Meet Carolyn Doney!

Our Ms Doney!  We call her “mama” she calls us “love.”  And it’s with love that we write this and celebrate the incredible person she is by naming her a Sally Star!

Ms Carolyn Doney has been firmly planted within this great city, specifically the East Nashville community for over 30 years and it’s within this amazing span of time that she has chosen to give of herself on behalf of “Others!”

Carolyn Doney volunteered for over 15 years with Sam Levy Summer Lunch program, providing a hot meal but even more than that.  With her beautiful smile and spark for life she influenced every single person that came within view. From 1987-1994, Ms Doney worked with adults within the community teaching them to read.  In 1994, Ms Doney joined The Salvation Army and served as a home/school advocate which consisted of checking on absentees and maintaining a relationship between students, schools and their parents.  Then in 1996, she became the front desk receptionist and the feel of the community center was never the same.  Ms Doney knows everyone’s name and has been known to say “welcome home” to those who enter through our doors.  She keeps her eye on every child that comes through the program and in a loving manner lets ’em know if they aren’t following the rules!  Many of these kids are now grown adults  who will still come back to visit Ms Doney because with her, they felt love, with her they felt acceptance.

We are grateful for the service and heart of this wonderful person!  Ms Doney is a shining example to anyone who comes in contact with her for in her presence they feel her love for them, a true love that reaches far beyond the heavens!

Remembering Tim Bell!

On June 17th, 2011, God received an angel on wheels who had given so much of his time, talent and treasure to helping serve those in need.  Tim Bell was “promoted to glory” after a motorcycle accident claimed his life but his legacy; his love for others and heart to give back lives on!

Tim was a member of  Riders in the Son, which is a ministry outreach of  This group, for the past 4 years has taken every shift for two Saturdays (10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.), covering 2 doors at a local Walmart to ring bells for The Salvation Army Citadel Corps during our Red Kettle season.  Tim was one of those amazing and dedicated bell ringers who always had a smile for everyone who passed by and was usually the first one to sign up for a shift!

We chatted with a couple of Tim’s closest friends and asked them to share with us their memories of Tim.

It’s been a blessing watching Tim grow in his faith and enjoy doing for others.  It was pure joy to him to volunteer for any service within our ministry.  I’ve never seen anybody evangelize to brother bikers like Tim – he was proud of his Christianity and is no doubt partying like a rock star where the streets are paved of gold.” -John Perona – founder, Riders in the Son ministry

“I have known Tim for over 15 years. He’d has always been a steadfast friend and riding brother. His providing for his family and extended family was his first priority. He had a tough life always working anyway he could to make ends meet. After he attended GodWhy he became a leader in the motorcycle ministry (Riders in the Son) eveready to donate time,  talents, and money wherever it was needed.  He was baptized and also chosen as a volunteer of the month at churchAs a professional construction worker he donated his skills in several remodeling jobs that improved the lives of others. He was the first to signup for the SA bell ringing and helped to assure that toys were delivered to the Sumner County DCS for the kids.
He served his country as a Marine in 1975-76 but broke his leg severely and was honorably discharged.  While working on a house he fell about forty feet and broke his leg again . He returned to work with a cast a few weeks later in order to support his family. He left a huge family of 9 children and about 19 grandkids between Tim and his wife Connie.  His giving heart will be sorely missed by all that knew him.” –Rick Prescott

On November 4, 2011, Tim’s widow Connie was presented with an award in honor of her husband Tim, naming him “Bell Ringer of the Year.”  during our annual Christmas kick off at the Ryman Auditorium.

God speed my friend!

Meet Liz Turner

It’s time for Christmas here at The Salvation Army and while we know it’s several weeks away, we are currently registering families for the Angel Tree program to ensure children and seniors receive something special under the tree December 25th.

During the Christmas season we rely heavily on our amazing volunteers to help make our efforts possible as we seek to serve the Nashville community.  We have a very small staff so the registering of families, the manning of Angel Tree booths in the malls, the sorting of gifts in the warehouse and the distributing of gifts to families are dependent upon the donation of time and talents by volunteers!  One of those amazing volunteers is Liz Turner who we believe is a true Sally Star!

Liz Turner was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and moved to Nashville around 1989.  In 1990, Liz caught a news article on television stating The Salvation Army needed volunteers to help register families for Angel Tree, so Liz jumped in her car the next day, headed in the direction of our Angel Tree warehouse and well, the rest is history!

In 1992, Liz became the Assistant to the Corporate Angel Tree Coordinator and remained in that position until 1995.  The Corporate Angel Tree Coordinator works with local church, civic or corporate groups in setting up their own Angel Trees within their offices or organizations for their employees to adopt.

In 1996, Liz became the Corporate Angel Tree Coordinator which is the same position she holds to this day.  Liz also joined our Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary in 1996, which is organized to promote the purposes of The Salvation Army in a local community. Its activities may include special fund raising through approved projects, furnishing volunteer workers, operations of canteens, distribution of food and clothing, staffing of emergency shelters, leadership in group work, visitation of hospital patients, and many other activities.

