Turkey Drive 2003 Passes Goal

By: Damon Dillman
By: Damon Dillman

The Salvation Army has declared Turkey Drive 2003 a success.

Officials have announced that they have exceeded their goal of 1,200 turkeys. The turkeys will be distributed to more than 500 Valley families on Dec. 22.

"We have turkeys to go around, so there are going to be plenty of happy families on Christmas morning, at least eating turkey," said Major Samuel Van Denberg of the Salvation Army.

The 1,200-turkey goal was the highest mark the Salvation Army had ever set for its annual drive. But Van Denberg says he was confident the goal wasn't too ambitious.

"Well, with the economy, we were kind of concerned that 12 hundred was going to be pushing it a little bit," he said. "But we felt that that's what we needed, and we also felt that that's what we were gonna be able to come up with."

"It's a really good feeling, knowing that the community's been able to come through," Van Denberg added. "We know it's been a hard year for a lot of our Valley residents, but they were able to come through, and we do thank them very much."

And despite already reaching the goal, the Salvation Army is still accepting turkeys. They are being collected at Sheetz locations and the Salvation Army centers in Harrisonburg and Staunton.

The drive ends on Monday.

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The Salvation Army Mission Statement

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

The History of the Salvation Army in the South

The Salvation Army in the United States is divided into four territories. The administrative center of the Southern Territory is in Atlanta, Georgia. The USA Southern Territory comprises 15 southern states and is divided into nine divisions.

  • From its simple beginnings in 1865 in the poverty-stricken East End of London, England, The Salvation Army grew rapidly during the 1860s and 1870s.

  • By the end of 1878, The Salvation Army in England had more than 75 corps (worship and service centers) with 120 officers (clergy).

  • In October of that year Salvationists (Salvation Army members) Amos and Annie Shirley immigrated to the United States and began holding evangelistic meetings in Philadelphia.

  • Their daughter Lieutenant Eliza Shirley soon followed them. Repeatedly throughout 1879 the Shirleys asked General William Booth, The Salvation Army's Founder, to send officers to establish The Salvation Army in America.

  • In Feb. 1880, George Scott Railton, the first officer to hold the rank of commissioner, led a group of seven women to expand The Salvation Army in Philadelphia and extend it to New York City and beyond.

  • The first work in America among the military too place in the south during the Spanish-American War.

  • In April 1927, the National Commander Evangeline Booth came to Atlanta to proclaim the opening of the Southern Territory.

  • The Southern Territory is now experiencing growth in new areas such as ethnic ministries with Hispanic and Asian corps.

Source: http://www.salvationarmysouth.org/about.htm (The Salvation Army Web site) contributed to this report.


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