And the Kettle Kickoff Talent Is…Enrique Iglesias!

Friday, November 4, 2011

After hours of build up, we are proud to announce that our featured performer for our 15th annual Red Kettle Kickoff is acclaimed pop artist Enrique Iglesias!

Performing at the Dallas Cowboys halftime show on Thanksgiving Day, Enrique is helping us “kick off” the 120th anniversary of the Army’s Red Kettle Campaign. So not only do you get to watch the Cowboys battle the Miami Dolphins, you’ll get to dance off that turkey dinner while Enrique lights up the stage! You won’t want to miss hits from his Euphoria tour, including his newest song about giving back!

“This is a great opportunity – to spend Thanksgiving in Dallas where music, football and helping others truly comes together,” said Enrique.

Fans also have the opportunity to see this entire event LIVE entering our virtual bell ringer contest! You could win an all expenses paid trip to Dallas for the big game and kettle kickoff. All you have to do is sign up as a virtual bell ringer with The Salvation Army Online Red Kettle campaign! The person who collects the highest number of donors to give to their individual kettle will be eligible to win! Visit www.onlineredkettle.org to get started today. Don’t wait too long! The contest ends November 18.

After you’ve counted your blessings and eaten turkey to your heart’s content, help us bring in the Christmas season in style by watching the big game and The Salvation Army kettle kickoff halftime show beginning at 3:00 p.m. CST airing on FOX!

Click Here for our official press release.

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Almost there…Red Kettle Kickoff Talent to be announced TONIGHT!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, photographers and The Salvation Army – Oh My! As promised, we’re *on the scene* blogging live from Madison Square Gardens in New York City and…

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Stay Tuned…Red Kettle Kickoff Talent To Be Revealed Tomorrow!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Just one more day!

We are so eager to tell the world who will be performing at this year’s Salvation Army Kettle Kickoff…but alas, the big news will have to wait until tomorrow!

The kickoff talent will be announced at a press conference at Madison Square Gardens in New York City tomorrow evening. I’ll be live blogging and updating our Facebook and Twitter pages from the scene so you can get all of the updates and video footage in real time!

The Kettle kickoff is one of The Salvation Army’s favorite holiday traditions. Each year, we “kick off” our season of red kettle collections with a promotional concert at the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium on Thanksgiving Day. The talent to-be-revealed will perform live during the game’s halftime show.

Previous acts have included the Jonas Brothers, Carrie Underwood, LeAnn Rimes, Toby Keith, Destiny’s Child, and Keith Urban. Those are tough acts to follow, but we promise – this year’s talent is not to be missed!

Who do you think will be performing? We’d love to hear your guesses! Here’s a hint: the talent is not a country artist/group.

Check back here for updates. You can also find updates on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Ring my Bell: Your Online Red Kettle is Waiting!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Salvation Army red kettles will soon be set up across the country for the holiday season. With over 25,000 collection kettles set up across the country, it’s hard to miss the iconic sights and sounds of a Salvation Army bell ringer outside of your local grocer. Those faithful, sometimes very cold volunteers make The Salvation Army’s work possible. Last year alone we raised $142 million for the poor – all from red kettle collections!

This year, we’re making it as easy as ever for you to spread joy and help others this Christmas.

We’re excited to introduce the latest Salvation Army development: the online red kettle! The new online kettle system allows you to set up your own personal kettle and ring a virtual bell via email and social networking – all from home!

Once you register at www.onlineredkettle.org, you can start an individual, company or team kettle campaign and begin collecting donations from family and friends. Those interested in joining your kettle group can search for your name on the home page. It’s as simple as registering online!

All of the donations that you collect in your kettle will help feed hungry families, provide presents for needy children, heat the homes of struggling senior citizens, and bless millions in need. You can even track your progress and start a little friendly competition– all donations are in real time. Click here to get started.

Join thousands of ringers across the country by becoming a virtual bell ringer today! Your kettle is waiting – visit www.onlineredkettle.org to start spreading the joy! To learn more about how your collections will benefit those in need, please visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org.

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We are Excited to Announce…Honor Society is Back for 2011 Rock the Red Kettle!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Salvation Army must have a slammin’ report card!

We are THRILLED to announce that the band Honor Society will once again headline our 2011 Rock the Red Kettle Tour!!

The guys behind the hit band have been supporting The Salvation Army since 2009 – serving the poor in various cities, making surprise visits at Kroc Centers, helping us feed the hungry, and encouraging young philanthropists! We are so appreciative of their initiative to give back to those in need, especially when they are busy making music and touring the country!

The tour will debut hits off of their acclaimed new album A Tale of Risky Business, Pt. 2 – just released on October 25!
Be sure to mark your calendar! Here are the concert dates:

November 29: Teaneck, New Jersey

November 30: New York City, New York

December 4: West Chester, Pennsylvania

December 5: Vienna, Virginia

December 8: Chicago, Illinois

December 10: Pittsburgh, PA

Don’t forget to RSVP! Click on the dates above to visit the event’s Facebook page. See you there!

