Salvation Army gets new officers
PITTSBURG, Kan. — Salvation Army Majors Eric and Patricia Johnson became Pittsburg's new corps officers on Monday, following Corp Officer Mylie Hadden’s recent move to Emporia.
The new corps officers have been married for 21 years. Eric Johnson originally hails from upper Michigan and Patricia is from Minnesota, and they have served with the Salvation Army for 21 and 34 years respectively.
“We are excited about the opportunity to serve the people in Pittsburg and the surrounding area,” Patricia Johnson said in a press release. “We look forward to meeting new people and seeing the opportunities where we can serve. Know that you have been in our prayers since we heard about this transition and will continue to support you as we arrive.”
Lt. Mylie Hadden, meanwhile, began a new chapter of her journey with the Salvation Army at its location in Emporia on Sunday, after transferring to Pittsburg from Chicago four years ago.
When Hadden first came to Pittsburg, she was excited for another opportunity to do hands-on works as a corps officer, and for the change of pace of moving from a big city to a small town. She also had a vision for the local Salvation Army branch — to grow social services, make improvements to the nonprofit’s building and thrift store, and as a Christian foundation to help people mature people spiritually, according to the release.
“I think we’ve cast that vision pretty well,” Hadden said. “We worked hard and thanks to our thrift store staff, our store is more successful and we have heard a lot of great feedback that people enjoy shopping there and that the staff are helpful and that makes me happy.”
Over the past few years, the local Salvation Army was able to give out more emergency assistance and to expand distribution of food items to Cherokee and Arma. It also ran a women’s group. Thanks to community partnerships the home goods pantry has also expanded, providing even more nonfood items that people don’t get with their SNAP benefits, such as laundry soap and shampoo.
Hadden said one of her fondest memories is the annual Christmas toy run hosted by local motorcyclists where they purchase toys and drop them off at the Salvation Army for the Christmas distribution.
“I’m pleased with the community's support of the Salvation Army and the work we do,” Hadden said. “We have been making preparations for a smooth transition. We have a good, strong advisory board and staff to help with the transition.”