Happy Birthday to Us!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to The Salvation Army! We’re a healthy 146 years-old as this week marks the anniversary of our official founding in London, England.

It all started in 1865 when William Booth, a London minister, gave up the comfort of his pulpit and decided to take his message into the streets where it would reach the poor, the homeless, the hungry and the destitute.

His original aim was to send converts to established churches of the day, but soon he realized that the poor did not feel comfortable or welcome in the pews of most of the churches and chapels of Victorian England. Regular churchgoers were appalled when these shabbily dressed, unwashed people came to join them in worship.

Booth decided to start a church especially for them — the East London Christian Mission. The mission grew slowly, but Booth’s faith in God remained undiminished.

In May of 1878, Booth summoned his son, Bramwell, and his good friend George Railton to read a proof of the Christian Mission’s annual report. At the top it read: THE CHRISTIAN MISSION is A VOLUNTEER ARMY. Bramwell strongly objected to this wording. He was not a volunteer: he was compelled to do God’s work. So, in a flash of inspiration, Booth crossed out “Volunteer” and wrote “Salvation”. Thus, The Salvation Army was born.

In 1880, The Salvation Army officially established itself in the United States, and by the 1900s, the Army had spread around the world. We currently serve in 124 nations.

Today you’ll see us in your local communities providing shelter and food, running after school programs, serving the sick and elderly, equipping people with job and life skills, responding to disasters, and finding any way possible to meet the needs around us.

Thank you for your support that has enabled The Salvation Army to continue to serve. We hope you’ll celebrate these 146 years with us by getting to know us a little better by visiting www.salvationarmyusa.org, liking us on Facebook (@Salvation ArmyUSA), and following us on Twitter (@SalvationArmyUS). Through these sites we’ll keep you updated on ways to stay involved with us and learn more about causes close to our heart.

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Get Your Golden Ticket

Friday, July 1, 2011

Who hasn’t wished for Charlie’s infectious excitement when he finds a coveted golden ticket in the film favorite “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”?
Starting this July 2 weekend, 5 lucky people will get to live the dream as The Salvation Army of Augusta Kroc Center is distributing five “Golden Tickets” of their own.nThe prize may not be a chocolate factory tour with singing oompa-loompas, BUT winners will get a behind the scenes tour of the Kroc Center, plus a three month membership!
If you live in the Augusta, Georgia area, look in your July Supersaver coupon package that comes in the mail to see if you’ve won a Golden Ticket. Lucky recipients should call the Augusta Kroc Center at (706) 922-0170 to claim your membership and schedule a tour.
Good luck!

PS: The Augusta Kroc Center is holding their Grand Opening weekend August 6. Get more info about all the opportunities this Center will offer at www.krocaugusta.org, or find them on Facebook (@Kroc Center of Augusta) and Twitter (@RJKroc).

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The Salvation Army named “Best Place to Volunteer” in SF Magazine Poll

Friday, July 1, 2011

Congratulations are in order for The Salvation Army of San Francisco! They received top-honors in the 2011 San Francisco Magazine Best of the Bay Area readers’ poll, being voted as “Best Volunteer Action” and “Best Do-Gooder Action” according to the 10,000 ballots that were cast in all categories. This honor comes after a focused effort to revamp The Salvation Army’s volunteer program in San Francisco.

Jaime Smith, Volunteer Coordinator for The Salvation Army in San Francisco, came on staff two years ago and took up the challenge to rebuild a fledgling volunteer program.

“My biggest focus was to get the word out,” said Smith. “The public needed to know that we’re here, 365 days a year, and volunteering isn’t limited to just bell ringing and thrift store work, but that The Salvation Army has variety volunteer opportunities for just about everyone.”

In the last two years, The Salvation Army has successfully built volunteer partnerships with a educational institutions and alumni chapters, churches, non-profits, and companies. And of course, The Salvation Army offers volunteer openings for individuals as well.

Tens-of-thousands of people volunteer to help The Salvation Army’s Golden State Division (stretching from San Francisco to Bakersfield, California) each year. Volunteer participation not only occurs during the holidays, it happens year-round, as tutors for after-school programs, teachers for classes, visitors to homebound seniors, and more. The opportunities are limitless.

Anyone who is interested in volunteering with The Salvation Army in the San Francisco area can sign-up here, or more information about national opportunities are available here.

Read The Salvation Army’s press release here, and find the full results of the 2011 Best of the Bay Area poll at San Francisco Magazine’s website.

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We’ve Got Your Summer Reading Covered

Thursday, June 30, 2011

For your summer reading list, we have a recommendation for you: Caring magazine. Have you checked out this edgy, dynamic Salvation Army publication?

The magazine discusses fascinating stories from throughout the United States, and often the world, and highlights the Army’s ministries of evangelistic and social outreach. Articles focus on themes of social significance and examine critical issues relevant to our organization’s work.

For example, did you know The Salvation Army struck up a direct trade coffee partnership with farmers in Vietnam? The project is helping the farmers receive fair profits and escape poverty – and you can read all about it in Caring’s Spring 2011 edition. Summer 2011’s edition tackles the difficult issue of unemployment and how we’re getting involved in creating solutions for our affected community members. Plus, there are several other articles within the 48 pages of this publication that you’ll want to devour.

