They were a perfect match—two young people whose love of basketball brought them together to share the ministry of The Salvation Army. Captain Samantha “Sam” Nolan-Jones and Lieutenant Kenneth “Ken” Jones bring their love of the game to the basketball ministry that serves adults and children of Omaha, Nebraska.
As a young girl, Sam found The Salvation Army after the loss of her mother. The Family Support Division of St. Louis recognized she needed guidance and called The Salvation Army for help. The after-school programs offered free music lessons, and Sam learned to play the cornet. She began attending the free music Sundays program, and church attendance followed. After so many hardships, Sam felt the love poured into her from Salvation Army officers, and she is honored to do the same for others.
Ken felt the same love when he went from surviving to thriving through Salvation Army programs. He almost slipped through cracks into drugs and violence, but The Salvation Army saved him by providing what his family could not. As a result, Ken was the first in his family to graduate from high school, attend college, and get married.
Today Captain Sam and Lt. Ken strive to be agents of change in their community. They offer a dynamic basketball ministry to children and adults. The program provides education, scholarships, and the opportunity to engage with other leagues outside of Omaha. God’s House, the basketball court, offers a place for kids to develop, a space free of fear outside of gangs and violence.
A basketball that once was in play at the Omaha (North Side), NE Corps Salvation Army Community Center, this basketball has helped develop basketball skills and helped shape both the values and futures of children and adults.
Gift of Omaha (North Side), NE Corps
A former Creighton University basketball star, Josh Jones, chose to teach children basketball rather than play. As the Community Center Director at the Omaha (North Side), NE Corps, he delights in helping the children build character and grow communication and leadership skills. Josh works with corps officers to develop and grow the future leaders of Omaha.