Many people know The Salvation Army for their volunteers standing outside of malls and shopping centers during the holiday season collecting donations, but what many do not comprehend is the extent to which the organization helps the United States and its local communities.
The Salvation Army Daycare Center in Jersey City helps bridge the gap between parents who need to work in order to support their families, but cannot afford the cost of daycare. On a daily basis, from 7 a.m. until 6:30 p.m., volunteers help run the nursery as well as various classrooms and organize after-school events for the older kids. Run purely by donations, The Salvation Army Daycare Center in JC truly gives back to the community by taking on the responsibility of daily child care and asking for very little, if anything, in return.
Last quarter, as a part of our Global Outreach program, we spent the afternoon at The Salvation Army in JC, painting the kitchen and lending a helping hand in the daycare center. The afternoon was enjoyable not just for us here at AvePoint, but The Salvation Army as well! They enjoyed having us there so much that they kindly requested we come back for another afternoon full of fun and engaging activities.
We wanted to make good on our promise, so on Thursday, December 10, members of our JC office once again volunteered at The Salvation Army for an afternoon filled with activities for the kids. This time, however, we wanted to give a little bit more in the spirit of the holiday season. Leading up to our visit, we ran a toy drive during the first week of December, encouraging employees to donate a gift for the children at the center. In the end, we had plenty of gifts to donate to The Salvation Army, and the organization will give them out to the children closer to Christmas. Some of the items donated included a toy drum set, a Tonka truck, coloring books, and Barbie dolls!
When we arrived, we worked with the children on several different craft projects. In keeping up with the holiday spirit, we decided we would make Popsicle stick reindeer and paper plate snowmen, both of which were a hit.
While some of us spent the afternoon helping the children craft, others decided to take on other activities, including a competitive basketball game with some of the older children!
The best part, however, was just getting to spend time with some of the children who really enjoyed the time and attention. We spent several hours in different classrooms with children who wanted us to read to them or simply watch them during “story time.” AvePoint Communications Manager Heather Aponte was a natural with the kids, all of whom enjoyed her company for the entire duration we were there – whether it was crafting, reading, or playing with toys!
We ended the day by wishing all of the children and the rest of the workers at the center a very happy holiday season! Guy DeAngelis, the Business Manager of The Salvation Army in JC, said the most important thing for these kids is that they “have people around them who want to help.”
As Maria, the daycare center lead mentioned, “It’s nice to have new and fresh faces involved!” We more than enjoyed our second trip to The Salvation Army – we loved it!
For those who are interested in volunteering or donating, please don’t hesitate to check out The Salvation Army – Jersey City – they are run purely on donations and any amount truly makes a difference.