Community Care Ministries
The Community Care Ministries is an expression of love in the best traditions of The Salvation Army's service. It truly reflects the ideal of The Salvation Army slogan: Heart to God, Hand to Man. Each year thousands of Salvation Army Community Care Ministries volunteers visit hundreds of thousands of people in nursing homes, mental health facilities, group homes, veterans facilities, hospitals, prisons and private homes where individuals are shut-in and unable to touch an outside world of people. Visits are made to these places with the purpose of providing a spiritual and social ministry to the sick, the handicapped, the aged, and those who are lonely and discouraged, whether in institutions or private homes.
Volunteers will sometimes bring small gifts such as toiletries, stationery and pens, magazines, candy, fruit, even stuffed animals. More importantly they bring warm hugs, friendly smiles, sparkling laughter and listening ears. They visit and offer to pray with the residents or patients, and are ready to share encouraging words from the Bible. Sometimes they bring musical instruments and have a group sing-along in the dining room or activity room. What matters most is that they bring love. Residents feel valued, cared about, alive again. In some locations Community Care Ministries volunteers provide weekly activities in nursing homes that may include music, crafts, discussion groups, birthday parties and worship meetings. These activities sometimes mirror the types of meetings held in Salvation Army corps community centers, except they are held in an institutional setting rather than in a Salvation Army building. Residents feel more in touch with the outside world through regular involvement in ordinary activities. They recover the joy of being alive. During the Easter and Christmas seasons Community Care Ministries volunteers visit thousands of residents of veterans' hospitals, prisons, and state and county homes for children and older adults. Many people who otherwise would spend the holidays alone receive a visit and a gift. A Circle of Caring.