Community Asked To ‘Be A Shield' At Salvation Army Fundraiser
By REBECCA HOEFFNER
Kathy Evans was addicted to alcohol when she walked through the doors of The Salvation Army in Tyler.
"I used to put money in the kettle at Christmastime, but I had no idea what they did," she said. "They saved my life."
Ms. Evans was only one of the powerful testimonies featured at The Salvation Army's Doing The Most Good fundraising luncheon Thursday in Tyler.
The event is the nonprofit's second biggest fundraiser and has raised more than $2.5 million for operations since the first luncheon in 2005, Amber Foster, community and corporate relations coordinator, said.
This year's theme was "Be A Shield," a reference to the organization's shield logo.
"'Be A Shield' is what we want this community to be," said Ben Lawrence, captain of the Tyler corps. "We want to find those hurt and in need in our community and help get them to their feet."
About 250 faithful donors and their friends attended the luncheon, where they learned about afterschool programs, free meals to the hungry, addiction recovery, spiritual education and development and the homeless shelter that The Salvation Army operates.
About 30 percent of the people in Tyler are living in poverty, said Captain Doris Lawrence, and more than 4,000 call or visit the organization every day.
"Your story weaves together with God's plan," she said. "No one in this room is here by accident."