The NFL Foundation and Atlanta Falcons Gift Bellwood Boys and Girls Club with New Turf Field

Members of The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Atlanta pose with Major Bob and Captain Kathy Parker (far left) outside the newly painted mural at Bellwood in August 2017.

Youths at The Salvation Army’s Bellwood Boys and Girls Clubs are getting a new synthetic turf football field, thanks to the generosity of the NFL Foundation and the Atlanta Falcons. But it’s not just a football field—it’s a safe, welcoming place for kids to play and feel part of something bigger. We’re immensely grateful for this wonderful gift.

To read more about this project, click here.

Get Your Tickets Now for the 2018 Great Futures Start Here Banquet

Get ready to be uplifted and inspired!

Join The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Atlanta as we celebrate our multi-talented youth and honor our 2017 Youth of the Year award winner, Johnathan White. All proceeds from this event will be distributed among The Salvation Army’s three metro Atlanta-area Boys and Girls Clubs. Our goal is to inspire youth to graduate, become leaders, and live productive, empowered lives. For more information, please contact


Q&A with Melba Robinson, Program Director for The Salvation Army’s HavenATL

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Human Trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar criminal industry, and the third most profitable criminal industry in the world, generating an estimated $150 billion each year.

The Salvation Army has been fighting to end human trafficking since the organization was founded in 1865.

HavenATL is a cohesive program through The Metro Atlanta Salvation Army that helps to transition women who have fallen victim to commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking. HavenATL is a drop-in-center that primarily provides services to young women aged 18 and older. By providing consistent support, unfailing love, and resources for positive change, HavenATL’s caseworkers help to empower victims of human trafficking to lead healthy, whole lives.

Here, Melba Robinson, HavenATL’s Program Director, shares more about The Salvation Army’s fight to end this criminal enterprise.

What is human trafficking?

Human trafficking is a crime involving the exploitation of someone for the purpose of compelled labor or a commercial sex act through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Where a person younger than 18 is induced to perform a commercial sex act, it is a crime, regardless of whether there is any force, fraud, or coercion.

According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children. How big a problem is human trafficking in Atlanta?

Atlanta is considered to be one of the top 14 cities in the world that have a human trafficking problem. It is known for trafficking due to our airport being one of the world’s busiest and largest. We are also a convention city, and we have a growing entertainment industry. That makes Atlanta a prime location for trafficking to occur.

No matter where we live, chances are, sex trafficking is happening near us. Do traffickers and their victims typically fit a certain profile?

There is no specific profile for victims and traffickers. They can be anyone.

How do women come to be involved with HavenATL?

Women come to our program through a number of ways; word of mouth is one. We also do outreach, and we have partnerships with organizations that request our services. We work with two courts—one in Dekalb County (the Phoenix Diversion Program), and the Fulton Industrial Boulevard Community Court.

After women come into the HavenATL program, how do you help them to reclaim their lives?

When they come to us, we provide a safe and nurturing environment. Then, we address their basic needs (i.e. food, clothing, safety, medical care, etc.). Our program has phases, and we assist each woman with working through them. All goals are set by the women to empower them to make decisions for their lives. They try to achieve their goals within a year, but they go at their own pace—that ultimately determines how long the program lasts.

HavenATL provides a variety of services to assist the women on the journey to recovery.  We provide individual and group therapy, life skills, health and wellness, Bible study, job readiness, and various referrals for housing, rental, and utility assistance. After they’ve finished the program, the women become alumni and receive a mentor to provide continued support.

If someone reading this is a victim of human trafficking or suspects that someone they know is, what should they do, or who should they call to get help?

There are numerous organizations doing great work on this issue. Here are additional resources that assist victims of trafficking:

National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888

GA Cares: 1-844-8GA-DMST

Call your local police department

To learn more about human trafficking, including ways you can identify and help to stop it, visit




Help Us Feed Atlanta’s Hungry: Donate to Can-a-Thon

Imagine being hungry but having no food in the fridge, and no money in your pocket to buy food to satisfy that hunger.

Imagine having to make a choice between buying food or paying your rent or mortgage.

Imagine being surrounded by people talking about holiday feasts and wondering if you or your children will even have anything to eat on Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Food insecurity—not knowing where your next meal will come from—is a reality for 1 in 7 people in Metro Atlanta and North Georgia, according to The Atlanta Community Food Bank. And most people who live in food insecure households don’t fit the stereotype of those who need help—they go to work every day; they just need a little help.

That’s why, on Friday, December 1st, 11 Alive and The Salvation Army are holding our 35th annual Can-a-Thon—a canned food collection drive that aims to collect enough food to fill our 8 food pantries throughout Atlanta for an entire year.

