Little girls participating in ZAC Camp

Aldine Westfield Boys & Girls Club Hosts ZAC Water Safety Camp for Third Consecutive Year

In continuation of a national partnership dedicated to bringing water safety education to the communities that need it most, national water-safety organization, The ZAC Foundation has selected The Salvation Army of Greater Houston’s Aldine Westfield Boys & Girls Club, 2600 Aldine Westfield, to host the Foundation’s award-winning ZAC Camp for a third year through its grant program.

Since it began, ZAC Camps have taught more than 10,000 children and families the importance of water safety nationwide.

ZAC Camp at Aldine Westfield

The 2017 Greater Houston ZAC Camp will host campers Monday, June 26 through Thursday, June 29 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. Open to campers, family, and friends, the ZAC Camp will conclude with a special award ceremony that will take place at 12:00 p.m. on June 29 with special invited guests from the Office of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Office of Congressman Gene Greene, Safe Kids representative Cynthia Stubbins, Galveston Beach Patrol, Coast Guard, among others.

If you would like to register for ZAC Camp at Aldine Westfield, please call 713-695-3388.


What is ZAC Camp?

ZAC Camp – named in honor of 6-year-old Zachary Archer Cohn who drowned as a result of being entrapped in the suction of a swimming pool drain – is part of year five of a national partnership initiative undertaken by The ZAC Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America to bring lifesaving water-safety skills to thousands of Club members (aged 5-9) across the country.

The Salvation Army of Greater Houston’s Aldine Westfield Boys & Girls Club was selected through a rigorous application process and chosen based on its commitment to advancing water safety locally.

What does ZAC Camp offer?

The ZAC Camp program combines in-pool swimming lessons, safety classes with First Responders, and classroom curriculum based on tenets of water safety taught in a children’s book co-authored by Zachary’s parents – The Polar Bear Who Couldn’t, Wouldn’t Swim.  By week’s end campers are equipped with critical tools to lead them on the path to safe swimming, including: fundamental stroke training, emergency preparedness and response, and basic lifesaving techniques.  The ZAC Foundation will also donate a copy of the book to each camper, allowing campers to spread the messages to friends and family.

Importance of Water Safety

According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children ages 1-4 and the second leading cause in children 5-14. Risk of drowning is highest in minority populations with the fatal drowning rate almost three times that of Caucasian children.

In Texas, drowning has claimed the lives of 38 children in Texas thus far in 2017, with most occurring in a pool. Many of these deaths are preventable if proper water safety measures are taken.  ZAC Camps aim to reduce these statistics through community engagement and education.

About The ZAC Foundation

The ZAC Foundation was established in 2008 by Brian and Karen Cohn after the loss of their 6-year-old son Zachary Archer Cohn in a pool drain entrapment in their backyard swimming pool.  Through education and advocacy, the Foundation has educated more than 10,000 children and their families on the importance of water safety and is dedicated to continue preparing more for a lifetime of water safety.  To learn more about The ZAC Foundation, connect with us on Facebook and


When Helping Hurts the Homeless

How to Help the Homeless Without Hurting Them

We have all been sitting at a red light when a person approaches our car asking for money or food with a sign that states, “I am homeless.” Our heart strings are pulled and we give that dollar, change, or food we may have in our car. Is this really helping them? Won’t they be in the same predicament the next day or even the next week? In fact, the situation is oftentimes worse than we can imagine, and our efforts end up doing more harm than good.

Homelessness has reduced drastically over the past several years due to the Housing First initiatives of The Way Home and Social Service Providers here in the Harris, Fort Bend, and Montgomery County areas; however, the poor and homeless are still amongst us. There are ways to help the homeless without hurting them or being counterproductive to The Mayor’s City Ordinance against panhandling.

Three Ways to Help the Homeless:


The Salvation Army, along with other local homeless agencies, provide food, shelter, laundry services, and access to mainstream benefits such as healthcare and permanent supportive housing. Without your monetary donations and support these agencies lack the resources to serve those in need.

Click here to help individuals and families out of homelessness and into housing:


Write your local and state representatives and ask them what they are doing to reduce homelessness in the community. BE A VOICE FOR THE INVISIBLE!

Click here to find out who your local representatives are:


When you encounter a homeless person, let them know that The Salvation Army has a shelter for men, women and families in and near Downtown Houston. The Salvation Army also has a shelter in Montgomery County. You can also visit the Coalition for the Homeless Houston’s website to learn more about other homeless agencies you can refer people to.

