Video – Coast Guard builds shelter at the Salvation Army Sallie House in St. Petersburg, Fla.

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater and Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg volunteers completed a playground shelter at the Salvation Army Bob and Margaret Keelean Sallie House, Wednesday.

The project was completed and staffed by members of the sector’s Leadership and Diversity Advisory Council, (LDAC) the Association of Naval Officers (ANSO) Tampa Bay chapter and the Chief’s Call to Indoctrination (CCTI).

Since 2013, in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Coast Guard volunteers helped provide needed services to the Sallie House facility.

“During last year’s MLK event, the Sallie House director mentioned that she always wanted a weather shelter for the children’s playground,” said Chief Warrant Officer Edwin Ramirez, project officer for the build and aviation materiel officer at the air station. “I knew with the caliber of our volunteers, this was a project we could do, so I quickly found local volunteers, drew up plans, submitted permits and worked with local establishments for support.”

The build portion of the project officially started Feb. 19.

“We erected the frame, (time-lapse video) poured concrete and a couple weeks later completed the build. If it wasn’t for our volunteers, this project would never had come to fruition,” said Ramirez.

The Salvation Army’s Sallie House is a safe haven for children, infant to eleven years of age, who have been removed from their home because of abuse, neglect or abandonment. Sallie House was founded in 1990 when The Salvation Army leaders realized that when a child needed to quickly be removed from the home, there was no immediate shelter to take them to while their future family life was determined.

“We are so grateful for the Coast Guard’s partnership with the Salvation Army Sallie House,” said Rose Harris, the Sallie House director. “The Sallie House can be home to up to 24 children ages infant to 17, and thanks to the Coasties we now have a really nice shaded area on our property where our kids can play, sit and do homework, enjoy a snack, and more. We also appreciate the other projects that the local Coast Guard has done for the Sallie House, including hosting a carnival each MLK Day, cleaning the inside of the home, power washing the outside of the building, and more.”

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