Salvation Army says ‘mahalo’ during this coming week

LIHU‘E — The Salvation Army, with corps in Lihu‘e and Hanapepe, served more than 23,700 less fortunate people in 2011 and in the wake of the recent floods, played a critical role in the relief effort with water, hot meals, blankets, clothing, shelter and other basic assistance to both relief workers and victims.

This aspect of the Salvation Army was brought out Tuesday when Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. issued a proclamation announcing the week of May 7 through 13 as The Salvation Army Week on Kaua‘i.

The Salvation Army’s only business on Kaua‘i, as everywhere, is human business, undertaken with joy for the family of humankind, as it has been for the past 115 years, the proclamation states.

Major Mario Reyes, head of the Salvation Army, Lihu‘e Corps and Major Neil Saunders, retired and current Officer of the Hanapepe Corps, will be hosting its Annual Volunteer Mahalo Luncheon for volunteers and supporters that enable the Salvation Army to continue to do its work in the community.

“I’ve been retired for 12 years, but they keep sending me places,” Saunders said, explaining he is filling in at the Hanapepe Corps following the transfer of Lt. Sarah Smuda back to Honolulu where she will be furthering her education.

Reyes said Saunders has a wealth of experience with The Salvation Army in a lot of different places and will share that wealth during the luncheon.

On Kaua‘i, the Salvation Army serves the people with unshakable faith in all, no matter how desperate the situation, and views all individuals as people with possibilities, the proclamation states.

The Salvation Army serves the less fortunate through the physical provisions of food and shelter, and hot meals through its Kokua Soup Kitchens located in both the Lihu‘e and Hanapepe Corps. It also offers household items, clothing, utility assistance and spiritual enrichment.

The Army also provides relief during natural disasters, specifically emergency assistance during Hurricane ‘Iniki when thousands of Kaua‘i residents were provided emergency assistance.

The Army also cares for thousands of people who have suffered drug abuse and alcohol addiction, abuse, neglect, emotional problems and personal emergencies and continues to play a role in the community by reaching out to many needy families and individuals in His Name without discrimination.

During the Salvation Army Week, Majors Reyes and Saunders would like to extend its heartfelt gratitude to the County of Kaua‘i, Mayor’s Office, the Kaua‘i County Council, and the many Kaua‘i businesses, organizations, service clubs, churches, schools, and individuals who have helped and supported the Salvation Army’s efforts in numerous ways to assist others.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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