Home Community Why We Love This Place Wednesdays: Susanville Salvation Army

Why We Love This Place Wednesdays: Susanville Salvation Army


By Terra Avilla and Carla McDonald

One of the reasons I love our community is that I often get to see things from different perspectives. This week my wonderful friend Carla from the Susanville Salvation Army is sharing about a wonderful experience she and many of our local children recently had.

And what better way to share it with you, than from her – someone who was there the entire time, and truly can attest how incredible the experience was. So, without further ado, here is Ms. Carla.

My name is Carla McDonald, and I am the Coordinator for The Salvation Army – Susanville. I have only lived in the area for two years, but in that time, I have been overwhelmed by the community spirit and serving hearts repeatedly and now – I LOVE THIS PLACE, too!

This year, for the first time since Covid-19 hit, our Del Oro summer camp – in Nevada City – re-opened for 6-day overnight camps. So, this was the first year I was able to experience this event. Camp Del Oro is an amazing facility owned by The Salvation Army and it is the epitome of any kids’ camp movie out there (except for the scary ones, of course!). I was able to tour the facility before sending campers there and I wished I could attend for six days!

As we rolled out the registrations for camp I was beyond proud of my community once again as people came together to ensure that our Lassen children had the opportunity to experience a life-changing week. I saw people helping each other by passing information to others and by sponsoring those who needed a little extra help to be able to go.

We filled a touring bus with 30 of our kids who were a bit shy and apprehensive as we pulled out of the parking lot; but came home with huge smiles, new friendships, and even the desire to go back and serve as a counselor next summer. A huge shout out goes to “Susanville Channel” for showing up on our return home to record the kids returning to their parents.

It was such an honor to get to know each one of the parents as the day to leave drew closer. We had a great time texting and communicating as we dropped kids at camps and picked them up again six days later. I feel a great team was built as these parents supported the program and are ready to help again in the future – in fact you saw a lot of them walking in the fair parade with us!

None of this would have happened without the support we receive from this county all year long! The camp costs about $400 per camper; however, because of you, we can take campers for $25 each! The difference is made up by the generous support receive from you at Kettle time at Christmas and from our Gary Felt Kilt Classic Golf Tournament in the spring.

We are now in the throes of our Back-to-School program, beginning this Saturday with Stuff the Bus with school supplies at Walmart from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Once again, I know this community will not disappoint and will show up and stuff that bus full of school supplies! Our program provides qualified students with new backpacks, school supplies, a haircut, and a $100 shopping spree for school clothes.

I cannot say “Thank you” big enough or loud enough to express the appreciation I have for Lassen County on behalf of The Salvation Army! Our theme from last year says it best, “Because of you, hope marches on!”

And THAT is why I love this place!

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