Celebrate Hope Luncheon Honors Unidos Pa’PR & Sharmain Matlock-Turner

NBC 10’s Tracy Davidson emcees the 2018 Celebrate Hope Luncheon

On the May 14, first day of National Salvation Army week, hundreds of people gathered at the Westin Philadelphia for The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia’s Celebrate Hope luncheon. The annual event recognized The Salvation Army’s 153 of global service to those in need, raised awareness of local programs and services, and honored those dedicated to community service and the betterment of the City of Philadelphia. The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia honors individuals and organizations at its annual luncheon that demonstrate exceptional altruism.  This year’s honorees are Unidos Pa’PR and Sharmain Matlock-Turner.


Doing The Most Good Award

Representatives of Unidos Pa’ PR accept the Doing The Most Good award on May 14, 2018

Unidos Pa’PR was awarded the “Doing The Most Good” award, named for the distinguished men, women and organizations whose direction and compassion reflect The Salvation Army’s mission. Unidos Pa’PR is a coalition of community organizations, civic leaders, community leaders, government agencies, and advocates who came together to raise funds and donations to support storm-ravaged Puerto Rico. Together, they worked to draw attention to the crisis and support Puerto Rico in the relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane María.

Unidos Pa’ PR partnered with The Salvation Army because of its longstanding roots across the island. Unidos Pa’ PR launched a fundraising campaign, and in a relatively

Aaron Cohen, Advisory Board Chair

short amount of time, raised more than $376,000, of which they donated $60,000 to The Salvation Army for Hurricane Maria relief efforts. They helped The Salvation Army facilitate valuable partnerships with Coca Cola which transported goods to the island, and with American Airlines which provided low and no-cost transportation to and from Puerto Rico. Unidos also generously donated in-kind items and food to The Salvation Army for Hurricane Maria relief efforts on the island – and sent its own members to volunteer with The Salvation Army on the ground in some of the hardest hit communities.


Others Award

Sharmain Matlock-Turner

The Salvation Army’s Others Award was bestowed on Sharmain Matlock-Turner for her extraordinary spirit of service to “others,” and exceptional service to the community. Matlock-Turner is the President and CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition. She began her tenure at the Coalition in March of 1999, with a special distinction as the first woman to lead in the organization’s 47-year history. The Urban Affairs Coalition, formerly GPUAC, unites government, business, neighborhoods, and individual initiative to improve the quality of life in the region. The organization has successfully managed more than $1 billion in social capital over its 48 year history. She currently serves as Chair of the FMC Tower at Cira Centre South and the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia at Market East Economic Opportunity Oversight Committees. She is a member of the 2016 DNC Diversity Committee and the Comcast Economic Opportunity Oversight Committee. Ms. Matlock-Turner holds a BS degree in Education from Temple University. In 2014 she received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Peirce College. She is a Senior Fellow at the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.


Mayor Jim Kenney

“Unidos Pa’PR and Sharmain Matlock-Turner both embody an extraordinary spirit of service to our community and The Salvation Army. We are proud to honor them at our Celebrate Hope luncheon,” said Major A. Philip Ferreira, Director of Operations, The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia.


The Salvation Army’s Impact in Greater Philadelphia

Proceeds from the luncheon benefit The Salvation Army’s many programs and services for the less fortunate.  Over the past year, The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia has provided more than 252,000 meals to those facing the threat of hunger and 250,000 collective nights of shelter to individuals and families with no place to go.  More than 30,000 local individuals received case management support and linkage to resources to help them in times of crisis.

The Salvation Army also provided assistance to 11,600 individuals at Christmas and 25,300 toys and gifts so families in need could have the Christmas they deserve. When emergencies took Greater Philadelphia by surprise and left victims at a loss, The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services was there providing food, shelter, clothing, and spiritual comfort to thousands. This is all thanks to the work of more than 9,000 volunteers who selflessly dedicated 49,082 hours and countless amounts of energy to the cause of simply “Doing the Most Good” for those in need.


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