For more updates, visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Angel Giving Tree Online Starts Today!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It’s officially on!

The Salvation Army and J.C. Penney Company have once again come together to launch the Angel Giving Tree Online Christmas gift drive!

You can provide Christmas gifts to a disadvantaged child or senior citizen this Christmas season by adopting an angel at www.jcp.com/angel. Once you’ve chosen your angel, you can begin purchasing gifts off of their wish lists. With record numbers of families in need this year, The Salvation Army hopes this year’s Angel Giving Tree will reach millions of children and seniors in need.

Make it a group effort! J.C. Penney has made it easier than ever to adopt. In their third year of supporting the cause, J.C. Penney’s latest angel site allows businesses, organizations and church groups to adopt multiple angels at one time – an effort to encourage adoptions as an annual holiday tradition among supporters.

To get started, visit www.jcp.com/angel. You can even choose your angel based on age, gender and your specific location.

A bonus: You have officially avoided the stress of malls and last minute shopping! But don’t wait too long – the deadline for buying presents for your adoptees is December 9.

With your generosity, you can ensure presents for some very special angels on Christmas morning. Does it get any better than that?

Click Here for our official press release.

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Paper Angels: A Novel by Jimmy Wayne

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Last year we blogged about country singer Jimmy Wayne’s hit single “Paper Angels” – a musical account of Jimmy’s turbulent childhood and his life-changing experience through The Salvation Army’s Angel Giving Tree program.

The acclaimed singer is back with a book by the same name. Paper Angels, out November 1, is a story based on his hit song about an unlikely boy showing a disillusioned businessman about the true meaning of Christmas.

Jimmy co-wrote this novella with fiction author Travis Thrasher. Penning this story was especially significant for Jimmy, a recipient of Christmas presents from The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program as a child. The story reminds us about how simple acts of kindness can forever change the lives of others – the same way Jimmy’s life was forever changed by the kindness of his own ‘Paper Angel’. You can order your copy of this heartwarming story by clicking here.

There are many children and seniors in need. You too can have a meaningful impact on someone’s life this Christmas. By adopting an angel through our Angel Giving Tree, you can change a life! Simply visit www.jcp.com/angel to get started. Many thanks for your support!

Check out the video below to learn more.

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November: National Homeless Youth Awareness Month

Monday, October 31, 2011

November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month.

When you think of a homeless person, it’s difficult to imagine a child fending for themselves on the streets. But did you know that more than 1.5 million children are homeless at some point in their lives? The number is shocking – and apparently increasing – according to The National Center on Family Homelessness.

So…why do they leave their homes?

Many homeless youths are victims of trauma. They come from homes of significant abuse: either their parental figures are abusing substances and/or the child is being abused. Some escape because their families don’t accept them for a variety of reasons. There’s also a large number of youth who are the products of failed juvenile justice. They’ve aged out of the foster care system and are expected to be independent without resources or support.

Not surprisingly, homeless youth can have significant mental health problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, suicidal thoughts, and substance abuse problems. Because of this, they are more susceptible to lives of crime or early parenthood and the vicious cycle of abuse continues.

As Americans, do we trust the system too much? Are we overlooking this blatant need? In the book of Matthew, we are called by Christ to care for children:

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:1-6, 10-14

The Salvation Army has many programs in place that are helping to end the cycles of poverty, abuse and neglect of children. Many Salvation Army units have “Adopt a Child” or “Adopt a Family” programs that allow for donors to directly pay for a child or family in need. Salvation Army transitional housing centers are commonly available in communities for youths and single parent families. Even better, Salvation Army transitional programs often include relevant training. So not only are they meeting their basic needs, younger residents will receive counseling and training to increase cognitive, behavioral, and psychosocial skills to help develop their education and career.

We liked The Salvation Army of Lubbock, TX’s approach to helping youths. Their Red Shield Home Transitional Shelter program gives homeless youths computers and technology classes to help them get a head start at beating cyclical homelessness. The information divide between lower-income and higher-income populations has been directly linked to access to technology. By providing technology for the younger generation, The Salvation Army of Lubbock is actively participating in bettering not only this generation, but generations to follow.

In an effort to combat this end, The Salvation Army also offers youth camps and recreational centers to encourage low-income children to learn new skills and self-reliance. Counselors at these camps encourage spiritual, physical and emotional development.

Finally, many Salvation Army units offer after-school programs that help hinder poor decisions by encouraging children to engage in healthy activities in those unsupervised hours after school.

In summary – there are a variety of programs with which you can help us!

You can get involved in our efforts to support homeless youths and to combat cyclical poverty. Helping financially is often inexpensive. Please consider reaching out to your local unit to find out how you can help “Adopt” a child financially, donate your time or items, or simply lend an ear to a child as a volunteer.

If you’d like to donate online, please visit our Ways to Give page.

