Sunday, June 27, 2010
TOOTING ONE'S OWN HORN
Many of you know that at two different periods in my life I worked for The Salvation Army. The first time was in Ontario, California when I worked for the "church" wing of The Salvation Army. There were two local "disasters" during my time there, one year experiencing an awful fire that swept through the foothills at the edge of our community and the next year an awful flood that sent torrents of water rushing down the roads and gullys from the hills on the north to the valleys on the south.
The second time was in 1994. I had just been hired by the "adult rehabilitation" wing of The Salvation Army and in fact, I started the week of the Northridge earthquake. At each of these disasters I saw The Salvation Army at work, and I couldn't help but notice that there wasn't a lot of "horn-tooting" going on. Rather, the people connected to this organization focused on the business of helping others and didn't spend time making sure the news organizations had photo-ops and the like.
The upshot of the matter is that the public doesn't really get to see and understand the extent of The Salvation Army's reach. I wish they did.
I receive a bi-weekly publication called "The New Frontier" published by The Salvation Army USA Western Territory, and it is there I can see the work that is still going strong. I'd like to share with you a synopsis of an article in the recent edition, as it represents just how little we know of the monumental work that is a continuing role assumed by this organization.
According to this article, Craig Arnold, of Concord, California, is two things: first, he is a lifelong Salvationist and has served in lay positions in the church, as well as serving on the Advisory Board. He also is a UPS executive.
"After the January 12 earthquake, he helped secure landing slots on the airport schedule for planes carrying Salvation Army supplies and arranged for UPS to land their cargo planes with large quantities of food, tents and water. He assisted in persuading the US Army 82nd Airborne to provide The Salvation Army with security while they distributed thousands of meal packets - handing out more than a quarter million meals in a single day."
Where ever he has lived, he has worked to educate his co-workers on the needs of the poor, the homeless and victims of disasters. And he has shown them that The Salvation Army is always there, quietly helping.
This June 13 issue of the New Frontier is full of stories that should be told. Printing them in an organization's newspaper is like singing to the choir. There is much good going on in the world that we don't hear about in either our newspapers or our televisions. But be assured, The Salvation Army stays very busy, but the only horn-tooting you'll hear about is from their traditional brass bands that on occasions grace a community with a concert.