You may say what if they don’t use it, but once you have extended the helpful information, the responsibility is no longer yours to bear.

Click here to learn more about The Salvation Army’s homeless shelters:

Our objective is to provide homeless persons with a HAND UP not a HAND OUT, to meet their basic needs so that they can develop to their full potential and become productive members of society again.


About the author:

Loretta Ray is currently the Lead Case Management Specialist at the Harbor Light Center and Red Shield Lodge. Her career with The Salvation Army began back in 2009 at Sally’s House as a Receptionist, eventually moving up the ranks at Sally’s House to Statistician in 2011 and Caseworker Specialist in 2013. Concurrently, Ray obtained an Associate’s Degree in Counseling and Human Service Technology in 2012, a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 2014 and is currently working toward a Master of Social Work.

Ray also has a personal connection to The Salvation Army, having stayed at Sally’s House women’s shelter from August 2006 to March 2007.


Three Days of Revival with Oscar Roan

You are invited to three days of REVIVAL with former professional football player and gifted speaker Oscar Roan.

Oscar Roan is an outstanding preacher with a message that reaches everyone in the audience. Oscar was a stand-out football player at SMU and UCLA and was successful as a receiver for the Cleveland Browns and LA Rams.

He is first and foremost a spellbinding preacher of the Word.

Revival Meetings

We are pleased to invite you to a wonderful two nights of revival meetings at the Pasadena Corps on Thursday, June 1st & Friday, June 2nd, at 7:00 p.m.

The Salvation Army Pasadena Corps is located at 2732 Cherry Brook Lane, Pasadena, Texas 77502.

On Thursday, we will be joined by Nazarene First Church’s Pasadena Praise Band and on Friday by the Harbor Light Choir and the Pasadena Corps Band.

We are concluding with a Sunday meeting at 11:00 a.m., where The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center’s Praise Band will join us. There will be refreshments before and after the meeting.


More about Oscar Ronan

An inner city kid raised in a rough area of South Dallas, Oscar Roan, like so many others, dreamed of success in athletics as the road to fulfillment in life. Oscar worked hard at making his dreams a reality.

College years brought Oscar great recognition for his athletic ability. By the time he was a  junior at SMU, he could see his dreams coming true.   Everything seemed to be going right, but success and recognition weren’t enough.

Married now, Oscar was having problems with his wife. He had developed a serious drinking problem and was asking questions about meaning and purpose in life that he couldn’t find
answers for. Oscar came to Christ through an evangelist that told him that God loved him and had a plan for his life.

Oscar went on to fame and honors with the Cleveland Browns and LA Rams as a receiver, setting records.

A powerful and gifted speaker, Oscar is sought from coast to coast for his spell binding preaching. Don’t miss these great meetings!

World War I - Serving Doughnuts To Troops

The Salvation Army celebrated the very first National Donut Day in 1938

National Donut Day occurs on the first Friday of June. But did you know that The Salvation Army was the first to celebrate the first ever National Donut Day?

The Salvation Army during World War I

The Salvation Army in Chicago celebrated the first National Donut Day in 1938 to help those in need during the Great Depression and to commemorate the work of the “Donut Lassies” who served donuts to soldiers during World War I.WWI_Doughnut_Girl

In 1917, The Salvation Army began a mission to provide spiritual and emotional support for U.S. soldiers fighting in France during World War I. About 250 volunteers traveled overseas and set up small huts located near the front lines where they could give soldiers clothes, supplies and, of course, baked goods.

Donut Lassies

After discovering that serving baked goods would be difficult considering the conditions of the huts and the limited rations, two volunteers – Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance – began frying donuts in soldiers’ helmets. These tasty treats boosted morale and won the hearts of many soldiers.

Nicknamed “Donut Lassies,” the women who served donuts to troops are often credited with popularizing the donut in the United States when the troops (nicknamed “doughboys”) returned home from war.

The donut now serves as a symbol of the comfort that The Salvation Army provides to those in need through its many social services programs. The Salvation Army still serves donuts, in addition to warm meals and hydration, to those in need during times of disaster.

National Donut Day

Facebook_Profile_GivingIsSweet_600x600On Friday, June 2, 2017, The Salvation Army of Greater Houston will be partnering with Shipley Do-Nuts to celebrate National Donut Day. On Friday, from 5 a.m. to 12 noon, Shipley Donuts will give away a free glazed donut with any purchase at their locations in Houston. And a portion of the proceeds will benefit the programs and services offered year round in the Greater Houston Area.

