Brewing Hope in Portland, OR

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Did you know that coffee is the second-most traded commodity on earth? Most of our favorite pick-me-up is produced in impoverished countries of the “bean belt” – the area between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Back in May, The Salvation Army’s Western Territory shared with us their amazing efforts to support poor coffee producers in Vietnam through their Brewing Hope Initiative.

Supporting this program and going a few steps farther, The Salvation Army of Southeast Portland has really raised the bar – the barista bar that is! Just like your local coffee haunt, they’ve recently built the very first Salvation Army in-store café at their location, serving Salvation Army’s own Brewing Hope coffee! So, after long hours of shopping for all the goods one can expect to find at a Salvation Army thrift store, shoppers can also take a load off, have a latte and take advantage of the free café wifi. What an innovative way to make shopping that much more enjoyable for customers!

Also, money raised at the café will support social programs in Vietnam. Could it get any better?

Check out the pictures from our friends in the Western Territory at their Expect Change Blog Here!

There’s more to the Brewing Hope Coffee than the taste. Want to learn more or order your own? Visit www.dbsthriftconnection.com/brewing-hope.php.

Read More

Update: The Bids are rising!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The competition is heated as folks bid on donated items from “Today” Show anchors and staff. Starting at $0 this morning at 8:00 a.m., bids have exceeded expectations!

Here are the current bids for the auction items:

Matt Lauer: $425

Ann Curry: $2,225

Al Roker: $511

Natalie Morales: 90.99

Savannah Guthrie: $142.50

Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb: $290

Kathie Lee Gifford: $200

Hoda Kotb: $102.50

Lester Holt: $430

Amy Robach: $157.50

Jenna Wolfe: $228.50

There’s still time for you to take part in the auction. Click on a name above or visit www.Ebay.com/SalvationArmyUSA to place your bid on a celebrity package – each containing very unique items! All proceeds will be donated directly to The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers – we think that’s a pretty good trade!

Read More

Get Ready to Bid! Today Show Auction Benefiting Salvation Army Begins Wednesday

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ever dreamed of owning something that belonged to a celebrity? How about tennis rackets, cowboy hats, and shoes of the stars? Your time has come! NBC’s Today Show has partnered with The Salvation Army and Ebay to host an online auction called “Today’s” Tag Sale.

All items up for bid belong to NBC anchors and staff and all proceeds will go directly to The Salvation Army. So not only could you own that autographed bobble head of Al Roker that you’ve been searching for, but the money you spend will be donated directly. Within an on-going recession, tag sales and yard sales are increasingly popular – and people are starting to realize that they can find some real steals.

Get your Pocket Books Ready – The sale starts Wednesday, October 5 at 8 a.m. ET.!

If you’d like to bid on the items below, please visit www.ebay.com/TheSalvationArmyUSA. You can also click on the familiar names below!

Here’s a rundown on the items up for bid:

Matt Lauer:

Beaded face of Matt Lauer – done by a local artist on Matt’s ‘Where in the World’ trip to Capetown, South Africa
Two Matt Lauer ties – one purple, one blue
Boomerang from a ‘Where In the World’ Trip
Ann Curry

Torch carried by Ann Curry at the Salt Lake City Olympic Games, 2002
Two pairs of heels
Pink mariachi hat
Al Roker

Autographed Bobble Head of ‘Al’
Special Edition Elvis Mr. Potato Head – original package
Matchbox collector’s car – 50th Anniversary of Today and Matchbox.
Natalie Morales

Olympic vest – Vancouver, 2010
Autographed tennis racket
Natalie’s golf shoes (by Foot Joy)
Savannah Guthrie

Cuba leather handbag
Salano hair dryer – for that ‘Anchor Hair’ look; this dryer has travelled all around the world with Savannah
Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb

Autographed bowling pins featured in a bowling shoot.
Kathie Lee Gifford

Kathie Lee’s Dresses – five of them!
Necklace
Hoda Kotb

Autographed cowboy hat (from shoot with Kathie Lee in San Antonio Texas . Hoda: “We drank a lot of margaritas in this hat. It’s a party hat…you have to have a huge head to wear this hat.”
Hoda Cabbage Patch Kid – in Hoda’s ‘likeness’
Large wine goblet with ‘Hoda’ on it
Bonus: signed book about New Orleans
Lester Holt

