ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – After serving more than 93,000 meals and providing a combined 16,000 nights of shelter throughout the 2021 year, the Salvation Army of Abilene wants to do more.

Since the new year, the Salvation Army of Abilene has upped the ante on that mission to increase meals served and expand their offered shelter.

The charitable organization is set to host its Doing the Most Good Dinner Tuesday, May 10.

Click here to purchase tickets and get additional information.

Captain Josh McKain, leading over the Salvation Army, told KTAB/KRBC the center helped him in more ways than just a meal.

“I remember the first day, March 3rd 2008, walking through the door of the Salvation Army there and above the door it read, ‘center of hope,'” Capt. McKain recalled. “And it was real special for me… Because I literally had no hope.”

At 21 years old, Capt. McKain sought help from the Salvation Army. He said he was homeless and battling an addiction with methamphetamines.

“That was actually my fifth treatment center I tried to go through, You know. I knew at that point in my life if something didn’t change, I was on my way to prison or I was on my under,” Capt. McKain admitted.

When the 21-year-old McKain joined the Salvation Army’s program, he said it had strict rules. He wasn’t allowed any outside contact for two weeks.

After those two weeks, on his 22nd birthday, he received a birthday card from his mother, he said he’d never forget.

“For the first time in a long time, she said ‘I’m proud of you.’ I hadn’t heard that in a while,” Capt. McKain said. “I just remember thinking, ‘wow, my mom is proud of me!'”

Cap. McKain said that birthday card was lifechanging.

Another life-altering moment for the captain was a song he heard in Sunday School after on of their regular Recovery Church services. It’s a song known by all, “Jesus Loves Me.”

“I took that to heart,” Capt. McKain said with an affirming sense of confidence. “And [I] thought, ‘God really does love me!'”

Two years after he entered the doors of the Salvation Army, Capt. McCain said he had his life back on track and met his wife in the process- who was a fifth generation officer.

Captains Rachel and Joshua McKain made their way to Abilene in 2019 and used their different backgrounds to create a new vision for Abilene’s Salvation Army.

“We could be using these [apartments] to serve others, and we wanted to expand that,” Capt. Rachel McKain explained.

The Salvation Army of Abilene provided nearly 16,000 nights worth of shelter in 2021 and anticipates to provide more in 2022, through their fundraiser dinner in May.

“This project will open up three apartments to better suit those individuals,” Capt. Josh McKain said. “And we can better accommodate their needs.”

Donations are being accepted now. The Salvation Army of Abilene told KTAB/KRBC one donor pledged to match donations up to $250,000.

The Doing the Most Good dinner aims to raise funds to expand shelters and other operations. That fundraising event will be held at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 10 at 201 Mesquite Event Center.

Click here to purchase tickets and get additional information.

Speaking at the event, former Dallas Cowboy and NFL Hall of Famer, Drew Pearson.

At last update, the Salvation Army of Abilene raised $63,000 of its $100,000 goal for its $1,100,000 Shelter Expansion Project.