Apr 3, 2011 6:27 PM by Matt Stafford

Local leaders bringing new life to Salvation Army center

A group from the Women's Community Leadership Initiative is putting a lot of themselves into the Salvation Army Community Center in Colorado Springs.

The program, through Leadership Pikes Pike, is funded by grants and donations. The Salvation Army Center project was picked in a vote by the group from among other local projects Leadership Pikes Peak had identified as needing help. They realize when community services get utilized as much as they have in the past few years, they can take some wear and tear.

"It's near and dear to my heart; my kids we what we call latch-key kids back in the old days," says Beth Turner with the W.C.L.I. "They didn't have anywhere to go because I couldn't afford childcare. For me personally this is important that we support these kids and give them a place that's safe."

"Before I was 18 years old, I was homeless. I stayed at a Salvation Army shelter," W.C.L.I. Member Kristianna Anderson tells News First 5. "So this really touched my heart. It's my opportunity to give back to someone, that's somewhere that helped me."

"Everyone here has a personal connection to this building because of what it represents," adds Beth Binion, with W.C.L.I.

All of the women came from modest-incomes or challenging circumstances, but they're learning to use the resources around them to make a difference -- just like they're trying to revamp the Salvation Army Center for nothing.

"We have a zero budget as part of the project here," says Turner. They just give their own hard work and find donated help. Dan Wegelin owns a local construction and is donating his time for free. He heard about the work and decided to bring some church friends along to help as well.

"When we can help out we'll do what we can," says Wegelin.

"We wouldn't have had him if we hadn't asked" Binion says.

As people are pulling together, these leaders-in-training are taking in a valuable lesson.

"It's not what can I do, it's what can we do," Binion explains.

They won't know exactly what all that will be until they're done; they group isn't sure which area they will be able to get donations for and which ones they won't. However, with all of their hard work, one thing's for sure.

"Going to be proud of it once it's done," says Carmen Randall. She hopes it's something the rest of the community can take pride in too.

If you would like more information on Leadership Pikes Peak, the Women's Community Leadership Initiative, or the Salvation Army project click here.


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