Supporters are encouraged to take a selfie enjoying a donut using #GivingIsSweet.

Wooden cross with crown of thorns

Holy Week 2017

THRIVE staff with client

United Way’s THRIVE Program is Helping Salvation Army Clients find Financial Stability

April is Financial Literacy Month

Tax season is almost at an end! While some filed early (tax refund!) or are waiting until the last minute (got to pay), at the end of the day we all have to stay on top of our household finances in order to avoid financial headaches down the line. Seeing that April is Financial Literacy Month, I am excited to share with you how The Salvation Army of Greater Houston collaborates with the United Way so that our clients have access to a stable financial foundation.

Through our Social Services Department, The Salvation Army of Greater Houston offers a wide-variety of programs including supportive services such as rental/utility assistance and gas cards, to name a few. In addition to these services, we also provide information and referrals, one of them being the United Way’s THRIVE program.

United Way’s THRIVE Center in Fort Bend

From left to right: Mary Flowers with The Salvation Army; Ruby Canales, Monee Cheney and Doug White with United Way; and Guadalupe Ramos with The Salvation Army

From left to right: Mary Flowers with The Salvation Army; Ruby Canales, Monee Cheney and Doug White with United Way; and Guadalupe Ramos with The Salvation Army.

The United Way’s THRIVE program is considered a “One-Stop Shop” where the main goal is to offer financial stability by teaching clients how to maintain healthy financial habits, offer job search assistance and provide employment resources.

Here at our Salvation Army Social Services Fort Bend office, the THRIVE program we refer our clients to consists of a four-member team: Olivia Owolope, THRIVE Program Manager; Doug White, Financial Coach; Monee Cheney, Employment Coach; Ruby Canales, Resource Support Coaching. These talented and passionate individuals collectively provide information and referrals, advocacy, employment services, financial coaching, referrals to mainstream benefits and much more.

How Salvation Army clients have received support

Every client that seeks services at The Salvation Army is encouraged to attend the United Way’s THRIVE orientation. *Sheril is one of those individuals we referred to THRIVE orientation. She met with the coaches and was eligible to form part of the program. As of March 1st, she has been employed full-time at a day care. She was needing uniforms for work and the THRIVE employment coach referred her to the Work Force Solutions for assistance. This additional assistance is thanks to the connection she made with THRIVE.

Another individual who has received assistance through THRIVE is *Charles. He had been unemployed for a year and recently began working full-time at a grocery store as a stoker. However, Charles is not settling for this job and continues to meet with the employment coach and financial coach when job leads are available for him to apply.

The United Way’s THRIVE program is a very valuable program that anyone can enroll in. And did I mention that it is FREE? The partnership between The Salvation Army and United Way’s THRIVE program continues to grow stronger, which means our clients are better prepared to overcome the obstacles they are facing and move onward and upward in their lives.

More Information

The United Way’s THRIVE Center in Fort Bend is located at 12300 Parc Crest Drive, Stafford, Texas 77477. To learn more about the assistance offered through this program, visit

*Clients’ names were changed to protect their privacy.

About the Author:

Guadalupe Ramos is the Case Aide at our Social Services satellite office in Fort Bend. Ramos has been with The Salvation Army of Greater Houston since August 2016.

Little Caesars Love Kitchen

Little Caesars Love Kitchen visits the Harbor Light Center

Men from Harbor Light Center enjoy Pepperoni and Cheese Pizzas

Harbor Light client enjoying pizza

Click on picture above to view photo gallery.

For several years now, Little Caesars Pizza has brought their Love Kitchen to prepare pizzas for the clients staying at our Salvation Army Harbor Light Center & Red Shield Lodge, located near Downtown Houston.  This year was no different. The Love Kitchen pulled up to the center around 12:30 p.m. to begin preparing pizzas.

Beginning at 3 p.m., men from our Recovery Program, Veterans Program and emergency shelter began lining up and receiving two slices each -accompanied with spinach, fruit cocktail, and salad. Little Caesars prepared 80 pizzas that were distributed to about 300 men.

Thank you Little Caesars Pizza for cooking this delicious treat for the men in our program!

About Little Caesars Love Kitchen

According to their website, the Love Kitchen travels across the United States to help those in need. They have two trucks in operation so that it can be of service 365 days a year. These restaurants on wheels have served more than three million people.

Little Caesars franchise owners donate the resources necessary to make each Love Kitchen serving a success. An estimated 50,000 franchisees, their employees and corporate colleagues have volunteered over the years to support the program in their local communities.

To learn more visit their website by clicking here.