Grab a copy for yourself by signing up for a subscription at caringmagazine.storenvy.com. We also recommend finding them on Facebook (@Caring Magazine)and following them on Twitter (@CaringMagazine) to get a daily dose of interesting news and stories.

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The Salvation Army and Consumers Energy to receive Joint Energy Award

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Salvation Army is proud to honor our local energy partners that make utilities affordable for community members in need. On Tuesday, June 28, we’re recognizing Consumers Energy and Peoplecare at the National Energy & Utility Affordability Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for their outstanding work. Read the press release below (or visit www.sawmni.org) to learn how their collaboration has benefited thousands of households and individuals who need it most:

The Salvation Army and Consumers Energy to receive Joint Energy Award

Awards ceremony scheduled for Tuesday, June 28, 8:00 a.m. at the National Energy & Utility Affordability Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI June 27, 2011 – After many years of significant collaboration between The Salvation Army and electric and gas utility companies across the nation, The Salvation Army will present an annual recognition award to outstanding examples of such collaborations which jointly manage a utility affordability program, acknowledging the importance of these programs which provide energy assistance to our most vulnerable citizens in times of great need.

The recipients of the inaugural certificates are Consumers Energy and PeopleCare, a joint utility affordability program of the Western Michigan and Northern Indiana and the Eastern Michigan Divisions of The Salvation Army. In 2010, Consumers Energy customers, employees and retirees contributed more than $842,000 to PeopleCare to assist more than 4,800 Michigan households. PeopleCare helps provide emergency aid for items such as groceries, clothing, prescriptions, rent or mortgage payments. In 2011, Consumers Energy plans to contribute $1.5 million in energy bill credits to help cover the cost of electricity and natural gas for those in need.

“Because the number of people needing assistance has grown due to Michigan’s economy, we are providing an additional $1 million in Corporate Giving this year to The Salvation Army,” said John Russell, president and chief executive officer of Consumers Energy. “The Salvation Army, which determines eligibility for bill credits and assistance and distributes the aid, will use the added funds to provide long-term case management assistance to help improve household and financial stability,” Russell added.

“We are delighted to honor the work of both Consumers Energy and the PeopleCare program with this award,” said National Social Services Secretary Major Betty A. Israel. “We are equally pleased that we have a wonderful opportunity to provide programs and services that directly assist our neighbors in need,” Major Israel added.

Representatives of Consumers Energy and PeopleCare will be in attendance to receive the award from the National Social Services Secretary Major Betty A. Israel. The award will be presented at the National Fuel Fund Network Annual Meeting during the National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference, Marriott Harbor Beach Hotel, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, June 28, 2011 at 8:00 a.m.

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Move Over, Johnny Appleseed

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Remember the story we posted a few months ago about a Salvation Army Thrift Store’s new organic compost initiative? (Refresh your memory here.)

The popular, budding business is helping support another green initiative in Billings, Montana. With the help of more than a dozen volunteers, The Salvation Army is transforming a neighboring vacant lot into a mini orchard. The homeless men in charge of the Army’s compost project used their homemade fertilizer in the planting of 50 apple trees, and they plan to get a total of 300 in the ground!

The trees will go to support the local community’s children who will harvest the fruit for their families to eat, as well as make and sell apple products. The profits they earn will go into a college fund. What an incredible resource for the community!

This project is part of a larger Salvation Army initiative in Billings to create gardens throughout the city over the next few years, and we’re excited to see it unfold. Read more about The Salvation Army’s community apple orchard at the Billings Gazette.

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June 29: See You at Buffalo Wild Wings!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

On Wednesday, June 29, Buffalo Wild Wings will donate 10% of food/non-alcoholic beverage sales to our tornado relief efforts. More than 400 restaurants are participating nation-wide, which will help The Salvation Army serve even more survivors as they rebuild their lives and homes.

All you need to do is say that you’re dining to support tornado survivors. That’s the easy part. When it comes to choosing between their 14 amazing sauces (Sweet BBQ? Parmesan Garlic? Mango Habanero?), you’ll have to make up your own mind.

Go to www.buffalowildwings.com to find your local restaurant, and visit www.salvationarmyusa.org to donate directly to our disaster relief efforts.

And be sure to show us how you’re “Doing the Most Good” by uploading and tagging a photo of your dining experience on our Facebook wall @SalvationArmyUSA!

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WSJ: How to Raise a Philanthropist

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Wall Street Journal published an article this week about a growing trend among affluent families of teaching their children the importance of giving. Thankfully, “doing good” is not dependant on financial status!

There are always opportunities to pass along to the younger generation the value of helping others. The article suggests practical ideas applicable to any parent, like simply talking about the “good feeling” you get from giving, bringing children with you to volunteer and visit charities, or letting kids educate parents on causes they care about, rather than the other way around.

