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Fruitful and Meaningful Partnerships
by Eloise Montemayor and Crystal Bennett
published June 2016

"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."

Our mission motivates us to serve the less fortunate through our church, social services, shelter, soup kitchen, and store. But carrying out this mission has also involved partnering with other community-driven agencies and businesses. These partnerships have given us the opportunity to serve others in ways we would have never imagined.

One example of a continued partnership is that of The Salvation Army (TSA) and Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley. Since June 11, 2014, TSA has had the privilege of cooking and delivering to Sacred Heart's Parish Hall over 69,000 bowls of chicken soup for refugees and volunteers. We believe that no one, regardless of race or nationality, deserves to go hungry. We have also shared our shower units, laundry equipment and tents for day and night lodging so that refugees can get better rest before departing on bus to their destination.

By the grace of God, thousands of refugees have been through the respite center at Sacred Heart and we thank Him for allowing us to take part in this collaborative effort. While our longterm partnership continues with Catholic Charities, we have also enjoyed the fruit of other recent collaborations.

One of the biggest smiles we have recently seen came from one of our former clients, Blanca Treviño. Treviño suffered from partial blindness for over a year due to a cataract in her right eye. She did not realize the seriousness of her condition, though, until she participated in a health fair at The Salvation Army. At the health fair, the McAllen Lions Club conducted a free eye exam and sent her to optometrist Dr. Scott Helgeson to check what was making her eye sight fuzzy. At the appointment, she found out she needed eye surgery to remove her cataract. But she also knew she did not have money to pay for it. She then went back to TSA to find out if there were any resources available for her to make the surgery possible. While waiting to hear back from TSA, she started to lose belief that everything would be OK. She had already started earning less money at her commission-based job since she was not able to read necessary paperwork. But the day TSA called Treviño with an update was the day a burden was lifted from her shoulders. She received news that her surgery would be completely paid for.

The McAllen Lions Club and Dr. Helgeson contributed monetarily towards the expenses and the anesthesiologist and Dr. Peña at Peña Eye Institute also provided their services free of charge to Treviño. At TSA's Behind the Red Shield luncheon during National Salvation Army Week, Treviño was able to share with guests her experience and her gratitude towards TSA, the McAllen Lions Club, Dr. Hegleson and Dr. Peña for coming together to help her see again.

The Salvation Army continues to meet the needs of the less fortunate with the help of community partners mentioned above and many others. In fact, Channel 5, H-E-B and The Salvation Army will partner once again in July to carry out the 5 Fans for Friends program, which makes it possible for individuals and families in need to stay cool during the hot summer. We invite you to partner with us in helping others. Please call us at 956.682.1468 for more information about our programs and/or partnership opportunities. We are located at 1600 N. 23rd St. McAllen, TX 78501 To give a monetary donation, you may send a check payable to The Salvation Army to the following address: PO Box 4766 McAllen, TX 78502 Thank you for your support!