As a volunteer, donor, corporate partner or even passerby, have you ever been just a little curious as to what exactly The Salvation Army does? Where do the gifts — physical, monetary or man hours — go?

It’s one thing to read the stories and see the pictures, it’s another thing to experience firsthand the facilities or programs the Salvation Army has within the community.

Last week, The Salvation Army took its first official group of volunteers and staffers on part one of the Tour of Hope.  I’d like to share the highlights of that afternoon journey in Indianapolis through a series of

Look for a series of posts about each stop along the Tour of Hope

For more information about The Tour of Hope, please contact Jo Ann Remender at [email protected]


Stop One: Fountain Square Corps Community Center

What you probably already know is the Fountain Square Corps Community Center offers devotional and summer youth programs. What you probably don’t know about are the programs the center offers for the elderly and homeless in the community

On the day of our visit, the gym was filled with its normal hustle and bustle, only it wasn’t created by a group of children running around. Instead, elderly people lined up to receive an USDA 40-pound commodity box of food. The boxes are distributed though The Salvation Army by Gleaners, a food bank. The boxes contain staple food items like flour, sugar, cereal, past, rice and more.

The pick-up is from 10 to 2 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month. Volunteers also help delivery and carry in the boxes for those who cannot. About 180 boxes of food go out the door that day for elderly members of the community in need.

“There are thousands of unreached seniors in our zip code,” said Kelli Schmeisser, ministries coordinator. “We’re using this program as a launch pad. They just don’t trust or have their blinders on and miss out on great resources to help them”

Schmeisser said that only about 10 percent of the elderly population in the community is being reached. By offering a home cooked meal at the community center on Wednesdays and teaming up with other agencies and programs like the senior program at 901 Shelby Street, Schmeisser said she hoped to gather resources to further reach and aid the elderly in the community.

Fountain Square doesn’t stop outreach with the youth and elderly; however, Schmeisser also heads a homeless outreach program.  She takes water and offers an outpouring of support to the homeless on Davidson Street.

“I help people get to rehab and provide transportation,” Schmeisser said. “It’s just a homeless camp outreach that’s dear to my heart.”

If you have questions about volunteering or the programs offered at the Fountain Square corps community center, contact the corps at 317-632-0156 or email Schmeisser at [email protected]

Next stop: Disaster Services