Roanoke Salvation Army captain recalls childhood in shelter

By Lindsey Ward - Anchor

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - As we approach a new year we look back at some of the local headlines from 2016.

This past year the Salvation Army of the Roanoke Valley marked a change of leadership.

Captain Bill McKinley and his wife, Terrie, were assigned to new positions in the Hampton Roads area.

Soon after the local corps welcomed fresh faces Captain Monica and Lieutenant Andy Seiler.

Captain Seiler's Salvation Army story started when she was four-years-old and ended up in the emergency room with her mom after stepping on her father's heroin needle.

Through the Salvation Army not only was she encouraged to go to college, but now she's devoted her life to the non-profit's mission.

"I went to college, I went to graduate school and I felt called to the Salvation Army in fulltime service as a corps officer which is what I do here in Roanoke, and so, I've committed my life to serving the people that the Salvation Army serves and loving them how I was loved as a young child," Captain Seiler explained.

Helping change the cycle of poverty Captain Seiler started a new rule in 2016 for Angel Tree families.

Now, parents can only sign up for three years of assistance in a row and are required to take financial and parenting classes.

"What the Salvation Army exists to do is to change the cycle of poverty, so we want people who have been struggling for generations to not have to struggle anymore. We want to put ourselves out of business in a sense," she said.

Until that day comes and the Salvation Army can close its Captain Seiler will continue helping change lives.

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