(Contest Nominee) THE SALVATION ARMY’S AURORA CORPS Focused on Expanding Services through New Community Center

Citywide Banks employees have nominated seven Colorado charities to compete in its Charity Hand-Up Contest taking place on Facebook from July 7-21, 2014. The community is invited to vote for a nominee and enter prize drawings. $8,000 in cash donations will be split between nominees based on the voting results. Facebook Voting Page

When The Salvation Army’s Lieutenant Sheryl Skelton and her husband Lieutenant Randy Skelton were first stationed at the Salvation Army’s Aurora Corps Community Center (SAAC) three years ago, they saw a lot of potential in building out programs and services to “Do the Most Good” for the local community. The Community Center, located near Peoria and 6th Avenue in Aurora,  provides food, rental and utility assistance to those in need within Aurora and surrounding communities. It is also a Christian-based church, offering weekly worship services, daycare, day camp activities, and religious education classes for all age groups.

The Skeltons and other SAAC volunteers also regularly go out into the community to places like veterans’ homes, women’s prisons and nursing homes, as well as to hotels on Colfax Avenue, to deliver food and other necessities.

The international movement that is The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the Universal Christian Church. The mission of the Aurora Corps, which is one of five corps groups in metro Denver, Skelton says, is simply to love God and others.

The Aurora Corps was formed in the late 1970s, and has been serving those that need “a hand up” in the community ever since.

But once Skelton and her husband moved in, they thought of many additional ways to serve the people in their community. So, after discovering some building codes that required extensive maintenance, they decided to take the opportunity to remodel and expand the facility. They launched a capital campaign to raise $1.5 million dollars, of which they still have about $400,000 to go. The construction is scheduled to be completed this summer with a grand opening scheduled for September.

What’s in store for this newly remodeled community center? SAAC plans to begin offering children’s afterschool art and music programs, a computer lab for adults, a variety of life skill classes, expanded meal services, and other programs directed at kids and seniors. In addition to meals for the homeless or “anyone that needs a hot meal”, Skelton says, they’d also like to invite seniors. “We’d like to be able to offer a lunch to senior citizens where they can not only get a hot meal, but have the opportunity to socialize with people their age and younger.”

Skelton says the community center will also be available to other organizations that have similar missions that might be in a need of a classroom or more space.

Other plans for the community center include ESL classes, GED classes and general life skill classes. “We found that some people get into this cycle and they don’t know how to get out so we’d like to offer classes that can help them budget their money or balance a checkbook, or even how to shop for groceries,” explains Skelton.

With all these new free programs planned, it’s not surprising that their greatest need is for volunteers. They need volunteers to teach classes and work in the office, cook food, work in the food pantry and help with the children. “Wherever your talent is, I’m sure we can find a place for you!” says Skelton.  Also with $400,000 left to go on their capital campaign, they are still looking for more financial donations.

A $5,000 donation from Citywide Banks would be earmarked to purchase equipment for the new computer lab and musical instruments for the children. For more information on ways to donate your time or money, please visit www.SalvationArmyAurora.org or follow the Aurora Corps Community Center on Facebook.

How to Give Salvation Army a Hand-Up

  1. “LIKE” THEM ON FACEBOOK during the July contest (charity nominee with biggest % increase in Facebook followers will receive an extra $500 donation from Citywide Banks)
  2. VOTE FOR THEM on contest voting page at Citywide Banks Facebook page (charity nominee with most votes will get $5,000 donation from Citywide Banks)
  3. POST A COMMENT about what you like about SAAC on Citywide Banks Facebook page
  4. SHARE posts about this contest and SAAC with your family, friends, and coworkers (tell them to support SAAC)

About the Citywide Banks Charity Hand-Up Contest
For more than 50 years, family owned, Colorado focused Citywide Banks has been a passionate champion of our local charities. Our Charity Hand-Up Contests spotlight seven Colorado causes nominated by bank employees. Then, based on a 15-day community vote on Facebook, Citywide Banks splits $8,000 in donations to the nominees. The charity with the most votes receives the top $5,000 donation. Contest voters can also enter to win great prizes, including dinner for two at a top Denver restaurant. Official prize drawing rules are available by clicking here. Full contest details are at www.CitywideBanks.com/contest/.

How to Cast Your Vote – July 7-21, 2014
The contest is open to the general public within the Denver/Boulder community (non-customers welcome to participate; no purchase necessary). The easiest way to vote is online by clicking the “Charity Contest” tab on the Citywide Banks Facebook page at  www.Facebook.com/citywidebanks. Users will need to “like” the bank’s Facebook page to submit a vote/entry online. One vote/entry per person is permitted during the 15-day contest. After voting on Facebook, users can use the sharing buttons to easily invite their Facebook friends to vote for their favorite charity. There is even an added bonus prize drawing for those voters that post the contest on their own Facebook timeline.

Comments are closed.