Our Volunteers are Awesome

Thursday, April 14, 2011

In honor of National Volunteer Week, we’re letting our volunteers know just how awesome they are. Across the country Salvation Army centers are sharing the love in all sorts of ways, including Volunteer Appreciation parties, award events, personal messages, and fun outings.

Here are just a few ways The Salvation Army is saying, “Thank You!” to our partners in service:

In Nashville, TN The Salvation Army is making personal phone calls to all of their volunteers and thank them “from the bottom of their hearts” for their gift of time.

Volunteers from Louisville, KY will be treated to a baseball game and great ballpark food at Slugger Field.

In Georgia, The Salvation Army is attending a recognition event for the airmen of Robins Air Base to honor their many hours of community service. The airmen give many hours during the Christmas season helping The Salvation Army sort toys, pack and distribute food boxes, distribute gifts, and organize the warehouse.

The Salvation Army Atlanta is recognizing their outstanding corporate volunteer partner UPS on their blog. According to their site, “since 1998, UPS employees have volunteered for The Salvation Army Metro Atlanta Area Command through hands-on, community based services that have made an everlasting difference.” Read the article here.

More than 100 Salvation Army volunteers in Tulsa have been selected for the prestigious Presidential Award. To express gratitude for their work, the directors of our Boys & Girls clubs and the Center of Hope Homeless shelter are hosting a Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast in May and hand delivering their invitations this week.

Thank you to all of our volunteers for the countless ways you are making a difference in lives everyday!

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Inspired by a Volunteer’s Joyful Service

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Salvation Army in St. Petersburg, FL will be hosting their annual Volunteer Recognition event today. Among those they are honoring, volunteer Mark Tillery stands out.

Mark began his volunteer service at The Salvation Army’s center, called “The Café,” in January 2010 and comes in four mornings every week. Each morning he makes coffee, serves drinks and snacks, and cleans. He gets to know The Salvation Army’s patrons, providing opportunities to listen to, encourage and support them. Most importantly, he treats everyone with courtesy, dignity, and respect and works as a strong team member.
Mark’s inspiring attitude has left a lasting impression on those around him. Lt. Teddy Beshah, the Salvation Army officer who nominated Mark for the volunteer award, said,

“You know Mr. Mark more than anyone in the Café. I have found him to be a man of God and a wonderful person. Seeing him on his knees cleaning the restrooms and the joy he has while helping the poor has taught me in a deeper way. Most of all, he is doing all this with only one motive: to see the people be happy. I have no words to explain how great the work is he does for our guests at the Cafe. I pray and hope I will be as he is in my officership!”

We are very fortunate to have Mark serving with The Salvation Army! We hope today’s Volunteer Recognition event will show him just how much he means to us and those he serves.

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National Volunteer Week

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It’s National Volunteer Week, a time for us to recommit ourselves to serving others and celebrate those who generously give back!
Last year, 3,411,613 volunteers assisted The Salvation Army by working in our food programs, serving as Red Kettle bell ringers, assisting at-risk youth, rebuilding disaster sites, and more. Our volunteers are critical partners in helping us fulfill our promise to America of “Doing the Most Good.”
As President Obama stated in his presidential proclamation, “…These everyday heroes make a real and lasting impact on the lives of millions of women and men across the globe.”
We completely agree!
This week we will share on our blog how volunteers are getting involved with The Salvation Army across the US, as well as what we’re doing to express our sincere appreciation for their support, so check back for updates.
If you would like to get involved with a Salvation Army near you, search for opportunities via www.volunteermatch.org. Many of our local units post opportunities on this website, and we’d love to have you join us.

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Shed Your Shoes & Style Your Soles with TOMS

Thursday, April 7, 2011

On Tuesday, more than 125 children from The Salvation Army Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex Command participated in the “Style Your Sole” party, hosted by TOMS Shoes and the Dallas Cowboys, inside Cowboys Stadium.

For the event, each child received a natural canvas pair of TOMS shoes to decorate any way they chose using paints, markers, glitter and other accessories. Once completed, each child was able to keep the shoes to wear and enjoy.

