Salvation Army’s future pondered

Captains Tammy and Kevin Ray began working as the new directors of the Salvation Army in Clovis about two weeks ago.

Tammy Ray this week shared her thoughts on the future of the Salvation Army and what residents should expect to be different.

Q: What brought you to Clovis?

A: We were transferred here from Sierra Vista, Ariz.. That’s the way the Salvation Army works. We move around like the military. We were in Arizona for three years.

Q: What kind of experience do you bring to the job?

A: We have been officers with the Salvation Army for 10 years and that means that we are both ordained ministers in the Salvation Army churches. I have my degree in sociology and an associate’s degree in ministry. Kevin has an associate’s degree in ministry and an associate’s degree in general studies.

Q: What first got you interested in the Salvation Army?

A: It’s my family’s history. I am the sixth generation of my family to be an officer in the Salvation Army. Kevin didn’t know much about the Salvation Army until he met me. He is new blood.

Q: What are your plans for the Salvation Army locally?

A: One of our first plans is to rebuild the church. What has happened here is that all people know about are social services and the store. So we will try to work on that part and would like to see trust rebuilt with the Salvation Army here. We want people to know that their money is going to the purpose intended. I’m not saying that it didn’t before. I know that the previous officers are good people, but I think there has been a little bit of a trust issue. This Salvation Army is just not as visible and we will try to rebuild that. We have an empty building that is just full of storage and that building would make for a wonderful daycare center or after-school drop off.

Q: What do you think of Clovis?

A: We love it. It reminds us a lot of the community that we came from before. It was a military community and it was quickly growing. It is similar. This looks like a wonderful place to raise our family.

Q: How many children do you have?

A: We have three children — Joshua, 13, Sara, 9 and Caleb, 7.

Q: What do you think peoples’ perception of the Salvation Army is?

A: For the older generation who lived through the Great Depression the Salvation Army was always there for them with a cup of coffee and whatever they needed and helped them get through the tough times. But many of those people who benefited from the Salvation Army are dying off. The majority of people don’t understand that we are a church. They view us as a social service provider and do-good agency.

Q: Have things been difficult during the last few years with so many other do-good agencies surfacing throughout the world?

A: The Salvation Army has had to come up with new ways of raising money and being more competitive as far as going after grants. We’re just going to do our best to make sure that all of the items in our store are affordable and that the proceeds from the thrift store go to support the local area.