Effective October 1, 2023, COM will no longer serve as the Service Extension Unit for The Salvation Army in Polk County. In an effort to better keep the mission and programs of our two agencies clearly defined, an independent Board will be formed this summer to take over the responsibilities of running the Polk County Service Extension Unit. All future bellringing efforts and distribution of Salvation Army funds will be coordinated by this entity. COM will continue to distribute funds on behalf of The Salvation Army through Sept. 30.
Until that time, questions regarding Salvation Army activities may be directed to either COM at firstname.lastname@example.org or to the Midland Division of The Salvation Army at MID.SE@usc.salvationarmy.org or 314-646-3077.
"The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination."
In the past, Community Outreach Ministries managed The Salvation Army's Polk County service extension unit to provide emergency resources to Polk County. As a Service Extension of The Salvation Army, COM received 85% of funds donated to the Salvation Army in Polk County and used this money in conjunction with COM's case management program to assist local families with rent, utilities, medication, and transportation.
As our organization focuses our mission more clearly on food insecurity and development programs related to that issue, we are helping The Salvation Army to set up their own local Board. This will allow for clearer lanes of mission for our two organizations as The Salvation Army will be able to focus on crisis- and emergency-needs while COM can focus more on our long-term development goals in the county.
May 17, 2023 PRESS RELEASE
COM Media contact:
Micah Titterington, Executive Director
TSA Media contact:
Becca Clay, Divisional Director of Service Extension
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 17, 2023
The Salvation Army to Set Up New Board Independent of Community Outreach Ministries
COM and The Salvation Army part ways after a decade of partnership.
Bolivar, MO— A decade-long partnership is coming to an end this summer as Community Outreach Ministries (COM) steps away from their role as the Service Extension Unit for The Salvation Army in Polk County. Effective October 1, COM will no longer oversee the annual bellringing campaign or be in charge of distributing The Salvation Army funds locally. Instead, a new, independent local Board representing various individuals and groups will be set up to run the bellringing campaign and distribute funds.
“Our partnership with The Salvation Army and their Service Extension Office has been a valuable one over the years, but as COM has grown we are simply at a point where it makes more sense for us to separate,” said Micah Titterington, Executive Director of COM. “In the beginning, funds from The Salvation Army were a crucial part of helping BAMA and COM run the food pantry and benevolence program, but today we are in a much more financially stable place and able to conduct our own effective fundraisers. Additionally, while there is a lot of overlap between our two organizations, there are also some differences in our focus. Formally separating The Salvation Army out from COM will also ensure there is a clarity of mission and direction for both organizations. We have been able to work well with each other in making this transition and are excited about how this change can help both of us.”
“The Salvation Army is so grateful for the long-term partnership we have had with COM in Polk County,” said Becca Clay, the Divisional Director of Service Extension for the Salvation Army Midland Division. “Our partners at COM have been critical in helping us serve the community in Bolivar and beyond. We are thrilled to see COM flourishing and we are excited for both of our teams as we embark on this new season. Although we may be working more independently in some respects, we believe that our continued collaboration as part of the continuum of care for Polk county residents will allow us to be even more effective in meeting the needs of our neighbors.”
Although The Salvation Army has been connected to COM since COM’s beginning in 2014, the partnership goes back even earlier. The Salvation Army first got connected with the local ministerial alliance in the late 1990s to help support the Polk County food pantry. That partnership continued into 2007 when the ministerial alliance formally incorporated as their own nonprofit called the Bolivar Area Ministerial Alliance (BAMA). COM maintained the partnership with The Salvation Army when they began management of the food pantry in 2014 and has served as the distributor of bellringing funds since that time.
As both groups move forward, they have selected an initial chair for the new Service Extension Board and are looking for additional members to serve on the Board. Individuals interested in serving on the new Board or who have questions may contact The Salvation Army at MID.SE@usc.salvationarmy.org or call 314-646-3077. Both groups plan to have the new Board up and running by September to allow plenty of time for them to plan and recruit for the 2023 Bellringing season.
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About Community Outreach Ministries
COM operates a food pantry, thrift store, and various case management programs designed to dig deeper into the roots of poverty and food insecurity and empower individuals to gain greater stability in their lives. Find out more at www.bolivarcom.org or www.facebook.com/CommunityOutreachMinistriesBolivar/
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. Polk County services fall under the Midland Division branch of The Salvation Army. Learn more at centralusa.salvationarmy.org/midland/