Breaking Down the Racial Divide

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

In Charlotte, North Carolina, The Salvation Army set out to serve a large, underserved Hispanic community that had been the target of much tension and violence.

A single, two-bedroom unit in the community’s apartment complex looked like any other unit from the outside, but inside it became known as a safe place that offered afterschool tutoring, games, counseling, and much more for struggling Latino families.

The Salvation Army’s Hispanic Ministry has only been running for about a year, but there’s already a noticeable sense of stability and safety that’s resulted. However, there’s one effect of the outreach that neither the neighborhood nor The Salvation Army expected – a significant decline in racial tension.

The once troubled relationship between the African-American and Hispanic apartment residents has been transformed. Where suspicion and division once dominated, there’s now friendship and a sense of community.

It’s felt by the neighbors, their little children and their teenagers, and yes, even the complex’s landlord. They explain why in this inspiring story from the Charlotte Observer: Outreach Brings Latino and Black Youths Together

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Boys & Girls Club Teen Honored with Trip to Disney World

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thousands of people have seen Ramone Malone in a Salvation Army national commercial shown last Christmas. It features the faces of people helped by The Salvation Army and ends with Ramone saying “thank you.”

Imagine receiving a complimentary weekend at Disney World for you and your family for just being yourself. For high school senior Ramone Malone it was a reality. Ramone, his mother Christi, and his eight year-old brother Ja’Shaun, enjoyed a weekend trip to Disney World recently as a gift from The Salvation Army, but the journey really started when Christi enrolled him at age five at The Salvation Army North Mabee Boys & Girls Club in Tulsa, Okla. To kick off the weekend, the story of Ramone’s life was told in video and narrative in front of more than 2,000 people who attended The Salvation Army National Advisory Organizations Conference (NAOC) at Disney World.

Ramone Malone, Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club Member, spoke to more than 2,000 people at the Army’s NAOC Conference.

Ramone’s story included overcoming challenges shared by many inner-city youth who join Boys & Girls Clubs; growing up with a single mom and living in a poor neighborhood where violence is not uncommon. Ramone, wearing a North Mabee club T-shirt, walked on the stage with Salvation Army Tulsa Area Commander Major Roy Williams. Two room-sized video screens flashed with photos of Ramone from when he was a baby to when he played on his high school football team. After his life story was told, he thanked The Salvation Army and the North Mabee Boys & Girls Club for helping him. The crowd gave him a standing ovation.

Ramone has been accepted to North Eastern Oklahoma State University in the fall and is looking forward to studying business and perhaps playing basketball. After the presentation at the conference, Ramone, Christi and Ja’Shaun, received a “Park Hopper” pass that took them everywhere they wanted to go in Disney World for two days. Ramone, with characteristic optimism, said he wanted to ride all the rides, but it’s likely that the ride of his life was when 2,000 people stood up and applauded him on Saturday morning – for just being himself.

Sallie Godwin is PR Director at the Tulsa Area Command. Sallie began her career as a newspaper reporter and enjoys writing and shooting photographs for six Boys & Girls Clubs and the Center of Hope homeless shelter in Tulsa. She also writes posts for salarmytulsa.blogspot.com.

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How to Be A Do-Gooder

Friday, May 13, 2011

As we celebrate National Salvation Army Week across the country, Detroit has made the annual tradition their own through their unique “Doing the Most Good” Week. Though the campaign is unique to the city, their tips are applicable to any and all social-minded Samaritans.

DMG Week encourages past, present and future do-gooders to do something positive for their community. It’s as simple as opening a door for someone or as involved as hosting a food drive. The bottom line is there’s always an opportunity to help others and serve the disadvantaged.

We’ve listed several ideas offered by The Salvation Army Detroit to help you get started in “Doing the Most Good” wherever you live. And while you’re at it, let us know how you’re having a positive impact! Tell The Salvation Army Michigan on their Facebook wall or @Salmich on Twitter, or share on our national Salvation Army USA Facebook page and @SalvationArmyUS on Twitter.

