On the afternoon of February 7, 2019, representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met with leadership of the Intermountain Division (Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming) of The Salvation Army. Elder Thomas T. Priday (Area Seventy) was joined by Jonathan Toronto (Director of Public Affairs, Denver North Council), Heather Scott (JustServe Director, Denver Area) and Aaron Titus (Area Welfare Specialist), represented the Church of Jesus Christ, while Major Mike Dickinson (Commander), Major Richard Pease (Secretary) and Bernard Lodge (Deputy Director of Emergency Services) represented The Salvation Army’s Intermountain Division.
The meeting began with a tour, led by Deputy Director Lodge, of The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services Warehouse in Aurora, Colorado. During this initial stop, the group discussed the many resources and assets of The Salvation Army which can be used in the event of an emergency to administer relief to the hungry and displaced, as well as to facilitate communications among a variety of government and non-profit organizations. This discussion included a brief tour of a fully equipped “Mobile Feeding Unit” truck which can be used to deliver meals, on site, in immediate proximity to a disaster site.
The meeting also included a stop at the Bishops’ Storehouse, also in Aurora, where Elder Dale Carter provided guests with a walking tour of the Storehouse, Home Storage Center, and other Welfare Services offices. While at the EDS Warehouse and the Bishops’ Storehouse, both groups devoted attention to the importance of inspired welfare principles–helping those in need of aid to receive that aid while growing in their capacity to be self-reliant. Examples of these principles included a discussion of The Salvation Army training those overcoming addictions on how to develop warehouse job skills, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints inviting those who receive support from a bishop to give back through individual service to others, based on individual skills and circumstances.
Throughout the visit, representatives of both groups reflected on their common belief in the Savior Jesus Christ, and their desire to minister to others in need, in the way that He would do. Relfecting on past, successful community partnership between us (such as joint Christmas toy drives collecting gifts for thousands of children in the Denver Area), the group also identified a variety of opportunities for continuing collaboration. Reflecting on the visit, and these exciting opportunities, Sister Scott observed:
I continue to be impressed by the organization and preparation of The Salvation Army. They are such a tremendous asset to our local and international communities because of their ability to organize partnerships around the strengths of each organization and their insight into what really needs to be done in the event of an emergency. Our members have greatly benefitted as partners, volunteers, and recipients of the great work of The Salvation Army. I am excited to increase the depth and breadth of our collaboration with this exemplary organization.
We extend our sincere thanks to representatives of The Salvation Army for spending this time with us, and for their continuing, critical Christlike service in our community.