• Michelle Hartfield

When Neighbors Become Family: The Salvation Army in Jackson, MS

Jackson MS (September 3, 2022) - In a story filled with narratives of crisis and disharmony, many Jackson residents serve as a reminder of the inherent goodness of the human spirit. Pleasant Oak Apartments in an out of the way neighborhood is a textbook example.

“This is the real Mississippi in a small complex,” said manager, Amy Alexander. “We all look out for each other. We are one big family. Everybody is respectful to others and here for each other.”

Residents were quick to secure water for neighbors who were at work or for those with limited mobility unable to carry the heavy cases themselves. Neighborhood children took it upon themselves to organize and make sure everyone was taken care of and nobody was forgotten.

Many Pleasant Oak residents either do not have transportation or have young children who cannot be left behind. The water crisis has forced Jackson public schools to go remote indefinitely which leaves parents struggling to ether work remotely or find childcare.

The Salvation Army was also able to distribute stuffed animals to children in the complex, and parents and kids alike were excited to receive breakfast boxes. “This is perfect. The kids can log in for school and have breakfast right there with them.”

“It makes a difference to know that someone cares,” continued Alexander. “The kids were so excited. They couldn’t believe The Salvation Army stopped. NOBODY stops for us. It made a difference in their lives.”  

Sheroderick Elridge added, “It’s the little things we do that matter. All you have to do is have a little compassion to make a huge difference.”

William Booth founded The Salvation Army with the basic tenants of “Soup, Soap and Salvation”. Minister to physical needs. Restore human dignity, and then provide emotional and spiritual care. In Jackson, MS, The Salvation Army continues their efforts to distribute water and food, and to spread hope to people who have long felt forgotten. Lt. Victor Estudiante summed these efforts up, “If we show even one person how much they matter and how deeply they are loved, we’ve made a difference.”

Donations to support relief efforts may be made online at helpsalvationarmy.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.