The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary is a volunteer, educational and fundraising arm of The Salvation Army of San Antonio Area Command.
The Auxiliary sponsors initiatives that enrich the lives of San Antonio citizens by meeting them at their point of need. These initiatives include:
Angel Tree, a program providing clothing and toys for children and senior citizens at Christmas;
The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs, providing character development, educational opportunities and musical training through education and recreational programs;
The Salvation Army Booth Home & Hospital took in unwed, pregnant girls from 1905 to 1975. The original home (called a Rescue House) was on Breckenridge and housed 6-9 girls who were on their own, either homeless, into prostitution, pregnant or had already had a child. The Army taught the girls marketable skills such as cooking, kitchen work, house-keeping and later typing and office work. The residence was later relocated on Broadway near the current AT&T building and University of Incarnate Word, and became a maternity home for unwed girls. The girls were housed in a comfortable, happy environment. They did not pay for the service, but were assigned daily duties, including kitchen, dorm and laundry. This was not difficult work, only enough to keep them busy, healthy and focused on things other than their difficult situation. The girls were given opportunities to complete their high school education, via tutors. This facility became obsolete when society became less harsh in their judgment of illegitimate children and girls began keeping their babies. It closed in the early ‘70’s.
In the early 1930’s, a group of women formed Texas’ first Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary. This group took on the responsibility of raising funds to keep the Girl’s Home running and to provide some of the needed services for the girls.
Today, San Antonio’s Auxiliary continues to be active in all of the Army’s programs, including the Southside Child Development Center, Family Emergency Shelter, Beryl’s Food Pantry, the Senior Citizen feeding programs, the annual Shoe-In, Christmas Angel Tree program, and the William Booth Garden Apartments.
The Auxiliary holds an annual fashion show, which helps support the work of The Salvation Army’s regular services. For example, while The Salvation Army provides food and shelter (clothing, if necessary) to those families who need it, the Auxiliary goes the extra mile in providing special gifts for Christmas and special treats at Easter for the residents. The Salvation Army provides canned goods to families seeking food to get them through the end of the month. The Auxiliary supplies funds for the purchase of much needed rice, beans, peanut butter and other protein foods.
The Women’s Auxiliary is comprised of women from all walks of life and share a common desire to help those in need. They diligently work to raise funds to assist in the work of The Salvation Army, but more importantly, they provide hands on service in each committee. They pack grocery sacks, read to children, manicure the nails of senior citizens and make craft items for sales.
These are some of the communities finest and we are proud to call them friend.