With the week of May 14-20 designated as National Salvation Army Week, the Waxahachie Salvation Army has many things to be proud of.

The Salvation Army has recently added three new staff members and a full-time caseworker, the church has increased in enrollment and the Salvation Army’s programs have seen increased participation.

Now, with summer just around the corner, the Salvation Army and Boys and Girls Club is looking forward to the Boys and Girls Summer Camp.

On Monday, the Waxahachie Salvation Army received a proclamation honoring the club in celebration of National Salvation Army week.

“It was very nice,” Capt. Mario Maldonado said. “I feel very good because good things are happening here and at the Boys and Girls Club and in our church.”

Maldonado said the Salvation Army Church “is growing slowly but surely.”

The Maldonados lead weekly men’s and women’ programs, which Maldonado said are also seeing increased attendance.

“Our women’s ministry is growing. They are getting ready for women’s camp this weekend,” Maldonado said. “We’re taking about 20 ladies, but the women’s ministry has about 40 ladies that meet almost every Tuesday.”

“The men’s club is growing also,” Maldonado said, saying that about 10 men meet weekly for men’s ministry. Both clubs meet from 6-7 p.m. Tuesdays.

The addition of a full-time caseworker at the Salvation Army is a first for the Waxahachie Salvation Army, which in the past had relied on floating caseworkers.

“Rosa Maria Rodriguez is our full-time case worker and she’s here Monday through Friday offering social services to those in need,” Maldonado said.

Maldonado stressed that the Salvation Army offers a variety of services to Waxahachie and the surrounding communities.

“We help with food, utility assistance, rent,” Maldonado said. “People sometimes just come to us for prayer.”

The Salvation Army also recently hired Stephanie Goncalves as unit director of the Waxahachie Boys and Girls Club, Cavon Phillips as activities director for the Boys and Girls Club and Amanda Norton as Salvation Army business manager.

“We’re very excited they are here with us,” Maldonado said. “We take great pride in the Boys and Girls Club and we’re asking God to help us bring the Boys and Girls Club to the highest level. It’s finally happening.”

Goncalves moved to Waxahachie with her husband in August 2006 in order to attend graduate school at Southwestern Assemblies of God University. After just a few weeks on the job, Goncalves already has a long list of activities scheduled for the summer, as well as a list of the Boys and Girls Club’s needs.

The Boys and Girls Club is gearing up for Summer Camp 2007, which will run from Monday, June 4, through Friday, Aug. 10.

“There’s well over 50 applications out now,” Goncalves said, adding that payment for 30 students has been turned in.

The camp is open to students entering kindergarten through 15 years old.

“There’s a lot of activities we’ll be doing,” Goncalves said, naming activities such as swimming and participating in the Nicholas P. Sims Library summer programs as a few.

“We will be running a well-scheduled program. For example, we are implementing, art, computer, fitness, reading, gym and game room programs,” Goncalves said.

However, the Boys and Girls Club is in need of donations from businesses and individuals in the community, as well as the time of volunteers in order to make the program run smoothly.

“We need lots of gym equipment and art supplies,” Goncalves said.

Items needed by donation include gym equipment such as indoor goals, jump ropes, hula-hoops, plastic balls and bats, a large parachute, beanbags to toss, hockey sticks and other items. The club also needs art supplies, including construction paper, colored sand, paint, medium sized paintbrushes, colored tissue paper, Popsicle sticks and clay.

In order to create a comfortable reading room, the Boys and Girls Club also requests beanbags, rugs, carpeting and pillows.

Adult volunteers are needed to teach and monitor activities and provide transportation on field trip days.

“We’re looking for adult volunteers who want to volunteer their time,” Goncalves said, adding that the club is hoping churches and individuals will also open up their vehicles and help transport students from the Boys and Girls Club to field trip destinations.

On Saturday, the club will have vendor booths at the Waxahachie Lions Club Mini-Grand Prix, where it will sell hamburgers and hotdogs. All proceeds benefit the summer camp scholarship fund, allowing families who can’t afford the full price of camp the opportunity to attend.

Applications for the camp are available at the Salvation Army or Boys and Girls Club, located at 620 Farley St. in Waxahachie. Registration fees include a one-time $30 membership fee per family plus $25 per child, per week in the camp.

For more information, contact Goncalves at (972) 937-0509.

For more information on the Salvation Army, call (972) 937-7727.

E-mail Mandy at mandy.bourgeois@waxahachiedailylight.com