Rome’s Salvation Army Corps has new captains in Jason and Melissa Smith, who along with their two children, Jadon, 7, and Hannah, 4, are finding Rome to be quite the welcoming community.
“We’re enjoying it very much,” Jason said. “Rome’s a great community.”
On June 20, the Smiths replaced former captains Douglas and Storm McClure, who were reassigned to Dalton. Frequent reassignments are common for those involved in the Salvation Army Corps.
Jason said in their eight years of service they have also held posts in North Carolina and South Carolina, and most recently in Orlando, Florida.
He said their children are adjusting well, as Jadon will be starting at Model Elementary School in August and Hannah started daycare Tuesday.
Since taking their posts, Jason said he and his wife have been observing the operations to determine what can be done to make them more effective in Rome.
They are focusing on the thrift store at 313 E. Second Ave. — trying to figure out ways to generate more donations to raise money. “There is always a need to increase fundraising to benefit programs,” Jason said.
Community outreach and awareness is another focus, Jason said — making sure people know how the Salvation Army is impacting the lives of underprivileged youth or those needing a meal.
We want people to “see our programs and see how they are changing people’s lives in Rome,” Jason said.
Melissa is already busy in the community. She’s with four Rome-area kids at a Salvation Army youth music program in Jasper until July 16, Jason said.
He said he is unsure if they’ll be adding any new programs, but maintaining the focus of the Salvation Army is always on their minds. “Right now the focus is on the core mission of meeting human needs without any discrimination,” he said. “Make sure people have a suitable place to lay their heads at night.”