Besides the work she has done with The Salvation Army, Liz has also served as President of the Bordeaux Long Term Care Hospital Advocates Board from 2001-2003 and as a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association.  Liz is a proud mom of 3 children and one of her favorite things to do when she isn’t volunteering is cook!

Thank you Liz for donating your precious time (40 hours a week for 3 months) each and every Christmas as our Corporate Angel Tree Coordinator for the past 15 years! You time is priceless to us and the size of your heart is immeasurable!  You truly shine each and every year and serve as a prime example of true selflessness and compassion for those in need of hope during the Christmas season!  Bless you and thank you!

Meet Everton!

One evening, back in 2007, a volunteer, Dan Hogan who later became an Advisory Board member introduced Everton Heron to our weekly under the bridge ministry called The Salvation Army Soup Wagon.  This ministry provides a hot meal, lovingly prepared on our 16 foot mobile feeding kitchen that feeds an estimated 100-200 homeless men and women (our street family) under the Jefferson Street bridge.

As soon as Everton arrived under the bridge and scanned the sea of faces who waited patiently in a single file line for their plate, he knew he was home!  Without hesitation, Everton went up to each person, shook their hand, asked their name and if they needed it, prayed with them.  He became committed at that very moment and for the years that followed, he’s never failed to make this ministry his priority week after week.   In fact, in 2010, he officially became a member of our Nashville Advisory Board and unless business takes him elsewhere, you will find this incredible man of God under the bridge loving on the “least of these.”  At times, words aren’t necessary because there is a certain glow about him that exemplifies the love of Christ and people are naturally drawn to it as they seek reassurance and acceptance amidst their difficult and seemingly hopeless circumstances.  His infectious smile and loving arms lets you know that we’re all one big family and that together we can move forward; together we can lift each other up to be the brightest examples of God’s amazing grace!

Thank you Everton,  for being a star; for being a light that is constantly shining to guide those walking in darkness back to a Father who loves them!

Meet Rajanna and Her Amazing Family!

  Looking back, Rajanna explained, “I was broken.  I accepted the emotional abuse for a long time so my kids would have a father but when he physically abused me, it was a breaking point-I had no dignity left.”

It was two years ago when Rajanna Brooks packed up her three children with all of their belongings, left her home in St.Louis and the job she worked at for 13 years and didn’t look back.  She was determined to make a new life for her family.

“I was truly blessed that The Salvation Army heard my cry for help.  They gave me the reassurance that our needs would be met every day with a roof over our heads, food on the table and a support system that kept cheering us on.”

Because of donors like you, The Salvation Army was able to provide Angel Tree Christmas assistance for the entire Brooks family, after school care for her children, connected Rajanna with parenting and budgeting classes and even provided the first month’s rent for her new apartment.

After two years, Rajanna and her children have moved out of our Transitional Housing program and into permanent housing  and are doing great.  She was able to complete her Associates Degree in Paralegal Law and is now working in the field.

Rajanna Brooks and her family are true Sally Stars as they shine their light brightly on this new journey and are able to share their story, their hurts, their challenges and their ability to overcome!

Meet Donna Eden!

Donna has been involved with The Salvation Army Life Skills Learning Program in several ways. She is a regular in computer class and has participated in multiple Goal-setting and Life-planning sessions, as well as enjoying The Salvation Army Berry Street Worship Center as her church home.

Donna says,”I have learned a lot in the classes, and the private sessions have really opened my eyes to what God’s will is for my life. The chance to sit and talk about my goals and to learn more about God’s plan for me is really helping me to grow spiritually and in many other ways.”

We are so proud of you Donna and all that you have accomplished!  You are truly an inspirational light; a “Sally Star!”

Majors Rob and Janine Vincent!

At the end of the week, we will bid farewell to our Area Commanders, Majors Rob and Janine Vincent.  They have received their new assignment, which is to command The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Memphis.  Although they only spent 4 years with us commanding the Nashville Center of Hope, it felt like we’d known them all of our lives.

We’d like to let the Vincents know how much they will be missed, thus they have been bestowed with “Sally Stars!!”  We so appreciate their support for staff no matter the department; no matter the task.  The Vincents encourage and empower those they work with allowing ideas to flow and the chance for each employee to utilize their individual gifts.  The Vincents listen, no matter what they are involved in, you need to talk or share what’s on your heart or mind, they make themselves available.  The Vincents are always open to new ideas, new ways to do things and are incredible at talking things through so all points of view are considered and all scenarios are played out so we arrive at the best way to move forward.

The Vincents, above all love Christ and pour their heart and soul into serving Him first and loving His children as their own.  They dedicate long hours and endless days to the mission they committed to over 20 years ago.  A mission to be Salvation Army officers and to “meet need in His name without discrimination.”  They weep when others weep, they rejoice when others rejoice.  They possess compassion, empathy and love for those who may feel like no one cares and strive to be the hands and feet of Christ in everything they do.

We wish them well on their new journey and pray God’s anointing and blessing on every person they work with and every program they manage!

2 Cor 5:5, “Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”