* When you buy in bulk, share your surplus by dropping off any non-perishable food item to your local Salvation Army.
* Bring flowers to work and share them with your coworkers.
* Volunteer to be a tutor in a Salvation Army after-school program.
* Join The Salvation Army in their visits to sing to seniors and residents of nursing homes.
* Offer a couple of hours of baby-sitting service to friends and family.
* Have a Salvation Army Doing the Most Good Day at work, with employees bringing nonperishable food and toys to donate to the charity.
* Pay a compliment to someone at least once a day.
* “Dial a smile” and call or visit a housebound person or older relative.
* Say something nice to everyone you meet.
* Volunteer at your local Salvation Army Corps Community Center.
* Give the gift of your smile to everyone you meet.
* Do the WRITE thing by sending a few kind words and a cookie or two to our soldiers overseas, especially on May 21, 2011, which is Armed Forces Day.
* Tell your husband/wife or children why you love them.
* Give your stuff a second life by donating old clothes to The Salvation Army Family and Thrift Stores.
* Tell your coworkers that you think they’re doing a good job.
* Give toys to children at a Salvation Army shelter.
* For one week, act on every single thought of generosity that comes in your heart. Notice what happens.
* Get an A for effort by helping The Salvation Army’s after-school programs. By donating as little as $25, you’re helping a child attend an after-school program at one of The Salvation Army’s Corps Community Centers.
* Relinquish a parking spot to someone at the mall.
* Say thank you.
* While in a restaurant, pay for the meals at another table. Instruct the waitress to give you that table’s check, quietly without notice.
* Cut someone’s grass or weed or plant flowers in someone’s garden.
* Drop off a bag of groceries on someone’s doorstep.
* Go to a nursing home and bring an anonymous bouquet of flowers
* Put quarters in expired or about-to-be-expired parking meters.

Have more ideas? Share them with us by leaving a comment.

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Did You Know, Pt. 5: The Gift of Kroc

Friday, May 13, 2011

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Did you know that Joan Kroc, widow of McDonalds’ founder Ray Kroc, gave one of the largest charitable gifts in history to The Salvation Army? Click on our National Salvation Army Week ‘Did You Know’ video to find out more!

* Beaumont, TX: The Salvation Army will host the second annual Kids Book Fair on Friday, May 13, at the Point North Housing Complex.

* Modesto, CA: The Salvation Army’s Red Shield youth members will provide a Boxing Demonstration at the Vintage Faire Mall on May 14.

* Nashville, TN: The Nashville Sounds minor league baseball team will host The Salvation Army as Charity of the Night on Saturday, May 14. The Army will host a booth at the stadium featuring activities and giveaways for families and kids as the Sounds take on the Sacramento Rivercats.

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Did You Know, Pt. 4: Red Kettle

Thursday, May 12, 2011

How has a crab pot transformed millions of lives? The answer is found in today’s National Salvation Army Week video!

For more information about The Salvation Army, visit our national website at www.salvationarmyusa.org. You can also find us on Facebook @SalvationArmyUSA and on Twitter@salvationarmyus.

• San Francisco, CA: The Salvation Army will team up with the Rotary Club of San Francisco, NPS Presidio Park Police and Sports Basement for the third Annual “Bike Build” on May 14 to provide 75 underprivileged children from San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood with new bikes and helmets.

• Tyler, TX: The Salvation Army of Tyler will host the “Doing The Most Good” luncheon, a community fundraiser, on Thursday, May 12. All week, the Army will also be running PSAs featuring advisory board members, employees and others sharing their experiences with The Salvation Army.
• Nashville, TN: The Nashville Sounds minor league baseball team will host The Salvation Army as Charity of the Night on Saturday, May 14. The Army will host a booth at the stadium featuring activities and giveaways for families and kids as the Sounds take on the Sacramento Rivercats.

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Did You Know, Pt. 3: On the Wagon

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ever wonder where the phrase “on the wagon” came from? We have the answer for you in today’s National Salvation Army Week video.

Fun-filled activities are still going strong all over the country as we say ‘thanks’ to our local communities and supporters. Contact your local Salvation Army if you’d like to get involved or learn more about our missions to serve people in need in Christ’s name – we’d love to have you!

Here’s how a handful of our local corps are celebrating National Salvation Army Week today:

* Auburn, CA: On Wednesday, May 11 the Auburn Corps will host a Celebration Breakfast at the Ridge Golf Course to honor volunteers and supporters.

* Houston, TX: On Wednesday, May 11, the third Annual Citywide Art Contest Reception for The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club will recognize young artists and their work. Winners at the event will have their artwork displayed at One Allen Center in downtown Houston.

* Las Vegas, NV: The annual Salvation Army Clark County Awards Luncheon in Las Vegas will honor donors, volunteers and other supporters of the Army from the past year on Wednesday, May 11 at the Texas Station-Dallas Ballroom. In addition, the Army will award the “Partner in Mission” award to the individual whose contributions to the Army had great impact in the local community.

* Texarkana, TX: On Wednesday, May 11, the Army will host a block party across the street from the Texarkana Corps, with food, games, music, tours of the center and a devotional.

To learn more about The Salvation Army, visit our national website at www.salvationarmyusa.org. You can also find us on Facebook @SalvationArmyUSA and on Twitter@salvationarmyus.

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Tonight: Grab Your Remote and Tune In

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

We don’t usually make requests like this on our blog, but today we have a great reason…

Be sure to watch the new NBC hit show “The Voice” Tuesday, May 10 (tonight!) at 10pm ET/ 9pm CT.

We’ll be rooting for Minneapolis musician Tim Mahoney as he performs tonight. Not only is he talented, he’s also been a Salvation Army bell ringer for Twin Cities Salvation Army since 2007 and regularly raises money for the organization through live performances.

