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Gym Floors and Sand

As I stand in the gym of our Magness Potter Community Center watching over 100 kids play basketball, learn golf, play volleyball, shoot pool, do jumping jacks, play jump rope, games of tag and tether ball, I can’t help but marvel as to how many kids have graced the floor of this institution.  How many young feet have raced amongst it’s white, yellow, black and red stripes that separate and identify the various games that are to be played?  How many times has a basketball swished through the net or a crowd of children laughed and cheered on the bleachers as their friends poured their heart and soul into a competitive game or just performed one of their favorite songs during a talent show.

The Salvation Army Magness Potter Community Center along with it’s Red Shield Kid’s Club has been serving the Northeast Nashville community since 1940 and has been a witness to the physical, emotional and spiritual growth of it’s children.  Our community center has been a part of rebuilding the lives of many who felt they never stood a chance to get out of their circumstance and excel in this world.  Generations of families have walked the hallways of this center over the years and have served as mentors for those that have followed.  These mentors have allowed others to see that with love, compassion, empathy, structure and most importantly Christ, change is possible and probable!

Over time, the community center through it’s many donors and strong supporters has been able to provide an environment in which children feel “safe” and have the opportunity to be themselves and learn who they were called to be in this world.   We give thanks to “Tiger” Joe Thompson, Adelaide Davis, H. Rodes Hart, William Magness, Potter Foundation, Henry Goodpasture, NFL Quarterback for the Chicago Bears Bill Wade, Barlow Henderson, Mr and Mrs Robert C Hilton, Chippey Grier, Commissioners James and Ruth Osborne, Brigaders Lonnie and Bessie Knight, Sgt Majors “Uncle” Milt and Audrey Servais, Nelson Andrews, Walker Mathews, J. Lawrence, Big Al McCartney, Jerry Binkley, Dan and Margaret Maddox, The Memorial Foundation, Shade Tree Clinic, Tenneessee Titans, Junior League of Nashville, Darrell and Stevie Waltrip, Rudy Kallis, YMCA of Middle Tennessee, The Salvation Army Women’s Auxillary, HCA Foundation, Joe C. Davis Foundation, The Nashville Predators, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Dell Foundation, Lester Robb, United Way/United Giving/Community Chest, Dortch Oldham Sr., Kiwanis Club of Nashville, Jack and Emma Thompson, Vanderbilt University, Belmont University, Tennessee State University and Travecca University.

Just like the grains of sand found on any beach, anywhere in the world contains stories of those who walked across it’s surface so do the many floors of The Salvation Army Magness Potter Community Center and we look forward to what lies ahead!

One thought on “Gym Floors and Sand

  1. On Saturday afternoon, October 16, 2010, hundreds of those feet will cross that gym floor, again, during our annual Red Shield Reunion. They won’t be running and jumping. These will be “kids” who grew up at the old “Red Shield Center” during the 1940s, 50s and 60s. We are brothers and sisters who shared everything The Salvation Army could offer — a little more than our parents had in hand. Times were simpler. The banner above a corridor entrance directed us to “Be the reason somebody’s having a great day.” Sweet memories.

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