From 5 a.m. to 1 p.m., you can drop off canned goods at the following four locations around Metro Atlanta:

  • Cumberland Mall (Cobb County)
  • Infinite Energy Center (Gwinnett County)
  • Georgia State Stadium (formerly Turner Field – Fulton County)
  • The Forum Civic Center (Rome)

If you’re not able to make it to a Can-a-Thon drop-off location on December 1st, please consider donating online at

Fifth Grader Raises Money for The Salvation Army’s Hurricane Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico

Each of us, doing our part, can make a big difference.

Take Kaymon Sledge, a fifth grader at Honey Creek Elementary School in Conyers, Georgia. He was so moved by the TV images of the devastation in Puerto Rico that he started a school fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Maria. Kaymon and his classmates raised $500—every cent of which will go toward The Salvation Army’s hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

Thank you, Kaymon and Honey Creek Elementary, for doing the most good to help our brothers and sisters in need.

The Coca-Cola Foundation Awards The Salvation Army $1 Million to Aid Hurricane Relief Efforts in the Caribbean

Money will be used to provide immediate resources for food and shelter across the region, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

ATLANTA, GA (October 2, 2017)–The Salvation Army is getting a boost in its global hurricane relief efforts, thanks to a $1 million-dollar grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation. Helen Price, President of The Coca-Cola Foundation, says, “As the entire Coca-Cola system comes together to support communities impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The Coca-Cola Foundation awarded this grant to The Salvation Army to provide emergency assistance in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and across the Caribbean.”

In September, Hurricanes Irma and Maria ripped through the region, causing widespread damage and destroying critical infrastructure. Many island nations have no electricity or clean water.

In the weeks since Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The Salvation Army has been on the ground, working to meet essential needs of survivors and help them start on the path to recovery. Salvation Army personnel and volunteers are providing meals, supplies, and rapid response in a number of Caribbean nations, including Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix.

“The mission of The Salvation Army is to serve those most in need, but we can’t do that without partners like Coca-Cola,” says Major Bob Parker, Salvation Army Metro Atlanta Area Commander. “We are grateful to Coca-Cola for their generosity. This much-needed gift will allow The Salvation Army to immediately provide food and supplies to thousands of people in the Caribbean who are suffering because of the recent hurricanes.”

With a permanent footprint in the affected communities, The Salvation Army will continue to provide assistance until the need is met and beyond.



Red Shield Services Provide Shelter from the Storm, Solace for the Soul

Atlanta, Georgia, (September 14, 2017) – On Monday, the winds blew, the rain roared, and one by one, people needing shelter from Tropical Storm Irma trickled into Atlanta’s Red Shield Services. The shelter, which provides transitional housing to homeless men, women, families, the elderly, and the disabled, had received a request from the City of Atlanta to house some of the overflow population from other Metro Atlanta shelters during Monday’s storm.

It wasn’t an unusual request. In fact, Red Shield runs an Inclement Weather Program, which provides overnight shelter to those who have nowhere else to go when the temperature is below 40 degrees, and to those who wouldn’t normally seek shelter—no matter how bad the weather.

So, on Monday, as the remnants of Irma blew through Atlanta, the staff at Red Shield hunkered down to do what they do best—provide calm and stability through the various storms of life, in all their manifestations. “When it gets crazy out there, we’re ramping up in here,” said Kristie Wood, administrative assistant at Red Shield.

By Monday night, 35 additional people had sought shelter at Red Shield. Staff and volunteers provided makeshift bedding in the facility’s overflow shelter—it’s cafeteria—which can accommodate 40 people. “It’s a mat on the floor, but it’s better than being on the street,” Woods says.

Though others were seeking refuge from the elements, Woods is used to braving this kind of storm, both as a staff member and a former client of Red Shield. “I slept in bed 469. I had a light over my head that stayed on all night and a speaker at my feet that blared the intercom system,” she says.

For Woods, that temporary discomfort spurred a spiritual wake-up call. “I realized I had built my life around things that God didn’t want for me,” Woods remembers. “I applied for 700 jobs and wasn’t hired for a single one. I kept asking God to give me a job where I could use all my gifts, and He led me here.” Woods was hired full time in February 2014.

Today, she coordinates care and shelter for those in need. Woods says during Tropical Storm Irma, Red Shield staff fed the overflow individuals dinner and breakfast before releasing them from the shelter around noon on Wednesday. During the storm, Red Shield staff and volunteers also served breakfast to 100 elderly and disabled residents of The Salvation Army’s William Booth Towers, which had lost power. And, they also provided meals to about 200 people at Atlanta’s Peachtree-Pine Shelter.

Feeding bodies is necessary, but Woods knows feeding souls is really the mission of The Salvation Army does, and one she not only contributes to but benefits from, daily. “I know that what we do here works. I was able to get back on my feet and get my apartment. It wasn’t the most pleasant experience, but it’s much better than being out there, for sure.”

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: 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. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index ( The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

Check back soon for Salvation Army news!