A Christmas Miracle: Homeless Woman’s Life Turned Around in 24 Hours

The Salvation Army of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Command Officers, Majors Bradley and Anita Caldwell, watched shelter one night. Only one woman came to stay at the shelter that night. She settled in and got to sleep, and the next morning she came to Major Anita Caldwell for a coat. It was frigid out, and she did not have one. On top of a pile of black bags filled with donations sat one coat. The coat was the only item that wasn’t bagged, and it fit her perfectly.

“It was just for her. I loved that. It was like a miracle,” Major Anita Caldwell explained.

The woman left the building with her new coat and all of her belongings and sat on the sidewalk because she had nowhere else to go. It was obvious that she had mental health concerns of some kind because she began talking to people around her and called for a dog or child to follow her, although there was no one around. The Officers had a scheduled food distribution first thing that morning and did not feel comfortable leaving the woman alone on the sidewalk. Concerned for her safety, Majors Caldwell contacted the Open Doors Homeless Coalition. By 3:00 PM that afternoon, the woman was in her own room in her own apartment, and the Open Doors Homeless Coalition had ordered a bed for her.

A Salvation Army social worker transported the woman to her new apartment, and Major Anita Caldwell made arrangements for the power to be turned on. The more incredible blessing in this story of miracles is that the woman was connected with the CHOICE Program to receive assistance for a year. The CHOICE Program works collaboratively with the Mississippi Department of Health, Mississippi’s Community Mental Health Centers, and Mississippi Home Cooperation to provide intensive case management and temporary rental assistance to make housing affordable throughout Mississippi for individuals with serious mental illness.

“To me, that is my Christmas miracle. I just love that. I couldn’t have put those pieces together in 24 hours if I tried to,” Major Anita Caldwell shared.
“Any other day, no one would know about her, but now someone can knock on her door and check on her,” Major Anita Caldwell added.

To learn more about how The Salvation Army Mississippi Gulf Coast Area Command, visit




NW LA Salvation Army gathers “angels” to say thank you

1 - 51Whether it’s manning the kettles during the Christmas season or manning a Salvation Army canteen to help flood survivors, it truly takes an army to serve those in need across Northwest Louisiana. Because of all their hard work, a “thank you” luncheon on Monday was more than just a meal, but a gathering of angels.

Majors Ed and Carla Binnix, who lead The Salvation Army of Northwest Louisiana, along with Advisory Board and Women’s Auxiliary members called together community leaders and first responders to share lunch and tell them how much they are needed and appreciated.

“You are an incredible blessing,” said Major Carla Binnix.

Major Carla leads hundreds of volunteers who make sure nearly three thousand children and families receive gifts and food during the holidays through The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. But, she also has appreciation for all those who donated and purchased gifts and toys.

“Your gift is more than a toy, it is a picture of grace and mercy for a child you’ll never meet,” said Major Carla Binnix

In March, heavy rains led to floods destroying home after home leaving thousands with no power and in need of shelter, food and cleaning supplies. Led by the Binnixes, The Salvation Army worked hand in hand with first responders to serve flood survivors as well as police, fire and paramedics. Again, with the help of the corporate community, whether it was food, water or supplies, by the grace of God, all needs were met.

“You are helping people who never thought they’d be entering the doors of The Salvation Army,” said Advisory Board Chairwoman, Sonja Bailes.

Bailes reminded the 200 in attendance, God is seen in their work and through you He will make a difference.

“The Salvation Army was founded on the motto of Soup, Soap and Salvation,” said Bailes. “That remains the core emphasis today.”

Major Carla Binnix also unveiled a new piece of art that will recognize the top corporate partner each year following Christmas. The angel’s wings signifies the sponsor who completes the most Angel Tree requests with two toys and one clothing item. The sponsor who does will receive the wings for display at their business for the entire year.

The need across the nation is year round. If you would like to help The Salvation Army of Northwest Louisiana or any of our other 30 corps in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi you can find the location nearest you and donate here:

Flight to the North Pole

On Dec. 15, 2015, The Salvation Army of Jackson, MS, participated in the 10th Annual Flight to the North Pole event. More than 60 children were treated to the event, where they were “flown” to the North Pole by the MS Air National Guard, met Santa & Mrs. Claus, played with elves, and each received their very own bike and sack of toys and goodies! The event was sponsored by Y101, the Mississippi Air National Guard, the Brain Injury Association, and The Salvation Army Jackson Metro Area.