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When Capt. Kyle Smith of the Salvation Army of Spokane arrived here five years ago, he didn’t know much about Spokane. His Salvation Army career had already taken him from his native New Zealand, through relief work in Rwanda, a five-year stay in Hawaii and inner-city Salvation Army work in Los Angeles. “I honestly didn’t know what to expect about Spokane. I felt like I was being sent away to this little place,” Kyle Smith said. “And then it turned out that Spokane was a great town. I could easily have stayed here longer.”
The Salvation Army created quite a log jam on North Division Street and Nora Avenue on May 23. That’s when Trans-System delivered two Idaho-grown white spruce trunks for the Salvation Army’s Marshallese Ministry Program’s outrigger canoe building project. The bigger trunk was 20 feet long and nearly 6 feet in diameter.
Santana McCullough was quiet but deliberate as he pushed aside the red and blue backpacks for one in olive green during the Salvation Army’s Backpacks for Kids event. The bashful 6-year-old unleashed a smile when he looked inside his new pack: “Oh! Scissors, markers, crayons and a box.” Still smiling, the 3-foot-tall Spokane boy headed for the door and slung the pack over his shoulder. “This is big,” he said.
The Salvation Army Spokane on Wednesday opened a newly renovated facility on its campus to provide counseling, family visitation and education under one roof. The facility, called the Nurturing Center for Children and Families, will centralize counseling and therapy program services that previously were spread out around the campus.
Three-year-old Kate lived in a dog crate in a meth house in Spokane and walked on hands and knees like an animal. Winston lived in a home with no running water or electricity. He was so dirty it took four changes of bath water to get him clean. Nathan, 8, was almost starved to death by an abusive family.
The Salvation Army officially launched its 2011 Red Kettle Campaign at a lunch at the Davenport Hotel on Tuesday. The bell ringers are already out in force and the stories are trickling in about unusual items landing in the familiar red kettles. One bell ringer found a $1,500 anonymous cashier’s check in a kettle. Salvation Army spokesperson Sheila Geraghty speculated that perhaps the check is from the same person who’s dropped gold pieces in kettles in previous years.
When it came to charitable giving this holiday season, the Spokane spirit was willing even if the economy is still weak. Four of the Inland Northwest’s most prominent charities reported that donations during their Christmas fundraising drives fell shy of goals, but not for lack of caring.
He rang in the morning. He rang at night. He rang in the sunshine. He rang in the snow. For 36 hours, Salvation Army Corps Capt. Kyle Smith stood by his red kettle and rang his bell. By doing so, he shattered the previous world bell-ringing record of 30.5 hours. Smith took his post at 5 a.m. Friday in front of the Northpointe Walmart store and didn’t leave until 5 p.m. Saturday. He borrowed his 12-year-old son’s insulated boots and spread a carpet remnant next to the kettle to provide warmth and cushion for his feet from the cold concrete.
The Salvation Army of Spokane saw its first gold of the season on Monday even before it had a chance to distribute its red kettles throughout Spokane. Larry Totten, of northeast Spokane, saw a story in The Spokesman-Review that mentioned a gold coin dropped in a kettle last year helped spark a $347,000 Christmas giving spree.
Lawyer, philanthropist and Spokane native Allan H. Toole Jr. dedicated his life to making his community a better place for all. “He had a love for mankind because it was the right thing to do,” said Kyle Smith, a close friend and captain with The Salvation Army in Spokane. “Truth that didn’t show itself in actions was no truth at all. That’s why he was so engaged in the community.”
It’s unclear whether any souls were saved, but “Onward Christian Soldiers” rang out from brass instruments as the Salvation Army held an outdoor service Friday in downtown Spokane. A handful of spectators braved Good Friday cold and rain on the corner of Riverside Avenue and Howard Street, the very spot where the evangelical Christian group began its Spokane mission in August 1891.
It’s unclear whether any souls were saved, but “Onward Christian Soldiers” rang out from brass instruments as the Salvation Army held an outdoor service Friday in downtown Spokane.
The Spokane Citadel Brass Band and others gathered in downtown Spokane on April 2, 2010, on the corner of Riverside Avenue and Howard Street to commemorate the the Salvation Army’s first Spokane mission in 1891. The site is where the evangelical Christian group began its Spokane mission in August 1891.