"Society doesn't give you a chance," says David Cantello, an adherent of the Philadelphia (Roxborough Citadel), Pa., Corps. "But The Salvation Army does."
Nine years ago, David and his wife, Bonnie, were both addicted to drugs and came to The Salvation Army for help.
"We met when we were using together and got clean," David says. Bonnie stopped using drugs 11 years ago; David, 10 years ago.
Through The Salvation Army, he says, "We learned that Jesus loves us."
Bonnie now works for the Norristown, Pa., Corps, and David is an electrician and head foreman at KCL Construction in Wayne, Pa. Their daughter, Deanna, 10, participated in Star Search, level one piano and vocals. The couple have two older sons, David and Mike, from previous marriages.
One of Deanna's buddies is Richard Hayes, who says he is "7 and three-quarters." He placed first in Star Search in level one drama. He acted out the story about the "kid with the lunch" (the feeding of the 5,000). Richard's mom, Kathy, is head of the "Roxborough and More Music Program" at the corps.
Deanna says she's learning about Jesus. Richard says he's known Jesus for himself for about two years now.
"We were driving on the road," he says. "I had heard about Jesus and how he was the Messiah, and I said, 'I might like to be on His team.' "
The Cantellos all say they loved the Family Enrichment Conference.
"I think it's really cool that The Salvation Army got together from the whole Eastern Territory," David says.