Karen and Stephen Holland (Submitted photo)

The Salvation Army has welcomed two new leaders to their organization in Chatham-Kent.

Captains Karen and Stephen Holland are still getting their feet wet at their new home, but they have already grown fond of the Chatham-Kent community.

“We really like it here so far,” Karen told the Sydenham Current.

“A very friendly community. It might seem a little bit silly, but the thing that jumps out to me right off the top of my head is the friendliness of the people. Even in the service industry. To go to McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Tim Hortons and all those kind of those places, how friendly the serving staff are. People might take it for granted after living here for so long but when you are in other places, larger places, you don’t get that same friendliness.”

The Holland’s came to Chatham-Kent at the end of June, when Captains Stephanie and Andrew Watkinson left to take on roles in Barrie, Ontario.

Both of the Holland’s are pastors now with the Salvation Army Chatham-Kent Ministries, while Karen is also the community ministries director.

They had spent a year working in St. Catharines, where they looked after a homeless shelter.

Karen said her and her husband are still getting to know what is taking place in the community.

“Definitely, we would like to thank all of the donors,” she said.

“We were told before we came here that Chatham-Kent is a very supportive community for the Salvation Army and so far we are finding that to be very true. So definitely would like to thank the community for their help.”

Karen said the Salvation Army has quite a few activities and programs in Chatham-Kent.

“Like the food banks at the four locations,” she said.

“We have a budget management trustee program, a housing support program, youth support program and we do Christmas hampers, the food and toys, so we are getting in full gear and getting prepared for that. The registration for the hamper program is the month of November.”

Karen said donations have been slow moving when it comes to back-to-school.

“We are looking for healthy snacks,” she said.

“Like peanut free granola bars and pudding and fruit cups and that kind of thing. We have a family services office in Wallaceburg and Ridgetown and Chatham (for drop-off lcoations.) So they are located where our stores are. For Wallaceburg it is 600 Lowe St, in Ridgetown it is 18 Main Street and then our location here in Chatham at 19 Raleigh.”

More details are available at: www.cksalvationarmy.org

– Submitted photo

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