Haughton Middle School has dedicated the 2013-2014 school year to serving the community through the helping hands of the Salvation Army.
The Buccaneers have embarked on a year-long journey that will help the local homeless through charitable donations and projects. Principal Waylon Bates presented a check for $1,300 to Major Paul White, corp. officer for The Salvation Army, Friday afternoon on behalf of his school, which they collected during a blue jean day last week. White said the donation will be a big help to a lot of people.
“They filled the truck in a week. We serve anywhere from 100 to 200 people in a week,” White said. “In a years time, we can see anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 people come through our center.”
In addition to the cash donation, the school set up a clothing drop-off truck on its campus to collect toiletries for the men, women, and children in The Salvation Army’s Homeless Shelter. They also collected gently used clothing, toys and furniture for The Salvation Army Family Thrift Store.
“This is a group that needs our continued support,” Bates said. “We filled the truck once this week and I’d like to see us do it again in the future.”
Their helping hands are part of a new parish-wide initiative, implemented this school year by the Bossier school district. “Helping Hearts One Week At A Time” emphasizes community service that not only shows appreciation, but as the first step to making a bigger difference.
School officials say they are aligning the project with the quote, “it’s good to be blessed, but it’s better to be a blessing.”
Haughton Middle School began their year of service by collecting toiletries for the men, women and children staying at The Salvation Army shelter; collecting money for the many services provided by TSA; and tangible donations for TSA Thrift Shop. Bates said the school will spend the remainder of the year organizing and participating in various charitable efforts.
“I hope this becomes an annual thing with [The Salvation Army],” Bates added. “Haughton Middle School is alive and we’re here to help and serve our city, parish and state.”
According to The Salvation Army, nearly 31 million Americans receive assistance each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children.
In May, Haughton Middle School raised $5,000 to help The Salvation Army with its tornado relief efforts in tornado-ravaged Oklahoma. White said he is thankful that the students are learning how to be community servants at an early age.
“I hope they always remember to serve the less fortunate,” he said. “They have really stepped in to help us and I hope they continue that service as adults.”
White said the donated items will be sorted and distributed to individual service areas within The Salvation Army. The area branch of The Salvation Army is located at 200 East Stoner Avenue in Shreveport.