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Story and photo from the Fall 2013 issue of Inside Indiana

Local kids find food, safety and hope at The Salvation Army’s summer programs.

The Eagle Creek Salvation Army heads summer programs where children are provided with a meal, devotional and fun activities each day.
But the special part of these summer programs isn’t the free activities or the free lunch. It’s what the children in the community are receiving in terms of their personal growth and as individuals.
Miaya, a regular at Eagle Creek’s summer and after-school programs, has seen the positive effect The Salvation Army has had through the change in her brothers since attending. Her mother has a full-time job and Miaya tries to help watch them, but the boys still tend to get a little out of hand without an adult present. Being involved with programs at Eagle Creek has kept the boys busy and focused on positivity.
“Being at the Salvation Army has kept my brothers out of trouble with gangs and getting involved in things that are just not good. My mom loves us being here because she always knows where we are and that we are safe,” Miaya said. “We are always at home or here. It really is our second home.”
Sha, a high school teen, has been coming to the Eagle Creek Salvation Army for the last four years. She initially started coming when she found out she was pregnant. After she had her daughter, Sha spent all her time there. Her daughter is now just as much a part of the Eagle Creek family as Sha and attends daily.
“When I was pregnant, I started coming here. I love the youth leaders here,” Sha said. “They even helped me study and do my homework when my grades were not very good. You should see my report card now. I’m think I’m going to go to college.”
Sha has experienced more hardships than a young girl her age should ever go through, but being at the Salvation Army has given her another chance for her and her daughter’s future. Because of the generous support of donors, Sha is able to pay it forward. She has stepped into leadership roles around the facilities so she can be a part of helping girls just like her.

Written by Lindsey Hayden
Salvation Army Summer Intern

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