Suze Diaz — Community spirit, big and small, can be seen every day. Throughout many neighborhoods, there are groups of people who are always striving to be true to the compassionate motto of “Doing the Most Good”. Locally, the wonderful people serving the North Coastal San Diego County area are located at The Salvation Army Oceanside Corps Community Center at 3935 Lake Boulevard in Oceanside.
Since 1865, The Salvation Army is an international movement, serving in about 130 countries around the world. It is also “an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church; its message is based on the Bible with its ministry motivated by the love of God, to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in His name without discrimination.” The Salvation Army Oceanside Corps is in full operation annually, serving the community by offering many quality programs to support families, youths, seniors, veterans and other individuals needing assistance in living their lives.
Heading the administrative staff are Corp officers Lieutenant Brian Orr and Captain Brenda Orr, a husband and wife team who moved to North San Diego County from Ridgecrest, CA in January of this year and plan to be in residence for five years. With two employees, one driver and six to eight regular volunteers, the Orrs are busy year round, helping a good portion of the community through social and worship services. Through the holiday season, the volunteer numbers rises as many members of the community step up to give a helping hand with Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities. Come be a part of the joy this season in helping others and volunteer! And if the timing is conflicting, there are many other ways to help throughout the year!
Photos by Suze Diaz
Monetary and food donations are accepted at any time. For every $1 that is donated, 82¢ goes toward community programs. The greatest need right now at the site is non-perishable food items to help keep the community food pantry shelves continuously stocked as well as collecting perishables (and non-perishables) for the upcoming Thanksgiving dinner and holiday food baskets at Christmas.
Recently, a generous donor made a donation that allowed a refurbishing and a refreshing for some of the rooms at the Community Center. New flooring that was desperately needed for a few of the classrooms; an updated food pantry; two new large walk-in freezers; a large refrigerator/cooler; new ceiling and painting for the multipurpose room, updates to the children’s game room and added a nursery for children that come to Sunday Church Services.
With generous and compassionate support from some of our local businesses (Albertson’s, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s and Smart & Final to name a few), listed below are some of the food programs and social services servicing our community:
– Fresh Choice (while supplies last): Every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (sign in to get your number at 12:00 PM)
– Food Pantry: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9 AM until 11 AM
– Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP): Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 AM till 11 AM
The Salvation Army also offers help in other ways:
– SDGE Bill Payment Assistance Program: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 9 AM till 11 AM
– $4 Senior Nutrition Lunch (Gives seniors social opportunities for fellowship and meeting new people)
– Children (ages 6-18) can participate in free faith-based safe place programs on Wednesday evenings with the Ozone Troops from 4:30 to 7:00 PM. Many opportunities are available for them to learn new skills in character building, creative arts, dance, make friends and enjoy dinner. If you would like to volunteer as an art teacher, please reach out and let them know!
– On Tuesday evenings, there are music opportunities to join a singing company (kids only) between 6:00 to 6:45 PM or learn beginning band (all ages) between 6:45 to 7:30 PM
– Sunday Morning Breakfast at 9:00 AM before Church Services
– Children & Adult Sunday School at 10:00 AM
– Sunday Morning Worship Service at 11:00 AM (If you would like a ride to church on Sundays, please call the office by Friday at 760-631-8212)
– NOTE: There is a great need for a piano player for Sunday Services, if you know of anyone or if you yourself would love to play, please contact the office at 760-631-8212!
For more information on classes listed below, please contact Karen Roth at 619-446-0228
– Free Senior Exercise Class (all levels welcome): On Thursdays at 10: 00 AM
– Free English Classes: On Thursdays at 1:00 PM till 2:30 PM
Miracles can and do happen everyday. Through compassion, caring and generosity, we all can help those who are trying to help themselves to live their best life. The wonderful folks at The Salvation Army Oceanside are committed to “Doing the Most Good” for our community in action, word, deed and spirit. Let’s join them and give a helping hand!
For more information on services offered, volunteering or to make a donation to The Salvation Army Oceanside, please visit https://oceanside.salvationarmy.org/ or call 760-631-8212.