About Lee, Hendry & Glades Counties

A Brief history of The Salvation Army of Lee, Hendry, & Glades CountiesEdison_Park_Elementary_School

Historical records about organizing the first corps unit in the city of Fort Myers, Florida document the growing need for the services of  The Salvation Army. News clippings from 1951 report that the informational meeting had to be moved from the Edison Theater on Hendry Street to the larger auditorium facility of the Edison Park School on Euclid Avenue to accommodate the anticipated number of attendees.

Captains Arthur and Viola Sanders established the first post between Sarasota and Miami in Fort Myers. They were joined by names familiar to Fort Myers at the time, such as Frank Alderman, the Reverend Eric Dance, former Mayor Heard Edwards, Lloyd Hendry, former U.S. Senator George Smathers, Harry Kagan, Mrs. George Allen, Charles Powell, and Frank B. Watson Jr.

Captain and Mrs. Sanders began ministering to the needy immediately from the Army’s first headquarters across from the U.S.Post Office (the former Federal Building) on Lee Street. Records note that 300 families were served during the first quarter of operation. Today, more than 300 families are served monthly.

IMG_0033In 1969, The Army established Lee County's first food bank near downtown Fort Myers, on the corner of Jackson and Hendry.

The Sanders worked out of an office on Lee Street. Since the office was small, meetings and early worship services were held under a tent located at the corner of Palmetto and C Streets. From its humble roots on Lee Street, The Salvation Army has expanded several times in its span of service.

Expanded locations

Today, The Army has an expanded campus of social services located on Edison Avenue, including The Red Shield Lodge—a 220–bed residential shelter facility. On the Social Services Campus, The Army also provides Outreach care such as our Client Choice Food Pantry and evening meal program located within Sallly's Cafe and Marketplace. 

Central_store_002_cropped_smIn addition to the central campus, The Army operates three Family Stores: one on South Tamiami Trail in Fort Myers, the second store on Del Prado in Cape Coral and lastly one on Boy Scout Dr in central Fort Myers. The Corps Community and Worship Center is located on McGregor Boulevard.

In the summer of 2004, an outpost for services was added in Bonita Springs. We have been serving the Bonita Springs community since 1994, but had been serving through community centers and public spaces until we were able to secure our own faciility in which to provide services to those in need.

In 2006, The Salvation Army of Lee County officially became The Salvation Army of Lee and Hendry Counties. The Army had worked with community of Hendry County since 1994 through a Service Center in LaBelle. Oversight for this Center was provided through our Divisional Headquarters in Tampa and through a team of dynamic volunteers. However, in 2006, the administration of the LaBelle Service Center was officially transfered to the Lee County Corps. 

In the fall of 2010, the administration of The Army's Service Unit in Clewiston was also transfered from our Divisional Headquarters to the Lee and Hendry County Corps.  The Army has been serving the Clewiston community since 1976 through the work of invaluable volunteers and one staff person.  

Read our FAQs page for answers to common questions about The Salvation Army of Lee, Hendry, and Glades Counties.

For further information regarding the work of The Salvation Army, see below, the links to the home page of the Florida Division, Southern Territory, National or the International web sites.

International Headquarters

National Headquarters

USA Southern Territory

Florida Division


 About Us

90¢ of every dollar raised by the Lee, Hendry, Glades Counties Command is used to sustain life-changing programs that bring hope to hurting souls.

The Salvation Army assists more than 33 million individuals throughout the year in the United States – over 6 million of those during the holiday season alone.

What Others Are Saying

Executive Compensation - what do top officials make at charities?
Scroll through the list researched by The Chronicle of Philanthropy and find The Salvation Army. This list confirms that your donations to The Salvation Army go to programs and services, not to bloated executive salaries.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy
November 16, 2013

"One of the top 10 charities that shine...one that gives supporters more bang for their buck."
Forbes Magazine,
December 2003

The Salvation Army is “America’s favorite and most trusted charity” according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy


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