Autographed Ibanez Bass Guitar (Lester is a great bass player; this is a practice guitar he keeps in the office -like new!
Amy Robach

Beth Rowley coat – size 2
Coach leather bag
Bonus items: two necklaces and earrings
Jenna Wolfe

Leather racing suit, including jacket, pants and size 7 boots (Jenna
rode and raced in this suit along the Pacific Coast Highway
Bonus item: Yellow Softball when Jenna played with the
US Olympics Women’s Team (Vancouver); autographed by Jenna

Read More

Now That’s a Dedication!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Kroc Center of Greenville, SC certainly knows how to throw a party! Last weekend, the brand-new Center hosted a three-day extravaganza of events to formally welcome the community and to celebrate the long-awaited opening. But I suppose after seven years of planning, fundraising and waiting – the party was richly deserved!

Appropriately named Kroctoberfest, the weekend offered just about any form of entertainment you could fancy. The opening gala on Thursday night presented live and silent auctions with proceeds benefitting the many programs that will be offered at the Center. Special guests George Hincapie, Tour de France champion, and Jane Robelot, nationally acclaimed television news correspondent, were among the VIPs at the event.

Area kids enjoyed soccer and tennis clinics, arts and crafts, zumba dance parties, and basketball in the gymnasium. Not to be dismayed: the 76,000-square-foot facility also boasts a 25 yard lap pool with a water slide, a boys and girls club, a fitness center, and an impressive theater and worship center – all to be enjoyed at the grand opening October 17.

Along with touring the facilities, guests enjoyed an inspiring concert from the Greenville Symphony Orchestra on Saturday afternoon – the first live performance in the Collins Performing Arts & Worship Center.

The weekend appropriately ended on Sunday with a worship service- the first ever at the Kroc Center. A dedication ceremony followed the service with 150 community members witnessing the ribbon cutting- symbolizing the end of seven years’ hard work.

Did you know that there are several Kroc Center locations? As part of Joan Kroc’s vision, the Kroc Centers are strategically placed in communities that prove the most need and sustainability, capable of organizing, fundraising and establishing community support. Good job, Greenville, for making Joan Kroc’s dream a reality!

Click Here to learn more about membership.

Read More

Talented AND Trendy? You’re Hired!

Monday, October 3, 2011

If interviewing for a job isn’t stressful enough by itself, there’s nothing worse than the distraction of insecurity about how you appear. I’ve been there, sitting across from three interviewers looking “sharp” until I realize half-way through the “what are your weaknesses?” question that I have a gigantic gaping hole in my pantyhose. So big that I can only assume I was inconspicuously attacked by a small cougar on my way into the meeting. The remaining half-hour was spent with me attempting to pull my skirt down far enough to cover the hole. It wasn’t doing the trick and needless to say, the interview was all downhill from there.

Confidence is definitely a necessary attribute for landing the job you want. And The Salvation Army of Massillon, OH is dishing it out with their new Working Clothing Closet program. Area residents who are eligible for participation in the program can receive three professional outfits, shoes and accessories.

After realizing the need for the program amid the recession and noticing a perfectly good, unused storage room at their new building, Salvation Army employees put their plan into action. With help from local non-profit Quota Club, the storage facility was redesigned in boutique-fashion complete with comfortable changing rooms and decor. Salvation Army employees sorted through hoards of clothes to find the business-appropriate selections that would be of interest to the female participants.

We’re always amazed at the ingenuity behind programs like this and the love that is outpoured from the community involved – evident at Salvation Army locations nationwide. What a neat way to fill the need!

There are two amazing results of your donation at your local Salvation Army Thrift Store: First, you fill a local need and make programs possible like the Working Clothing Closet mentioned above. Secondly, the profit made from re-selling your donated clothes directly funds our Adult Rehabilitation Clinics. Click Here to Learn More.

