MIAMI — Debbie Hillestad has been named the new director of the Miami Salvation Army.

She succeeds Marcia Kruse, who had served as interim director for the local unit.

Kruse has served for three years, but has been the volunteer interim director the last two.

“The Salvation Army has thrived under her leadership and care and we are so thankful for her,” said Mike Lillie, who is board president of the local unit.

Kruse stepped down as interim director in May, but recruited Hillestad to be the new director.

Kruse will still volunteer at the local unit, which is located at 217 West Steve Owens Blvd. in Miami.

“I am honored to serve this community as the new Salvation Army director,” Hillestad said. “It is in my heart to get resources to those who need it and to increase the influence and reach of the Salvation Army in our community.

“We have an amazing team and are always looking for more volunteers to ‘do the most good.’”

She has been a member of Miami First Assembly of God for the past 12 years, serving in a variety of ministries, including children’s, youth, worship and missions.

“I have had a heart for missions and serving since the age of 13 and have had many opportunities to serve in other countries, the inner city of Chicago and AOTK (Army of the Kind),” Hillestad said.

The Salvation Army is open Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon — with hopes of adding an additional day.

Hillestad said funds for utilities, rental and mortgage assistance for those affected by COVID-19 are available. Call 918-542-3467 to make an appointment.

A food pantry and clothing are available on a drive-thru basis. Information, including the number of persons in a household and clothing sizes, will be taken over the phone and brought outside.

No clients are allowed in the building unless they are receiving utility or rental assistance.

There also are cleaning supplies, masks and hygiene supplies available.