Lowndes County and Valdosta Salvation Army programs.
The Salvation Army of Lowndes County is a faith based charity that tries to provide support for the needy. While there are services available across the region, if the non-profit can't fulfill a request then the agency will try to offer referrals instead.
Assistance is available due to the work of volunteers, which are made up of businesses and local citizens from Valdosta and other towns in the county. Many of the programs in Lowndes County also rely on donations from the community, namely the food pantry as well as Christmas assistance. Another source of funding will be from federal government, Project SHARE, or state of Georgia grants. All of these, and more, are used by the full time staff at the charity to help the less fortunate.
There are several categories of programs administered, as noted below. Note that resources are limited and often have a waiting list. The assistance is also intended to be a hand up (which requires self-sufficiency) rather than handing something free to the low income.
A combination of boxes of free food or hot meals are served from pantries and soup kitchens. Volunteers collect donations from the community. They are then examined and repackaged. Based on the qualifications of the family, some emergency food may be given to the client.
Lowndes County Salvation Army soup kitchens offer a warm meal during the year. This is also available during the holiday season as well, such as during Thanksgiving or Christmas. While the qualifications for a pantry are more extensive, when it comes to a meal, anyone is welcome. Clients include the homeless, children, elderly, and those that need either food or companionship.
As noted, the food programs rely on support from the larger community of Lowndes County. This program could not run without the work of volunteers and contribution of donors. They give their money and time to help the less fortunate.
The Salvation Army holiday programs are operated locally, both in Lowndes County as well as nationwide. The goal is to share the holiday season with every child as well as senior citizens or the homebound. The staff and volunteers due everything possible to provide a child with a gift to open under the Christmas tree.
Angel Tree is one program. Others include Adopt a Family. The Salvation Army of Valdosta center receives financial donations from Angel Tree or toys from its corporate partners. They also hold fundraisers and clothing drives. All of these items are distributed during Christmas to struggling families from the community. In addition, volunteers distribute gifts as well as companionship to shut-ins in hospitals and those seniors that live in nursing homes.
Family Services is where the financial aid programs operate from. Any funds are limited, but the application process is confidential. Some of what the Lowndes County Salvation Army may be able to help with are as follows.
- Vouchers for groceries for special diets, if the pantry can't fulfill the request.
- Lowndes County Georgia families facing homelessness can apply for emergency rental, air conditionong or utility bill help.
- The homeless can explore local shelters and then eventual security deposit programs.
- Work and/or school clothing is offered from a clothing bank.
This financial aid will be combined with basic case management as well as budgetary and pastoral counseling. Sessions may occur on a weekly basis. This is what the Salvation Army requires for the person to get over their hardship. This is what the hand up concept comes from. Programs include the following. There is GED Classes, Job Readiness Programs, referrals to Career Connections Centers, Budgeting, as well as Adult Day Centers.
There are many other services administered too. They range from disaster relief to placement into transitional housing. They also offer one advocacy in an effort to address the underlying causes of poverty in Lowndes County.
Volunteering is a big part of what the Salvation Army in Valdosta relies on. They have a need for people to pack food boxes at the pantry, provide Christmas toys or ring the bell, help in a disaster, or work in the soup kitchen. More assistance is always needed.
When seeking any type of help, each client must schedule an appointment with the Salvation Army Social Services Department. The case managers from the agency will work with the applicant to develop an action plan. That can touch on some of the issues above or much more. For information, the main Family Service Center is at 320 Smithland Place, Valdosta, Georgia 31601. Residents that are in need can call (229) 242-6440.