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Chattanooga, Tenn. (WDEF) – Since school is out for the summer, you may be strapped for ideas to keep the kids out of trouble.

The Salvation Army has a suggestion: the pool at the East Lake Center.

Salvation Army Director of Marketing and Development Kimberly George says the youth center gives kids the chance to swim, play basketball, take part in a day-camp or vacation bible school, and just forget about the daily violence plaguing their neighborhoods.

She said, “These kids, they know violence. They’ve seen it. They’ve heard the gunshots, they know some of their friends who have lost their lives and so the Salvation Army realizes that and wants to walk along side of them, and teach them that there’s so much more to life than this violence.”

George says the youth center is one way the Salvation Army can help break the generational cycle of poverty. She added, “It starts with education and having someone as a mentor, like our Salvation Army workers.”

News12 Now also caught up with mother of two Alinda Burton at the pool on the hot Thursday afternoon. She said, “It’s just something creative for them to do constructive, I mean, for them to do, other than just roaming around in East Lake Courts.”

Daughter Kennedy agrees. She said, “I like to come here because it’s fun for us to swim and in the summer they have a camp and they can teach kids, if you don’t know how to swim, they teach you how to swim.”

But of course, running the center costs money. George said, “If you are watching, and this strikes a chord, we need your help. First and foremost we need you to pray for today’s youth, pray for this neighborhood, but also we need your monetary support.”

You can donate to the Salvation Army.

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