On the morning of Saturday March 24 hundreds of children from The Salvation Army’s character building program marched from Union Square to the newly landmarked Centennial Memorial Temple, located on 14th Street between sixth and seventh avenues, for their graduation from the program.

There are words emblazoned on the wall of this historical building written by the founder of The Salvation Army in bright golden letters that reads:

“While women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight; I’ll fight to the very end!”

New Yorkers were able to witness that the young generation will continue to believe that the mission of The Salvation Army is alive, and that our young people will continue fighting to help those in need today.

In these past days we have seen with sadness the violence and the pain in our schools. It is the darkness in the world that motivates us to teach our young people to live with love and compassion. On the same day of our march, thousands march around the country to speak out against violence in our schools.

Captain Sheila Gage, Associate Divisional Youth Secretary for The Salvation Army Greater New York Division said, “Our hope is that these children will be good examples to their friends and others in how to live positively in an ever-changing society.”

“Most of the time the kids do not have the opportunity of being heard, so we are trying to teach them that there is a platform for them, that they do have a voice, and that they need to speak up.”

And she also added, “By having these types of rallies and engaging youth in these character-building programs, we teach them to accentuate the positive in life and be an example to others.”

This activity, alongside many other youth programs, are part of The Salvation Army’s “We Shield New York” initiative, whereby The Salvation Army, through its team of officers, soldiers (including these junior soldiers), and more than 100 Greater New York area programs, serves as a non-discriminating “safe haven” for New Yorkers in need.



An integral part of the Greater New York community for 138 years, The Salvation Army in Greater New York operates a vast network of community and social-service programs that serve hundreds of thousands of people each year throughout New York City, Long Island, and the lower Hudson Valley.

For more information, call Major James Betts at 212-337-7206. Give online by clicking here.