Salvation Army's Captain Strissel Joins Eyewitness News for Founder's Day

Salvation Army's Scott Strissel joined us from the Wesselman's on Weinbach for Nexstar's Founder's Day.

The Salvation Army is one of the beneficiaries of Founder's Day along with Potters Wheel Inner City Mission.

SK: Captain Strissel, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate you being here. Of course, you are one of the organizations that we are working with for today. First of all, give us your reaction to the outpouring from the community, I've seen the boxes behind you, and they are almost overflowing!

SS: They are. Good afternoon, and we're so excited! We're really blown away by the outpouring of generosity of our community. Both I know from talking to members of the Potters Wheel as well as members of the Salvation Army, we're really thrilled and just so thankful for Eyewitness News as well as the community.

SK: Absolutely. We are so pleased to be a part of this because we know what good the Salvation Army does here in our community. Tell us how much money is raised and how the food products that are being brought it, how will all of this be used?

SS: It'll be used through our soup kitchen and food pantry. We generally serve about 400 people a day in the summertime throughout our soup kitchen. So it'll be used most definitely through the feeding of many people in our community.

SK: That is just part of your mission. I know you do a lot of feeding because there are so many folks out there who are in need. You also provide shelter, give us an idea of the Salvation Army's mission.

SS: Our mission really is to serve anybody in our community without discrimination. Those who are poverty stricken, we work with many agencies that help provide utility assistance, rent assistance. We have financial counselors in our facility as well as those who are just willing to help make families ends meet. It is a big effort. We count on so many partnerships, such as yourself with Eyewitness News and many community donors.

SK: The Salvation Army is really know for the Red Kettle Campaign at Christmastime. But your organization needs to be doing these things year round. Consequently, how important are fundraisers like this?

SS: These fundraisers are vital. These are the stop gap, if you will, within our year. The Red Kettle Campaign funding does not go all the way throughout the year, so we really count upon these major food drives throughout the calendar year to help subsidize dry times.

SK: The Salvation Army is solid. You guys have been around for many, many years. Give us an idea, is the need now as strong as ever or do you see it getting any better?

SS: You know, the need is as strong as it has ever been and we see a lot of families coming through our soup kitchen and through the doors of our food pantry on a daily basis. We definitely are concerned about that, we've been working with our local agencies as well to try to address the emergency needs, the crisis situations that families find themselves in.

SK: And it has been brought to my attention that a lot of folks have a type of stereotype of someone who they think is in that category of someone in need, but really, you see people that are in all kinds of situations where they may have not been poor all of their life, they may have fallen on some hard times. Give us an idea so people kind of understand who you're helping.

SS: We find members of the family from all walks of life. Those who are literally a paycheck away from poverty, those who have nothing and come in off the street that literally are homeless. So, yeah, you're right it varies from need to need and from family to family, and we're never going to turn anybody away. If there's a need, we're going to try and make sure that need is fulfilled and that is also a reason why we work with agencies like Potters Wheel and other agencies in our community to make sure those needs are always addressed.

SK: Captain Strissel, we appreciate you so much for working with us and allowing us to have you all in our Founder's Day of Caring event here today. I know your need goes beyond our Founder's Day of Caring. If there are folks that aren't able to make it out today to donate before 5:00 at the Wesselman's what can they do?

SS: If they can't make it out to Wesselman's today, you can always go on our website saevansville.org and make a donation there, stop by our physical location on Fulton Avenue and see us, whether it's food you have in your pantry or food you want to donate. Donations of monetary value are always accepted as well.

SK: Absolutely, thank you for all you do in the community and we are so happy to be working today. Thank you so much Captain Strissel of the Salvation Army.

(This story was originally published June 16, 2017)


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