Piper’s Landing donates toys, bikes, $1,500 to Salvation Army of Martin County's Angel Tree program

By Megan Morris
January 2018

The Christmas tree in the newly renovated lobby of Piper’s Landing Yacht and Country Club was beautifully adorned with decorations, and the philanthropic spirit of the residents and staff of Piper’s Landing was clearly visible under the tree. It became the gathering spot for 150 toys, including seven bikes, and nearly $1,500 in monetary donations for local children in need during the holiday season.

The collection of toys and other gifts is a tradition that began 14 years ago at Piper’s Landing to support the Salvation Army’s local Angel Tree Program, which helps to light up the lives of more than 1,400 children in need in Martin County.

In 2003, resident Jeanne Lambdin introduced Piper’s Landing to the Angel Tree program, an initiative created to fulfill the individual requests of Martin County families in need during the holidays. The program got its name because the local children identify their gift wishes on greeting cards that feature pictures of angels. The cards are then hung on Christmas trees to allow supporters to choose one or more children to help.

“It is incredibly fulfilling to watch our residents come together in support of such a meaningful and cheerful program to help children in our community,” said Lambdin. “Watching the gifts pile up under our Piper’s tree was heartwarming, and knowing how much joy these presents bring to children captures the spirit of what the holiday season is all about. My heartfelt thanks at all the Piper’s members who contributed. What a wonderful community we have here!”

The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program has shared the thrill of opening the perfect gift with millions of needy children and teens since the late 1900s. This year the program is responsible for fulfilling the wishes of more than 500 families in Martin County by providing children with a minimum of two toys and an outfit.

Piper’s Landing Yacht & Country Club is a private, luxury gated community in Palm City. With only 302 residences nestled among 600 acres, Piper’s Landing is known for its lush, spacious grounds including an award winning championship golf course, secluded waterfront, Har-Tru® tennis courts and nature preserves. Its yacht basin has become renowned for the rare combination of superb access to the St. Lucie River and Atlantic Ocean, yet has been naturally protected for hundreds of years. For more information, visit www.piperslanding.com.

'Miracle on the Hudson' survivor shares his story at Salvation Army's Wings of Hope luncheon

By Jackie Holfelder
November 2017

An inspiring speaker who held the room spellbound. Colorful gift baskets and an angel tree to kick start holiday spirits. Plus a beautiful venue that offered room in which to mix and mingle.

These are just three of the reasons that the 17th annual Wings of Hope Luncheon and Auction, presented by the Salvation Army of Martin County’s Women’s Auxiliary, soared to new heights of success on Nov. 13 at Piper’s Landing Yacht & Country Club in Palm City.

Keynote speaker Casey Jones, survivor of the “Miracle on the Hudson” plane ditching on the Hudson River, shared his story of love, hope and life-changing experiences in a compelling presentation. Introduced by Rich Campbell, columnist and editorial writer for Treasure Coast Newspapers, Jones – the last passenger to be plucked from frigid conditions while he balanced on the frozen wing of the downed plane – was emotional as he encouraged attendees to embrace the miracle of every day.

Reed Hartman was the spirited auctioneer for the exciting live auction.

Bob & Carol Weissman, the Edward & Juanita Henson Foundation and other generous sponsors helped make the afternoon possible. Funds raised at the luncheon will benefit the Salvation Army of Martin County’s Compassion House, the residence for women and children which teaches self-sufficiency and dignity, and supports the women as they get their lives on a more secure footing.

For more information, visit SalvationArmyFlorida.org/MartinCounty or call 772-288-1471.

Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary's Wings of Hope Luncheon Approaching

October 2017
By Jackie Holfelder

It’s not the “official” holiday season until The Salvation Army of Martin County Women’s Auxiliary Wings of Hope Luncheon takes place – and that date is fast approaching.

On November 13, Piper’s Landing will reflect the true spirit of giving when the annual fundraiser, co-chaired this year by Martin County Tax Collector Vicki Davis and Martin County Clerk of the Court Carolyn Timmann, takes place.

In addition to a silent auction that includes magnificent baskets and the always popular angel tree, something very special will be offered at the Wings of Hope luncheon this year. Casey Jones, who was aboard US Airways Flight 1549 when it crash-landed in the Hudson River, will be guest speaker. His experience of surviving the most successful ditching in aviation history makes his story one of life, love and hope – and it’s something you won’t want to miss.