We believe philanthropy is a vital life lesson that you’re never too young to learn. Here are just a few ways The Salvation Army can help your family put some of these suggestions into practice:

* Have your kids collect their old clothes and toys for giveaway and bring them with you to donate to a Salvation Army Family Thrift Store. Make the experience even more impactful by explaining how their gift will benefit people in need, and use the videos and resources at our website www.satruck.org to show them real life stories.

* Make volunteering a family event, such as serving meals together at a Salvation Army shelter or being bell ringers. Visit your local Salvation Army corps to learn how you can help address your community’s specific needs.

* Empower children to donate financially. Have them fill out the online donation form for you or let them click the “Donate Now” button. Give them some change to put in the Christmas Red Kettle, or help them host their own online Red Kettle. You could even ask them if they’d like to put a percentage of their allowance toward supporting The Salvation Army.

* Find out what they’re passionate about. The Salvation Army serves a vast range of needs that they can get involved with or learn more about on our website. Maybe they have a desire to help other kids or feel strongly about supporting disaster survivors – they could get started right away by sending a child in need to summer camp or donating to our disaster relief efforts.

* Make special occasions about ‘others.’ Start a family tradition to make a donation in your child’s name on their birthday, purchase and give a toy at Christmas time for a child in need through Salvation Army Angel Tree, or serve a meal together at a Salvation Army shelter at Thanksgiving.

* Put your money where your mouth is. Offer to match a donation that your child makes. Set a long-term goal to work towards to give your child a greater sense of accomplishment and help your family work together as a team.

* Gear school and extra-curricular projects towards philanthropic causes. Programs such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts require participants to design and implement service projects. Many children and young adults have worked with The Salvation Army to complete their assignments and benefit their communities in the process.

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Daily News: Students exceed fundraising goal in tornado, flood relief efforts

Monday, June 20, 2011

Article published with permission from author Allison Roorda of the Faribault Daily News

Members of the Divine Mercy Catholic School student council, from left to right, Kelsey Novak, Shelby Meyer, Patrick Swenson, Zachary Schwab, Brendan Trump and Garrett Johnson. (Allison Roorda/Daily News)

When the sixth-grade members of the Divine Mercy Catholic School student council in Minnesota set out to raise money for the victims of tornadoes and flooding in the south, their goal was $700.
After several weeks and many different opportunities for fundraising, they ended up with $1,705.11.

“We just decided that it would be cool to help the tornado and flood victims down south,” said Kelsey Novak, president of the student council.
For weeks the six senior student council members worked on a variety of ways to raise the money, said Betsy Thomas.

“One of the reasons was we’ve been praying for these people since those devastating tornadoes hit down south,” said Thomas, who teaches sixth grade and also acts as the student council adviser at DMCS. “They just felt like they wanted to do more than just pray.”
The students were adamant about their contributions.

“As a Christian school, one of our biggest duties as Christians is to help others,” said Shelby Meyer, secretary of the student council. “So when we got the chance, we took it.”
The students got permission to take up collections at student Masses and at the dress rehearsal and performance of the annual school concert.

“It was a long two weeks of raising money,” Meyer said. “I think we spent at least half a day just running around the school, hanging up flyers and stuff.”

One of the major fundraisers ended up being the school’s Dress Down Day.
“We do this all year long,” Thomas said. “For a dollar the kids can be out of dress code. The kids decided they had a $2 dress down fee, and many people donated even more than $2. The class that contributed the most got a dress down pass they can use any time for two weeks.”

Normally, any money collected for DMCS’s Dress Down Days goes to various charities. The student council members decided to donate money they raised with their own Dress Down Day to the Salvation Army, according to Thomas.

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Camping We Will Go

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The first official day of summer is only 1 week away, and most schools have either dismissed for the year or are getting ready to. For students, this means nearly 3 amazing months to play, explore, and just be a kid!

There’s nothing that greater epitomizes the summer experience as camp. Last year, more than 180,500 kids explored the outdoors, participated in sports, created arts & crafts, played music, learned about the Bible and more at our Salvation Army summer camps and day camps across the country.

Many camps are already in enrolling. You can register your child for a summer camp by contacting your local Salvation Army (search by zip code here) or a day camp by contacting a Kroc Center near you.

If you don’t have kids, you can help provide a camp scholarship to a child in need by donating to your local Salvation Army. In the article “Summer Camp Memories” published in the June 11 War Cry, contributor Laurie Miller fondly recounts The Salvation Army’s Camp Arnold at Timberlake in Eatonville, Washington, which she described as her “home away from home for seven summers” when she was growing up.

After explaining that many of her fellow campers came from broken homes and abusive family situations, Laurie writes:

“For years, I thought camp was just a free vacation I deserved as a child. Later, when I learned a fee was involved, I wondered how my mom could afford to send me each year. Not until I was an adult in my 20s did I realize that a woman from our church had sponsored us to go every year. I’m not sure she ever really knew how much going to Camp Arnold truly meant to me.”

As Laurie shows us, the experiences of a summer can impact the rest of a camper’s life. Whether you send your own child to camp or help to send someone else’s, consider how you can help The Salvation Army make a difference in a young person’s life this summer.

For more information about how The Salvation Army serves approximately 30 million Americans in need every year, visit our website at www.salvationarmyusa.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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