Salvation Army, Purpose of God team up to meet community needs

Published 3:42 pm Wednesday, April 22, 2020

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In the best of times, The Salvation Army of Washington and Purpose of God Church go out of their way to help people in need in Washington and the surrounding area. As local people deal with the impacts of COVID-19, the two churches are teaming up to make sure that those needs are met amidst extraordinary circumstances.

Starting this coming week, Purpose of God will start distributing Salvation Army food boxes at the same time it opens its weekly share shops on Havens and East Third streets. The share shops, which started up last year, offer clothes, household goods, furniture and some appliances for those in need, all free of charge.

“Lt. Bush wanted us to become a distribution site for folks in the community,” said Bishop Samuel Jones Jr. “We’ll start incorporating passing food out on Tuesdays. I’ve been asking the Lord what we can do outside of the youth and adult programs to help the community.”

While the Purpose of God Annex is closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, its share shops are open. The Purpose of God Share Shops are located behind Beaufort Builders at 839 W. Third St. and in the warehouse at 541 Havens Street. Both locations are open from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, and food will be given out on a first come, first served basis.

SHARING IS CARING: The Purpose of God Share Shops offer free clothes and other household items for people in need on a weekly basis. (Purpose of God)

“We went from being a youth program and a felony mitigation program to being a dress/appliance store store and now a grocery store,” Jones laughed. “The Lord knows when you’re ready to take on things.”

At The Salvation Army, the Christian nonprofit has been providing food boxes since last month in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. Its location on Seventh Street in Washington has also served as a drive-thru spot for local students to pick up meals prepared by Beaufort County Schools Child Nutrition staff. For many who have visited in the past month, it’s their first time seeking help from the organization.

“Seventy percent of the cases we’ve seen in the past month have never come to us for anything,” said The Salvation Army of Washington Lt. Karl Bush. “People are starting to get help a little bit more, so we haven’t seen as many coming in. But that help is not going to last. People may have gotten extra food stamps, but they’re still going to need help, so we’re looking for more avenues to distribute food.”

LOADED UP: A truckload of about 50 Salvation Army food boxes bound for the Purpose of God Share Shop will be distributed next Tuesday. (The Salvation Army of Washington)

In addition to food relief, The Salvation Army is also continuing its regular services providing financial assistance with rent and utility bills for people who need help. Bush says the best way to help meet those needs is through financial donations to The Salvation Army of Washington.

“The Salvation Army of Washington has been able to continue providing assistance with rent, utilities, and food since the beginning impact of COVID-19 in our area due in large part to continued support from local donors and a grant received from the State Employees Credit Union,” Bush said.

All donations made at are used locally. More information about Purpose of God can be found on the Purpose of God Annex Outreach Center Facebook page.