An amazing donation is going a long way to help the Salvation Army

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Sunday, August 12, 2018
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An amazing donation is going a long way to help the Salvation Army. Matt O'Donnell reports during Action News at 6 a.m. on August 12, 2018.

Philadelphia (WPVI) -- One couple's generous donation to the Salvation Army is going a long way.

Stephen and Sandra Sheller made it their mission to help underserved communities in the Philadelphia region.

"Our passion was to really create situations where people have opportunities to actualize the American dream like everyone else," Sandra Sheller told 6abc.

They do not just talk about that passion, they are putting their money behind it too. The couple donated one million dollars to help the Salvation Army launch its new Emergency Disaster Services Command Center.

"We've been friends with the Salvation Army for over 15 years and we've watched their dedication and their hard service," said Mrs. Sheller.

As you can imagine, that kind of donation and the passion behind it, make a big difference to the organization. The Salvation Army's Bob Myers said "This gift towards the new facility is really going to allow us to enhance the services that we already provide the community. "

The 13-thousand-square-foot facility will accommodate supplies, vehicles and training space. It will also allow the organization to stock up on important equipment like cleaning kits, water, generators and emergency lights.

The training in the new space will focus on how to give emotional and physical support to people in times of need.

That is an important part of what the Salvation Army does as it responds to nearly 300 emergencies locally.

The Salvation Army's Rev. Bonnie Camarada said the space is the first of its kind in the area and is needed more than ever. "We go to over 400 fires a year, and we are operating out of 2 garages. Literally. "

This donation will also go a long way to bringing in more volunteers. Officials hope they will be able to add another 250 people to its current volunteer force of 500.

"You never know when a disaster is going to strike and so we really just try to do our best to be as prepared as possible." said Myers.

The 13,800 foot facility will be located on the campus of the Salvation Army's Divisional Headquarters on North Broad Street across from the Divine Lorraine Hotel.