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This Weekend: You’re Invited to Kroctoberfest!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Leaves are spinning, the temperatures are dropping, and there’s crispness in the air that stirs up a special nostalgia experienced only in the unique month of October. As we anticipate the coming holidays, newly formed Salvation Army Kroc Centers throughout the country are creating their own fall tradition: KROCTOBERFEST.

The real question remains: Is RJ Kroc of German heritage? Either way, the name is an appropriate title for the annual celebration of fall at the Kroc Centers.

While many Kroc Centers have started their Kroctobers already, this coming weekend is jam-packed with events for the communities surrounding the Centers.

To name just a few, here are some of the Kroc locations offering events this weekend.

San Francisco, CA: Spiders will be spinning webs at the San Francisco Kroc Center’s 4th Anniversary Halloween Carnival, which takes place on Friday, October 28, 2011 from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Admission is free for all children and their families. Children and their families will be able to enjoy a host of activities, food, and games – including bowling, sharp shooter, mini golf, cake walk, ping-pong, and as a special addition the courtyard bounce house. Prizes will also be awarded for the best costumes, with a congratulatory hug from R.J Kroc, our friendly and always-popular 7-foot mascot. Learn more.

Coeur d’Alene, ID: The Kroc Center of Coeur d’Alene is hosting a concert on Friday night, October 28- the Panhandle Polecats will be stirring up some bluegrass for only $8 per ticket. The weekend will conclude with an expected 3,000 guests at gigantic “Wild West” themed Halloween party, complete with bounce houses, booths, movies in the theater, and of course – Mr. RJ Kroc himself! Learn more.

San Diego, CA: On Saturday, October 29, The Kroc Center of San Diego will be hosting the annual Boo Bash Halloween Carnival. From 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., you can enjoy ice-skating, carnival games, bounce houses, rock climbing and, what else? “Trick-or-Treating”! Not a member? The price is only $2 for entrance. Learn more.

Atlanta, GA: The Kroc Center of Atlanta is hosting a Senior Fall Ball on Sunday, October 30th. Guests can enjoy a nice meal, live music and dancing. On October 31, join in the Family Fun! Chosen Vessels, a Christian dance group, will be performing. The night will also include activities for teens and children. Learn more.

Augusta, GA: While “Kroctoberfest” may have happened last Saturday, there is still plenty going on this weekend at The Kroc Center of Augusta. Aptly titled Kroptoberfest, the Center is hosting a scrapbooking party from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., followed by “Trunk or Treat” for members, guests and staff. Child-friendly costumes are welcome and prizes will be awarded. Learn more.

Kerrville, TX: Join the Kroc Center of Kerrville, TX for Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 29. Free and open to the public from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., the event includes games, pumpkin patch, food, face painting, and bounce houses. Learn more.

Omaha, NE: The Kroc Center of Omaha is hosting a Pumpkin Patch Party on Monday, October 31 from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Not a member? The price is only $5 for entry! Also a bonus: The first 200 kids get a free bag of treats. Learn more.

And this isn’t all. There are plenty of events happening this weekend at Kroc Centers nationwide. These events are provided as part of The Salvation Army Kroc Centers’ mission of providing safe and secure family events within communities. We hope you will join in your local Kroctoberfest: celebrating fall, fellowship and friends at your local Kroc Center!

You can find more info on all of the Kroc Centers and their Facebook pages by visiting our website here. Don’t miss out on the family fun!

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Join us for WRAP Week!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Let’s WRAP it up!

The Salvation Army’s Initiative Against Sexual Trafficking is recognizing the 24th annual White Ribbon Against Pornography (WRAP) Week beginning Sunday, October 30. Running through November 6, the week is dedicated to creating awareness of our culture’s pornography problem as well as highlighting the harm done to adults and children alike by exposure to pornography.

The week also serves as a reminder for churches to confront the issue and to call all Christians to renewed lives of sexual purity and freedom.

Believing that pornography is a scourge on society and a distortion of God’s design for human happiness and well being, The Salvation Army’s Anti-Pornography initiative offers information and resources for families to protect themselves and to help others with pornography addiction. The Salvation Army also believes that pornography is one of the many facets of the Human Trafficking epidemic. The anti-pornography program is thus another effort to combat Human Trafficking.

Click here to learn more about The Salvation Army’s role in both of these issues.

Here are a few ways in which you can help raise awareness about this societal problem:

Wear a white ribbon. You can purchase your own at www.wrapfamily.com!
Share the facts! Open the eyes of a friend by simply giving them the low-down on the negative societal effects of pornography. Check out www.TheSalvationArmyUSA.org for a list of resources.
Share a list of resources about sexual addiction treatment services available in your community.
Join the movement: Pray for the freedom of those caught in the spiritual bondage of addiction.
Please join us and many other groups in pledging to take action against pornography throughout the year. For more information on the WRAP campaign, please visit www.moralityinmedia.org

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