Read More

Salvation Army Promotes Ways to Work Program

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Salvation Army of Chicago, IL partnered with Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois on Monday to launch Ways to Work, a program that offers low-interest loans to low-income working parents with bad credit. The program, which is funded primarily by federal, state and local government and loaned more than $58 million to more than 27,000 families since its beginning, enabling parents to buy or repair used cars.

The goal of the program is to help improve borrowers’ credit scores as well as to encourage self-sufficiency and meaningful employment. The primary recipients of the program are single mothers who struggle to meet the demands of both work and family life.

Click Here to Read the Full Article.

The program also includes financial education designed to encourage better borrowing habits and gives recipients the right understanding of credit moving forward. The Salvation Army has partnered with Ways to Work to help administer the program.

“With as many as one in six Americans living in poverty, we need to do everything we can to help parents hold down their jobs and provide a stable home for their families, and that often starts with reliable transportation,” said Lt. Col. Ralph Bukiewicz, Commander of The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division. “This program also offers an alternative to predatory lenders who charge exorbitantly high interest rates that only push families further into debt.”

As the recession continues to impact families across the nation, The Salvation Army has launched several programs to teach individuals how to manage personal and family finances. By offering classes on financial literacy, the credit system and money management – The Salvation Army’s “Teach a Man to Fish” initiative has helped many people reduce their dependency on social service programs. Click Here to Learn More.

To learn more about Ways to Work or how to apply, please call The Salvation Army at 1 877-601-ARMY or Lutheran Child and Family Services at 1-800-363-LCFS.

Read More

I’ll take my donation with pickles, please.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Salvation Army of Milwaukee, WI invites you to buy a burger at popular joint AJ Bombers on Friday, October 14. What’s just a bit more satisfying than a fresh, juicy burger? I digress.

You might be saying, “Donate and pay for delicious food? I simply can’t afford it! Also, I’m on a diet!” But not to worry, burger lovers. Your donation is included in the price so there’s no guilt in this diet splurge.

$1 from every “Sal” burger purchased between 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm that night will go directly to the Milwaukee Salvation Army Emergency Lodge and homeless services. That might be the only thing more fulFILLING than the Milwaukee Burger!

Now you might be asking, “What’s a ‘Sal’ burger?”

A delicious combo of pepperjack cheese, lettuce, tomato, fried onion strings, bomber sauce and optional jalapeño peppers awaits you. Or, try one of the regular, nevertheless delicious burger options on the AJ Bomber’s menu.

Not a foodie? Raffle tickets will also be sold to win sports memorabilia, game tickets and more- with all proceeds benefiting The Salvation Army

Housing over 2,000 people every year, The Salvation Army Emergency Lodge of Milwaukee provides temporary shelter, meals and counseling for the homeless as well as support for children dealing with family crisis. Counseling includes case management services that help to pinpoint the factors that are causing homelessness for the individual.The Lodge’s ultimate goal is to get people back in the community with housing and the right mindset and values moving forward. Residents in the 120-bed facility also have access to job development and placement counseling. Click here to learn more!

We hope you’ll help us to continue providing care for Milwaukee’s homeless population.

AJ Bombers is located at:

1241 N. Water Street

Milwaukee, WI 53202

See you there!

Read More

Project KNOT: A Quick Success in Indianapolis

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Last week, The Salvation Army of Eagle Creek, IN teamed up with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) and Marion University to celebrate an exciting new partnership called Project KNOT: Kids and Neighborhood Outreach and Training. The alliance was formed in an effort to keep kids out of trouble within the hours after school by providing them with a safe and structured environment.

Kids who take part in Project KNOT after school can choose how they want to spend their time, whether it’s working on their homework with help from instructors, participating in group activities, playing on the complimentary computers, or simply relaxing.

To celebrate the new community goal and to kick off the program, all three organizations (including several IMPD officers!) hosted a block party last week complete with food, games, prizes and The Salvation Army’s renowned giant Red Kettle Bounce House.

Check out the photos here.

