Home Los Angeles Culture & Community Thanksgiving with The Salvation Army at Bell Center.

Thanksgiving with The Salvation Army at Bell Center.

by selenash

Thanksgiving with the Salvation Army was an event of love and family and good food.   There are hundreds of families who aren’t sure where their next meals are coming from, let alone Thanksgiving dinner.  I can’t even begin to imagine having this feeling and dilemma to deal with.  I’m from Dallas and did not make it back for Thanksgiving this year, I already had plans to cook a very all American Thanksgiving dinner but when I saw the invite for the Salvation Army, I couldn’t resist attending with my family.    It was hosted at the hugely accommodating Salvation Army Bell Center in Bell, CA.

I was able to meet the gentleman that started all of this.  Judge Harry Pregerson.  I was led to him by a member of his staff and he didn’t give me much choice either.  I followed and eagerly looked for him on the way.  He was sitting at a table with a few other people about to dine on the fine food provided by the Cheesecake Factory.  He invited me and my sons to have a seat. We did and learned that he was given the idea to open the shelter while watching the local news and hearing that there was a need to help the growing number of homeless families in Southern California.

     The man who started it all at Bell Gardens, Judge Harry Preferson.

Arts n crafts for all..rember these from the 80s!

Super friendly Cheescake Factory staff.

The Cheesecake Factory along with their non-profit charity Cake Give Back was incredibly generous.  They completely transformed the dining hall into an elegant dining experience into an elegant restaurant scene.   Tables were covered in gold clothe with green and burgundy napkins accents.  Balloons floated with the spirit of everyone inside.  It was absolutely beautiful.  Salvation Army official Lt. Col. Kyle Smith led everyone in prayer, it was just beautiful.  Various Salvation Army officials dined and mingled with the families as well.

Lots of families dining and socializing.

Throughout the year, Bell Shelter provides support services, emergency shelter, transitional shelter, education, job training, permanent housing placement, ESL classes — and a new cutting edge neurofeedback program to help veterans with PTSD.

About The Salvation Army:  

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination since 1880 in the United States. Today, more than 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and underprivileged children. About 82 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in 7,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to




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