give to our Matching Gift.  Help us raise $50,000 for those in need.

Women and Children Are Large Percentage of U.S. Homeless

Jane, a single mother with a young son, was almost at the end of her rope.  She had fled from another state to escape domestic violence and to seek a fresh start.  She had less than $300 in her pocket, no friends, no family, and no directfamilyion.  Her only source of income was the small disability check she received every month.

Today, families account for nearly 40% of the homeless population. The United States is unique among industrialized nations in that women and children make up such a large percentage of the homeless.

The Salvation Army provides a range of services to help the homeless men, women, and children of our community by providing food, cold weather shelter, clothing, referrals and vouchers.  Partner agencies can also help with permanent housing and medical treatment.

To make a donation to help care for families in need, visit or by calling 423-756-1023.

Reasons for Family Homelessness

  • One in seven U.S. households has sever housing cost burdens, making them highly vulnerable to homelessness due to job loss
  • Federal support for low-income housing has fallen 49% between 1980-2003
  • More than one-third of single parent households live below the Federal Poverty Line, and single women lead 85% of homeless families
  • The average wait for public housing is 20 months, and the wait for a Section 8 Voucher is 35 months




General William Booth’s SIX RESOLUTIONS 

*On December 6, 1849, at age 20, William Booth, the cofounder of The Salvation Army, wrote a set of resolutions which he maintained throughout his life. After his death the faded document was found among his papers. These resolutions signify how Booth in his early days committed himself to pursue the life of holiness in practical and daily manner.

  1. That I will rise every morning sufficiently early to wash, dress, and have a few minutes, not less than 5, in private prayer.
  1. That I will, as much as possible, avoid all that babbling and idle talk in which I have lately so sinfully indulged.
  1. That I will endeavor in my conduct and deportment before the world and my fellow servants especially to conduct myself as a humble, meek and zealous follower of Christ, and by serious conversation and warning endeavor to lead them to think of their immortal souls.
  1. That I will read no less than four chapters in God’s Word every day.
  1. That I will strive to live closer to God, and to seek after holiness of heart and leave providential events with God.
  1. That I will read over this every day or at least twice a week.


“God help me, enable me to cultivate a spirit of self-denial and to yield myself a prisoner of love to the redeemer of the world.”

 “I feel my own weakness, and without God’s help I shall not keep these resolutions. The Lord have mercy upon my guilty soul.”

General William Booth (1829-1912)6-Resolutions-2-300x200

Hurricane Katrina – Disaster Services Director still vividly recalls relief efforts 10 years later

Ten years ago Saturday, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in southeast Louisiana. It is the country’s most expensive natural disaster and one of its five deadliest hurricanes.

It was also the largest Emergency Disaster Services operation in The Salvation Army’s history.


Not only did people donate $382 million to Salvation Army relief efforts, but following the storm, The Salvation Army EDS teams from across the country and Canada traveled to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to help recovery efforts. Among them were teams from Kentucky and Tennessee, coordinated by then Disaster Services Director, Ray Dalrymple.

“Out of 62 communities in Kentucky and Tennessee, volunteers would just call, and we’d get them trained and sent down there,” he said. “It was Salvation Army people plus about 1,200 or 1,400 volunteers from all over Kentucky and Tennessee.”

He recalled the overwhelming support from the community to help those affected by the storm: “We had some Baptist ministers and their wives who wanted to be part of the [relief efforts] for Kentucky. They went down for two weeks, came back and went down again for two weeks.”

He also described the sense of community and urge to rally around those hit by Katrina as being similar to the camaraderie felt for New Yorkers after 9/11. (He volunteered at Ground Zero.)

“During Ground Zero, someone from England said everyone in America became a New Yorker and everyone in the world became an American for a little while,” he explained. “That’s pretty much how I would describe the Mississippi Gulf Coast after Katrina. It hurt us all; we were all devastated in one way or another. We all became part of the Mississippi Gulf Coast community, especially during the recovery.”


Dalrymple estimates The Salvation Army sent between 10 and 14 teams from Kentucky and Tennessee, and each team was made up of approximately five members. These included workers for the canteen (mobile feeding kitchen), cooks, drivers, maintenance workers and people who focused on logistics.

“Some of the people went down a couple times, but for the most part we tried to use different people – volunteers, officers, anyone who could make themselves available to do that.

“We were careful who we sent to work,” he added, “because those first few weeks, the people who worked in that situation were also victims, if you know what I mean. They went down there and lived down there under the same conditions as the victims, plus they did work. The conditions were VERY difficult.”

Those teams – called first responders since they were among the first of the relief groups on the scene, not for the type of services they provided – stayed in the Gulf Coast area until just after the beginning of 2006. Their primary duty was to provide food and water, though volunteers who had skills other teams needed would be sent to work with them.


“We served the firefighters policemen, medical teams – those kinds of first responders – as well as the victims,” Dalrymple said.

He mainly stayed in Louisville, coordinating the efforts, but two to three weeks after those efforts began, he traveled to Baton Rouge and New Orleans to retrieve some equipment.

“When I went down, they hadn’t finished recovering,” he said. “It was pretty much like it was the day after [Katrina] hit. It was devastation everywhere, unbelievable: boats up across the highway, houses and buildings that were on foundations where neighborhoods used to be.”

Dalrymple, who retired from his part-time position with The Salvation Army in 2013, has been in disaster service work since 1959. He was made Disaster Services Director in 2000, so Hurricane Katrina was his first major disaster at the helm.

However, it was not the first major disaster of his career. He was also working during Hurricane Camille in 1969 and helped to put together teams for Hurricane Andrew in 1992. In fact, he said, during the Katrina equipment retrieval, he said he could still see signs of Camille’s presence.

“You never fully recover. They’ve done a good job of rebuilding down there [after Katrina], but even now, there’s still just certain signs that you can tell that Hurricane Katrina was there. Some of that, in my opinion, people have left there so they will not forget.”

To recover as much as the area has, Dalrymple said, it takes “people from all around the country and all around the world.

“We had disaster teams from every corner of The Salvation Army world come and respond. That’s the only way you ever recover from that.”


It wasn’t just The Salvation Army, of course. He said, “I have great friends to this day from Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Services, the Red Cross, Catholic Charities. It was a great team effort.”

And it was a time when people shone as they helped others who were in their darkest hour – some even when they were in that dark hour too.

“There was a Salvation Army officer they couldn’t find for several days. [He was] somewhere in the Gulfport area,” Dalrymple said. “As soon as the hurricane hit, he started serving and helping people, even though he and his family were victims themselves. They tried to get him to come home, to leave, and he wouldn’t do it. Not for a few weeks.
“There were so many little stories of ministry, help and assistance that will never be told, of people just doing the right thing. It was a time of great ministry for The Salvation Army service.”

To learn more about The Salvation Army’s response to Hurricane Katrina, visit:


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