The Salvation Army recently merged local corps offices and the Stuart office is now the administrator of services and programs in St. Lucie County as well. Members of the Women’s Auxiliary are extending a special invitation to St. Lucie County residents to attend this perennially popular holiday event.

Doors to the luncheon open at 10:30 a.m. and tickets are $125 each or $150 to be recognized as an “Angel” sponsor. Piper’s Landing is located at 6160 S.W. Thistle Terrace in Palm City.

For sponsorship or reservation information, call Kim Johnson at 772-288-1471, ext. 202.

Salvation Army Offers Relief After Irma

September 2017

The Salvation Army in Martin and St. Lucie counties was busy after Hurricane Irma, activating its disaster teams and deploying its mobile kitchen (canteen) trucks to serve food where needed. Their efforts were part of a massive, coordinated deployment of resources and disaster teams from Salvation Army corps across Florida and from as far away as Canada.

Captain Samuel Kim, local officer for Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties explained. “During disasters, we are in regular contact with our divisional disaster services team and acting at their direction. We also have liaisons at the local Emergency Operations Centers. The goal is to provide food and hydration as quickly as possible after the storm to first responders and victims in the areas most in need.”

After Irma passed through, the local corps was immediately asked to deploy its two canteen trucks to Ft. Lauderdale to serve in its hardest hit neighborhoods. Trained disaster volunteers left the next morning. Meanwhile, the local EOC asked the Army for meals for local firehouses and a shelter in Martin County.

“We always have food and supplies stored ahead of time so we’re ready to go when called,” said Captain Kim. “But it was still pretty hectic. We are fortunate to have very dedicated volunteers.”

After the canteens were deployed, the Salvation Army continued to serve locally, serving meals and water daily out of their van in neighborhoods in Ft. Pierce and Okeechobee.

A bright spot during the frenzied week occurred four days after the storm, when the corps’ brand new state-of-the-art canteen was delivered. Last year, the Martin County corps ran a campaign to raise funds to replace their worn, 23-year-old canteen. The truck’s arrival sparked additional activity, as the Army’s divisional disaster team wanted to utilize it immediately.

“We felt we needed to train our disaster volunteers because this new canteen is so different from the old one,” said Captain Kim. “We held a brief training and gathered a team to take it Ft. Lauderdale to relieve the old truck.”

The two canteens in Ft. Lauderdale were then directed to travel to Key West, where they both served thousands of meals daily. In the meantime, local volunteers used the old canteen to continue to serve in Ft. Pierce. Ten days after Hurricane Irma struck Florida, Salvation Army disaster volunteers had served 1950 meals locally.

“It makes such a difference in the community,” said volunteer Andrea Heitfeld. She says she was especially moved by the gratitude of the people in the some of the flooded neighborhoods they visited. “A little came up to us on his little skateboard and he touched me on the arm and he said, ‘thank you for your service.’ That was touching.”

The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major disaster since 1900. It does not place administrative fees on disaster donations. During disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support relief efforts. To donate, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or visit helpsalvationarmy.org.
Salvation Army Disaster Workers

Salvation Army Opens Food Pantry in Okeechobee

September 2017

In a push to expand the services it provides to local families in need, the Salvation Army is opening a food pantry in Okeechobee. Its service office, which is currently located in the New Horizons building at 1500 SW 2nd Avenue, is scheduled to have food available for pick-up beginning September 19th. Thanks to a contract with the Treasure Coast Food Bank, the office will be able to provide a variety of staples as well as frozen meats, and families will able to receive a week’s worth of food once a month.

The new service comes as a result of a recent merger of the Salvation Army in Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties. The Stuart office is the new administrator for all three counties and will be gradually expanding its services and programs when feasible to meet the need in each of the communities.

“I am so grateful that we have an opportunity to serve the Okeechobee community with our food pantry,” said Captain Christine Kim, Corps Officer. “We know that there are a lot of people in need in this county and we look forward to working with other agencies to help them as much as we can.”

The service office is currently open Tuesdays from 9 am to 2 pm. Residents seeking food assistance will initially need to bring a photo ID, proof of residence and birth certificates of their minor children to complete the required paperwork. The office also offers assistance with electric bills in collaboration with Florida Power & Light’s Care to Share program.

For more information, call the service center on Tuesdays at 863-763-6020 or visit www.salvationarmyflorida.org/martincounty.
Okee Food Pantry