New captains are in town to provide for those in need.
In June, Captains Adelma Braga and Isaias Braga were appointed to lead the Renton Salvation Army. Former leaders Merry Svenson and Steve Svenson retired.
When Isaias Braga came to Renton he realized many folks aren’t aware of the services the Salvation Army provides, and he’s hoping to get the word out. He proudly wears the uniform of a Salvation Army captain, pointing at the emblem on his chest and remarking how it’s the second-most recognized brand worldwide, behind Coca-Cola.
The Bragas came from a four-year stint at the Fort Collins, Colorado Salvation Army. Before that, they worked in Redondo Beach, California and Torrance, California. Isaias Bragas said he joined because he felt a calling to help people and their needs. The Bragas got their start with the first Portuguese Salvation Army ministry in 1993, in the Brazilian congregation.
Isaias Braga said the locations he traveled to had different ways of helping those in need, that came down to what the community is able to offer or volunteer. In Fort Collins they had a free breakfast, in Renton it’s a free supper.
He said the amount of services offered in Renton surprised him, given how little everyone knew about them. In 2018, the Salvation Army in Renton served over 17,800 individuals.
The Salvation Army has been in Renton since 1966, according to an organization press release. What once was a bustling group of volunteers is now much smaller since its numbers have dwindled in recent years. Isaias Braga said it would be a dream come true if a corporation as big as Boeing volunteered some employees to help them as a community service project, either for the free supper or the bell ringing this winter.
“The community isn’t aware of it, it’s a bridge we have to build,” Isaias Braga said.
One of the unknown services is the face that the facility where the Salvation Army hosts free suppers also has a free medical clinic, with a doctor there the third Monday of the month. Another is operation takeout, where it brings groceries to folks who struggle with mobility at their homes.
In Eviction and Emergency Utility Assistance, the nonprofit will give money to those who have an eviction notice or shutoff notice.
Here’s the other services provided thanks to donors:
•A weekly food bag for those experiencing homelessness.
•A weekend meal backpack program for students (in partnership with Communities in Schools).
•Items for children ages 0 to 12 (in partnership with Eastside Baby Corner).
•Clothing vouchers (in partnership with Kiwanis Clothing Bank).
•Furniture vouchers (in partnership with Northwest Furniture Bank).
•Back to school supplies.
•Christmas toy distribution.
•Community supper (Monday and Thursday).
•Rota-care walk-in health clinic (first and third Saturdays of the month).
•Day of Change, a quarterly event offering free haircuts, resource information and job training.
Renton Salvation Army also needs volunteers for the bell-ringing season to help them continue. The organization relies on the donations of this season, he said.
Information on how to volunteer is available at 425-255-5969, extension 215.