“It was also a great opportunity to show the neighborhood and the people that we are willing to work with others,” said Captain Amos Shiels, Corps Officer at The Salvation Army Eagle Creek. “I am excited about what the future holds for Eagle Creek, and I am grateful to be a part of the ministry here.”

On the day after the event, 17 new kids showed up for the after-school program ready for fun and snacks. And now they need volunteers! If you’d like to help support Project KNOT by donating your time, please contact Captain Amos Shiels by calling 317-299-4454.

Read More

Meet me in St. Louis

Monday, September 26, 2011

The following was contributed by Marcia Larson, Salvation Army National Advisory Board Member. Marcia attended The Salvation Army’s NAB meeting in St. Louis September 15-17, 2011 and blogged about her experience. Her reflections on the trip are below.

Click Here to read her blog.

I felt a little bit like Saul Thursday morning at the NAB induction. Not Saul chasing after David. But early Saul.

The Saul who at the beginning of 1 Samuel is tapped by God to step up to leadership and responds, “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin?

Later, Saul runs over and hides in the luggage (chapter 18).

I didn’t hide in my suitcase Thursday morning but was tempted; because it is a tremendous privilege and honor to serve on the Salvation Army NAB with people who possess years of professional experience, spiritual maturity that only comes from life experiences, and years / even generations of commitment to the Army.

It is humbling to be asked. And as Mark Abels likes to remind me, “I’m not old.” Not very experienced. And yet you’ve welcomed a 32-year-old single woman so warmly and lovingly to your ranks. Thank you.

The Salvation Army brings a cup of cold water…in Jesus’ name. And you don’t forget the “in Jesus’ name” part. While on a mission project in Tanzania last month I held an orphan whose mother tried to sell her to be offered up for human sacrifice. As I held Rehema, I immediately began to think of all the diapers, clothes, shoes, schooling costs, and physical need. And then the Holy Spirit stopped me. “Those are good things Marcia, important things, but what’s the best thing? What’s the everlasting thing?”

What we bring to orphans like Rehema, what the Army brings to the hurting around the world is not just physical sustenance. Because buildings fall down. Clothes wear out.

What the Army brings first and foremost is what 1 Peter 1:3 & 4 calls “ the living hope of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, an inheritance that does perish, spoil, or fade.”

The past three days in St. Louis brought new friends, new issues to think about, new experiences into my life. I ate fried pickles. Smiled for all of Marlene’s pictures. Taught Sally how to “tweet,” talked with Jim Nordstrom about customer service, learned about Kenya from Commissioner Roberts, worshipped at the Gateway Center, stayed in a room the size of my NY apartment, drank lots of coffee, and even had a marriage proposal.

Coming back to NY, it’s back to The Wall Street Journal – bringing news to the world.

But going forward I’ll now be serving on committees of the NAB that bring the Good News of the Gospel. The best news.

Thank you for this opportunity to fulfill the Great Commission through the work of The Salvation Army as we do the most good, for the Most High.

Read More

Cultivating a Future

Monday, September 26, 2011

Congrats to the newest graduates of The Chattanooga Salvation Army’s Culinary School! Most graduates have planned for years for such a milestone. For the record 614 grads that received their diplomas last week, this was a rather unexpected achievement.

Just 15 weeks earlier, students like Chef Augusto Rivera were out of life options. A sordid past of drugs, alcohol and homelessness had him questioning where he would live or to whom he would turn. A time-to-time recipient of Salvation Army meals, his decision one day to instead serve the food sparked a desire within him to cook. When The Salvation Army’s Culinary School Program became available, he made a decision to completely turn his life around.

Thanks to the training he received through The Salvation Army Culinary Program, Augusto’s newly-honed skills landed him a job as Assistant to Class Instructor Chef Terry Epps.

Augusto is just one example of many newly-trained chefs who, amid unforgettable pasts of unfortunate events or poor life decisions, desire to end their homelessness, addictions and sadness.

Chef Terry is proud of his class- especially since all 614 have been hired since graduating!

Congrats, Grads!

Check out the full news story here.

For more information on The Salvation Army’s Programs, Click Here.

Read More