Apr
3

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Music Program Makes a Difference at Volta Elementary School

Volta Brass Practice

Ted Johnson so strongly believes in The Salvation Army’s music program that he donated $4,000. As principal of Allesandro Volta Elementary School in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood, he sees the benefits of music for his students.

“There is plenty of research showing that music contributes to intellectual development and academic achievement,” said Johnson. The donation was used to purchase more than 100 concert-style music stands to be used in an upcoming recital and new instruments. Read More

Mar
13

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Hope for Human Trafficking Survivors – Chicago

Human-Trafficking-Victim-Rescued-Blog

Her family moved from shelter to shelter with no stable housing in sight. Facing limited options, Angie decided she needed to care for herself, and moved to the streets.

Soon, she met a man who offered her a roof over her head, food and clothes. But there was a catch – she would need to go to work for him, as a prostitute on the streets of Chicago. For three years, Angie worked every day with the expectation she would bring a predetermined amount of money back to her pimp.

A few years later she found herself pregnant and decided it was time to leave. “It certainly wasn’t easy but I did it,” Angie said. “One day I just never came back.” Read More

Feb
24

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Spring: From Darkness to Light

Story-4-Spring-200x200pxA personal word from Lt. Colonel Ralph Bukiewicz, Division Commander.

There’s no better metaphor for new life than the transition of winter into spring. I love the way C. S. Lewis describes it in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe:

Every moment more and more of the trees shook off their robes of snow. Soon, wherever you looked, instead of white shapes you saw the dark green of firs or the black prickly branches of bare oaks and beeches and elms. Then the mist turned from white to gold and presently cleared away altogether. Shafts of delicious sunlight struck down onto the forest floor . . .
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Feb
24

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She Got a Head Start…

Story-3-Head-Start-200x200pxWanda Stevenson was just 15 in 1970 when she did an internship with Head Start, working with preschoolers, as part of her high school graduation requirement.

More than four decades later, she’s still working with the organization, now as a teacher with The Salvation Army’s New Hope Head Start program. For her career of service, Stevenson was recently honored as the Illinois Head Start Association’s Teacher of the Year.

Stevenson, who put her own children through Head Start, has been teaching in The Salvation Army’s childcare programs for 33 years. She says it’s been a “wonderful opportunity to serve children and their families from diverse cultures.” She works primarily with African-Americans and Hispanics, and says she has “gained much from years of experience working in a bilingual and diverse cultural environment.”  Read More

Feb
24

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I Still Had Hopes and Dreams

Story-2-Hopes-and-Dreams-200x200pxWhen I got pregnant at the age of 17, I knew my future just got more difficult. My baby’s father wasn’t in the picture, but I still had hopes and dreams for myself.

Things got even harder when my mother was incarcerated, leaving just me, my 13-year-old sister, and my unborn baby. We were essentially homeless, until we ended up moving in with my grandparents.

I decided to enroll at Simpson Academy, the only public school for pregnant girls and teen mothers in Illinois. The school has a graduation rate of more than 90 percent, so I knew I’d get a good education and, hopefully, go on to college.  Read More