(L to R) Dan Thomas, Salvation Army Torrance Corps Board Member, Captain Justin Docherty, and Mike Griffiths, Chair of the Community Advisory Board, Salvation Army Torrance Corps

I have heard about the Salvation Army throughout my life, but it wasn’t until a recent visit to the Salvation Army Torrance Corps that I began to truly appreciate all this organization does.

Greeted by Captain Justin Docherty, Mike Griffiths and Dan Thomas, I immediately felt welcomed. Griffiths is the Chair of the Community Advisory Board and Thomas is a board member.

As we began to tour the site, I received a glimpse of the amazing Donald and Priscilla Hunt Performing Arts Academy. The building features a state-of-the-art recording studio, performance spaces, soundproofed practice rooms, and a café. A dedication ceremony was held on October 11, 2019.

“We are very blessed and privileged to provide such world class studios to the community. We are pleased to offer arts education that can change the lives of children,” commented Docherty.

The Salvation Army Torrance Corps offers affordable music and dance education to children and adults of all levels of experience. These include individual private, shared and group music lessons; Mommy and Me toddler rhythm classes, band ensembles and dance classes.

As we continued the tour, I had the opportunity to see the community hall, walk through the church and view the various meeting spaces.

From the Torrance location, we traveled to the Stillman Sawyer Family Service Center, which is a large facility that offers many community programs and services.

Ernesto Madrid, Social Services Manager, welcomed us and invited us to take a tour. We walked through the Food Pantry with organized shelves of non-perishable items, complimented by diapers, baby food and personal care products.

“The Food Pantry provides homeless and those in need with items they can use. We provided 38 bags at noontime today to those in need,” stated Madrid.

Volunteers organize the pantry shelves, prepare and laminate recipe cards and pass out food. “We are grateful for the individuals who graciously give of their time and businesses who provide items,” smiled Madrid.

In addition to the Food Pantry, the Stillman Sawyer Family Service Center offers  several different services, including a job board, computer lab, adult counseling, and job training.

As we departed and headed back to Torrance, I truly felt that two hours of my time was extremely well spent.

The vision of the Salvation Army is to identify and meet areas of need in the communities it serves. From what I saw today, the Torrance Corps is not only succeeding in their vision, but they are also surpassing expectations. 

The Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce thanks the Salvation Army Torrance Corps for being a longtime member.

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