What’s not to love? Grab your remote and help us show some love to our talented ringer and singer Tim!

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Did You Know, Pt. 2: Ground Zero

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Did you know more than 40,000 Salvation Army personnel and volunteers served the needs of responders for nine months at Ground Zero following the 9/11 terror attacks? The Salvation Army’s service after the attacks on the Twin Towers was their largest mobilization ever on US soil.

This is just another interesting fact we’re sharing in honor of National Salvation Army Week taking place May 9 -15. To learn more about this annual tradition, click here.

We’re celebrating all across the country by saying thanks to our volunteers, supporters, and clients! Here are just a few of several events going on:

• Guayama, Puerto Rico: The Guayama Corps will host a variety of events including “The Lassies and the Doughnut” on Tuesday, May 10 – a night honoring Salvation Army lassies who provided doughnuts to American soldiers during WWI – and a free concert featuring Christian singer Miriam Cortés on Saturday, May 14.

• Syracuse, NY: The Salvation Army of Syracuse will partner with P&C Food & Pharmacy to deliver free doughnuts throughout the week as a special thanks and symbol of friendship to community members for their continued support.

• Yuba City, CA: The Salvation Army will host a “Progressive Dinner” on Tuesday, May 10. Attendees will begin at the Corps’ Social Services office for appetizers and then “progress” to the Depot Family Crisis Center for dinner.. From there, attendees will progress to the Transitional Housing program to tour the program and have dessert.
• Galveston County, TX: The Salvation Army will thank community partner banks all week by serving coffee and doughnuts in the morning and ice cream in the afternoon from a canteen at each location. Partner banks include Texas First Bank, HomeTown Bank, Frost Bank and Moody National Bank.

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Happy National Salvation Army Week!

Monday, May 9, 2011

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Today’s no ordinary Monday – it’s the first day of our 58th annual National Salvation Army Week! Every year we use this week to say ‘thank you’ to our volunteers, donors, and beneficiaries who have enabled us to serve in the United States for more than 130 years!

Typically observed in the second week of May, National Salvation Army Week was first declared by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954. In the proclamation, Eisenhower noted: “Among Americans, The Salvation Army has long been a symbol of wholehearted dedication to the cause of human brotherhood . . . Their work has been a constant reminder to us all that each of us is neighbor and kin to all Americans, giving freely of themselves, the men and women of The Salvation Army have won the respect of us all.”

Everyday this week we’ll post on our national website a Salvation Army “Did You Know video,” and on our blog we’ll list Salvation Army Week events going on around the country. We hope you’ll celebrate this long standing tradition with us and learn something new in the process. Check our blog, website, and social media sites each day for new fun facts!

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Racing with Faith in Richmond

Thursday, May 5, 2011

[Getting ready to head to NASCAR.]
From L to R: Andy, Jeff, Robert, and Major Wayne give big smiles outside The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club before they head to NASCAR.

Two more Salvation Army youth enjoyed an unforgettable opportunity thanks to the generosity of NASCAR driver Morgan Shepherd and his Victory in Jesus Racing Team!

Morgan invited the two Boys and Girls Club members, 11 year-old Andy and 14 year-old Robert of Richmond, VA, to the NASCAR Nationwide Series BUBBA Burger 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Accompanied by The Salvation Army’s Major Wayne McHargue and Jeff Baldwin, they received Pit Passes to experience NASCAR the way few people have the chance.

[NASCAR Track]
Thanks to their Pit Passes, the guys watched the race from inside the track. What a view!

[Morgan Shepherd's #89 Race Car]
There it is – Morgan Shepherd’s #89 Victory in Jesus Race Car…

The guys had access to behind-the-scenes action, watching as crews prepped the cars and officials conducted pre-race inspections. They saw NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty, and they even met Morgan Shepherd and hung out in his trailer. Afterward, the group watched qualifying runs and the race in the pit area inside the track!

[Morgan Shepherd poses with Andy and Robert.]
…and here’s the driver himself, Morgan Shepherd, with Andy and Robert!

[Watching the race]
Robert (shown) and Andy were amazed at how LOUD the cars were and how fast they sped around the track. A NASCAR official gave them ear plugs to help drown out the roar of the race.

Andy, Robert and The Salvation Army are extremely grateful for this opportunity that we know these young men will not forget!

We also want to say thank you to Morgan Shepherd and the Race with Faith team for generously donating the hood of their Nationwide Series race car to The Salvation Army. To learn more about Shepherd’s Racing ministry and partnership with The Salvation Army, please visit www.racewithfaith.com.

For more information about The Salvation Army’s work in the Richmond area, visit The Salvation Army’s Central Virginia Area Command on their website here, or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RichmondSalvationArmy or on Twitter at twitter.com/SalArmyRichmond.

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