Salvation Army youth assembled and ready to work at the Bedford Chamber of Commerce, Saturday May 1, 2010.

“Hearts to God, hand to man”…that’s been The Salvation Army’s motto for many years. This past Saturday, the town of Bedford got a small taste of what the Army means by that. Armed with trash bags and gloves, youth from all over Indiana descended upon the “limestone capitol of the world” to be a part of Bedford’s Chamber of Commerce sponsored “Clean Sweep”.

Led by their local corps officers, the teens divided up in teams with maps and scoured the streets picking up litter while greeting people on the streets. Sporting their “red shield” T-shirts several teams swept and mopped inside the Boys and Girls Club, pulled weeds outside of the Chamber and tidied up the parking lot at the local WalMart. Bedford Mayor Shawna Girgis was on hand to offer her appreciation to all who came out to assist. Bedford Chamber of Commerce President, Adele Bowden-Purlee was all smiles saying, “Thank you so much! This means a lot to us!”.

Salvation Army youth search for trash on the streets of Bedford.

The service project in Bedford was part of a weekend organized by The Salvation Army called “Youth Councils”. This gathering is held annually  “to help Salvation Army youth grow closer to God, develop life and leadership skills, and connect with other Christians.” (sayouthcentral – usc.salvationarmy.org) Indiana Youth Councils 2010 hosted nearly 200 teens with the theme of “Infusion” based on Isaiah 38:16.

The largest group of youth attending came from Princeton and was led by Lt. Jonathon Cooper. They had several enthusiastic teams cleaning the streets, drawing support from passing motorists who honked and waved as they recognized the familiar logo of The Salvation Army. There was a spirit of unity in giving back to the community as both adults and youth demonstrated the value of service.

If you or someone you know could benefit from involvement with any of our Salvation Army youth programs, contact the Corps Community Center in your area, under the “locations” button on our main page.