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Lieutenant Dabiel Valdés always enjoyed playing basketball as a teenager. So when a friend invited him to come play basketball at a local place where he could be safe, Dabiel never questioned where exactly he was going.
“We lived in North Philly and it was a rough area,” he said. “There was no safe place to go play. I got invited to play Friday Night indoor basketball, not knowing it was The Salvation Army. When we got there it was a friendly environment, safe, and everybody was inviting so I just kept coming back.”
Valdés hasn’t left since.
Carol Riley remembers the tears running down her face as she watched her 7-year-old grandson Aziz Goode swim for the first time.
“The biggest thing [The Salvation Army’s Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center] did for me besides keeping him in a safe place, was you taught my child how to swim,” Riley said. “Aziz learned how to swim here. We came to watch him – his mother, his father and me – and all we did was cry. Aziz can swim and then he also went scuba diving? Where are we? Is this really Camden? "
When it comes to line dancing, Diaz able to use the limited vision she has to see the direction her classmates are going and relies on her other senses to stay in proper step.
“[Carter] does a good job of calling out the steps and that has really helped me,” Diaz said. “That allows me to keep repeating it in my head and that’s kind of the point – to get so familiar with the steps that you can follow it yourself.”
The Sheldons have been volunteering since the Kroc Center opening in October 2014. Together, they have contributed over 100 hours of volunteer service. As Kroc Ambassadors, this joyful couple can be found explaining memberships, greeting guests and members, volunteering at community/special events and enjoy donating food for Adult Ministry activities.
Have you or your family been impacted by The Kroc Center? Amazing things take place everyday at the Kroc Center, and we want to hear about it.
Your stories help inform our community about all of the life changing things that are happening at the Kroc Center, and will help ensure that everyone in need is able to receive a scholarship, that children in need will be provided with warm winter clothing, that emergency assistance can be supplied to local families, and more. Your story is critical to The Salvation Army Kroc Center's mission. Do you have a Kroc Center story that's changed your life?
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