The Salvation Army in Hamilton has a new location, is taking applications for backpacks filled with school supplies and continues to offer support services for the needy.
The new address on North Third Street in the Professional Plaza is just across the street from one of its previous locations.
“We have a new place and no longer have a ‘free room,’ so will no longer accept donations because we don’t have a lot of space,” said Fidelis Temukum, Ravalli County service extension coordinator. “We will add a small public laundry. We will have a washer and dryer and will accept people to do laundry on appointment.”
Call the office for laundry soap and the use of a washer and dryer.
Students interested in receiving a backpack will need to apply; forms are available at the office. Applications are being accepted now and distribution will be Aug. 15 in the lobby of the new building.
The Salvation Army reserves the backpacks and school supplies “for needy families.”
“We wanted it to be for low-income but some people make a lot of money but maybe have medical bills or something, so we say whoever is in need of it,” Temukum said.
The Salvation Army has purchased 300 “nice, beautiful” backpacks at a cost of $1,800 and kids can come in to select the color they like.
Temukum is hoping for donors to defray the cost of supplies.
“We got the backpacks. We hope someone will help with purchasing the supplies, approximately $1,500,” he said. “If we don’t have someone step forward by the end of the month we have no choice but to get into our funds and do it.”
This week, the Salvation Army totally funded 15 campers to attend its wilderness camp near Spokane, Washington. It costs $650 per child to cover supplies, transportation and accommodations.
Campers from Hamilton, Corvallis and Stevensvile, ages 13-17, left July 22 for a week of “Wilderness Camp.”
“It’s a great camp and a beautiful place to go,” Temukum said. “They don’t have access to nice dormitories, I mean there are nice dormitories there but the kids are ‘roughing it.’ We want them to experience life without a cellphone, without internet without a hot shower — they love it! We want them to come back appreciating food and everything and for some reason they love it.”
Temukum works in the Salvation Army office 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. But the office is only open to the public Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Tuesdays and Thursdays are reserved for paperwork, appointments and committee meetings.
“We prefer people to set up appointments so they don’t have to wait,” Temukum said.
The Salvation Army office has moved three times in three years and would like to be settled.
“We pray to purchase a building,” Temukum said. “A permanent location in a building with a commercial kitchen and more space would allow us to have more activities that would help the community. With this tiny office we cannot really do things like a big laundry, showers and more activities.”
Temukum is waiting for approval for the purchase of a facility from divisional headquarters in Seattle.
“Apart from all this we are still in the business of helping people pay their rent and electric bills,” he said. “Right now we have grant money to help people pay their electric bills. If people have disconnect notices, we can pay and help prevent that. Even without a grant we still help people pay their rent to avoid evictions. We do virtually everything if we deem it an emergency.”
He said that the Salvation Army serves as a clearinghouse to evaluate people’s claims of need.
“We want to avoid people who are abusing the system,” Temukum said. “We really appreciate that the majority of churches in the valley come through us to help people in the community. Before I came in people went from one church to another asking for money. No more. Now, churches call us and we clear the person first.”
Visit The Salvation Army at 217 N. 3rd St., Suite B-2, in Hamilton, or call 406-210-1453 for an appointment and more information.
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