Thursday, July 23, 2015, The Salvation Army Austin had the pleasure of hosting a tour for our friends from Entercom, the parent company of several local radio stations including Majic 95.5. The dedicated team at Entercom spreads the word about The Salvation Army events year round. Their support on air during the Angel Tree each year, helps the community know how to get involved in providing Christmas gifts for thousands of local children in need. Entercom also hosts The Salvation Army volunteers of the month.
Our tour began with lunch in the chapel of the Downtown Shelter and Social Service Center. During our meal Lt. Colonel Dorris Gonzalez, Associate Area Commander, spoke about how important the Angel Tree event is to children and families in need in our community. We watched a compelling Angel Tree video showing testimonials and the process of the Angel Tree program. Social Services Director, Kathy Ridings spoke about the families in shelter. She described how we do our best to provide children in shelter with an environment of normalcy, acceptance and hope. Jan Gunter, our Communications Director, spoke about other ways The Salvation Army serves the community. She gave a short quiz with prizes to our Entercom guests on Salvation Army facts.
Stephanie Callahan, Entercom’s Vice President and General Manager, spontaneously shared a beautiful story of how The Salvation Army had a significant impact on her grandfather when he immigrated to the United States from Ireland. The Salvation Army assisted him and his family when they first arrived and had very little. He passed down his stories of The Salvation Army and those memories hold dear to Stephanie’s heart and influenced her own desire to support those in greatest need.
The tour proceeded with a walk through our family dorm. Next was a tour of the Learning Center which was recently renovated by our friends at EZCORP. Kaeyla Boyd, Case Manager, explained that the learning center is used during the summer and school year where children can do their homework, create science fair projects, and use computers. The Salvation Army is currently holding a school supply drive for children in our shelter. During the day while the children are at school, the Learning Center is open to adults to give them the opportunity to use computers for job searches and resume building.
The tour continued to the Safe Sleep area then concluded back in the Chapel. Employees at Entercom expressed their gratitude for the tour and how they learned so much more about The Salvation Army.
We are thankful to have partnerships like Entercom! Their support is truly Doing The Most Good in our community, and it is through support like theirs that we are able to continue to serve those in greatest need.