The Salvation Army provides more than meals and a temporary refuge for those in the Arlington area who are struggling with homelessness and poverty, supporters said.
The nonprofit also works to ensure that disadvantaged children have presents under the Christmas tree, a safe place to learn and play after school and in the summer and a chance to participate in recreational and cultural opportunities, such as photography and dance, that their families may not be able to afford otherwise. Children aren’t the only ones who benefit from the organization’s outreach efforts. The Salvation Army also offers classes designed to help adults improve their parenting and language skills and employment opportunities, supporters said.
But the Salvation Army can’t do its great work in the community without the public’s help, said Dallas Cowboys owner and longtime supporter Jerry Jones.
“The Salvation Army is proven,” said Jones, the keynote speaker Wednesday at the nonprofit’s inaugural Inspiring Hope Luncheon. “They are there in hard times. They are there and they are worthy of our commitment and our time.”
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About 750 community leaders attended the fundraising event at AT&T Stadium. Guests learned that last year the agency’s downtown Arlington location served nearly 50,000 meals, distributed 3,300 Christmas presents through its Angel Tree program and provided a safe place to sleep for hundreds of individuals and families.
The Jones family and the Cowboys are longtime supporters of the Salvation Army. The Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day halftime show has helped generate nearly $2 billion for the organization over the past 18 years, Jones said.
The Gene and Jerry Jones Family Arlington Youth Foundation helped fund construction of the Salvation Army’s Youth Education Town. The Joneses’ foundation, which has pledged to donate $16.5 million over 33 years to organizations that support Arlington youths, has also awarded a $50,000 grant to help 15,000 Arlington school district students access supplies and resources to get ready to go back to school this fall.
Salvation Army Capt. Jennifer Jones and her husband, Lt. Patrick Jones, say the Arlington charity aims to uplift individuals and families and give them hope by helping them achieve their full potential.
“My husband and I have the most amazing job in the world,” Jennifer Jones said. “We see barriers fall away, we see dreams realized, we see hopes rebuilt.”
Susan Schrock, 817-390-7639