Local Salvation Army recruits Della Monica
The High Country Salvation Army has been assigned a captain,
the first command staff to be appointed in the area.
"We have seen an increase in demands for our services and the Salvation Army feels that placing an officer in the High Country will allow us to better serve and meet those needs," said Major Kent Davis, corps officer for the Greater Hickory/High Country Salvation Army region.
Capt. Teresa Della Monica is no stranger to the area. She, her husband, Anthony Della Monica, and their son lived in Newland for five years before joining the Salvation Army (SA). Both worked as house parents at Crossnore School.
The Della Monicas became SA captains and have been serving as directors of the Christian camp and conference center in Spain as a part of the missions program for the last two years.
Following the sudden death of her husband in October, the SA asked Della Monica about her preference. The mission post was originally slated to last three years.
"I wanted to come home," she said. Coincidentally, the SA was looking for a captain for the High Country. Della Monica's stepson and daughter-in-law live in Avery County and some family lives in the Charlotte area.
She assumed the post as High Country captain in mid-November, just in time for the holiday season and the busiest time of year for SA.
Della Monica's duties will include serving as the social work director and director of the family store. The social work director meets with clients in need of assistance, be it physical needs, such as clothing or food, or monetary needs like help with utility bills.
All SA captains are pastors and she will offer her services as a pastor when necessary.
"Officers have endless duties," she said. "Whether it is 9 o'clock at night or 9 in the morning, officers get it done.
"I look forward to what the Salvation Army can do in here in this area and where it goes," Della Monica said. The services and outreach of High Country SA may expand with the commission of a captain to the area.
She also said she looks forward to meeting Hispanic families in the community. Della Monica was born in Cuba and came to the United States as a refugee with her parents and siblings in 1966.
She said the transition was difficult and the family experienced name-calling and had to adapt to the different culture. Della Monica was six years old when they sought asylum the U.S.
"But God has been gracious to us," she said.
While living in Avery County previously, Della Monica served as an interpreter at the Avery County courthouse, health department and Cannon Memorial Hospital.
This year, restrictions on travel for Cuban citizens have been lifted, she said. Aunts, uncles and cousins stayed in Cuba and Della Monica remains in contact. She does plan to visit sometime in the future, but for now she will be settling in as High Country SA captain.
"I am really excited about being back here," Della Monica said. "It is truly a blessing to me."