In addition to the shoes donated to the participating children in last night’s party, another pair was donated to a child in need, as part of TOMS’ one-for-one movement.

The evening’s festivities culminated in the children joining hundreds outside Cowboys Stadium to participate in the “Walk Without Shoes.” The children and the participants walked barefoot around the stadium to raise awareness of the millions of children who grow up without shoes, at risk of infection and disease.

Both events were part of TOMS 4th Annual One Day Without Shoes awareness campaign.

Thank you to TOMS Shoes, the Dallas Cowboys, and all the participants for making a difference for children in need in our country and across the world!

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Walmart Takes Leading Role in Fight Against Hunger

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Walmart Takes Leading Role in Fight Against Hunger
Walmart has been a great partner to The Salvation Army in addressing the needs of our local communities, especially in the fight against hunger. Earlier this year they donated $1 million for hunger relief to our organization. These funds were a significant help to our food service programs, which have seen a major growth in demand while many of their shelves were running bare.
We applaud Walmart’s increased effort to support hunger relief, as they just announced they donated $799 million to the cause during their most recent fiscal year. Of this total, $732 million in cash and in-kind gifts went to programs within the United States.
According to their press release, Walmart has donated 256 million pounds of food to local food banks in the last year – the equivalent to 197 million meals! They have also given $62 million in grants to U.S. hunger nonprofits.
We hope you will help us express our sincere gratitude to Walmart for being a leader in the fight against hunger. The Salvation Army and organizations like ours are able to more effectively serve those in need thanks to the assistance of caring community partners like Walmart.
To read Walmart’s press release, visit http://walmartstores.com/pressroom/ or click the direct link here. http://walmartstores.com/pressroom/news/10572.aspx

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The Tax Man Cometh (3 Days Late!)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

This year the federal income tax filing deadline has been delayed by 3 days. Due to the Washington, DC holiday Emancipation Day being observed on April 15, filers have until Monday, April 18 to get their paperwork in order and submitted to the IRS.

For those of you still working on your taxes, we want to help. If you plan to write off Salvation Army in-kind donations, we have a helpful Donation Value Guide that offers the low and high estimated worth of a long list of appliances, clothing, furniture, household goods, and miscellaneous items.

(Bad joke warning!) Feel free to refer to this guide to make your taxes just a little less…taxing.

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More Outfits from Christine, Plus Thrifting Words of Wisdom

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve sneaked a peek into Christine Burton’s closet.

For those of you who missed our first two posts of the series, Christine works for The Salvation Army’s Western Territory, and she’s also a thrifty fashionista. Much of her runway-ready wardrobe comes from our Salvation Army Thrift Stores at an extremely affordable price.

Christine is sharing her shopping tips and photos with us through The Western Territory’s Expect Change blog. Her latest outfits come with two valuable lessons:

1. If you like it, grab it before it’s gone.

2. Spend a moment taking one last look before you go.

See the outfits that inspired these words of wisdom, including:

A funky kimono-style jacket that creates Christine’s look #3 here.

A saucy lace skirt that pulls together look # 4 here.

P.S. Each item showcased in these outfits cost less than $5!

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Salvation Army Car Will Put Petal to the Metal in Saturday’s Fontana, CA Race

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Morgan Shepherd and his #89 Salvation Army car will be burning rubber this weekend at the Nationwide Series event in Fontana, CA on Saturday, March 26.

Saturday will be a once in a life time opportunity for two lucky kids from our local Salvation Army program, as Shepherd has generously donated pit passes for them to get the full NASCAR experience. Just like Daytona, it’s going to be awesome!

We’ll post pictures and updates from Fontana when we receive them next week.

When Shepherd was racing in Bristol last weekend, Salvationists Major Peggy Mullins and Brenda Kent met up with him and his team for dinner. Shepherd said, “It was certainly a pleasure having The Salvation Army folks here at Bristol for a prayer, a meal, and good Christian conversation.”

To learn more about NASCAR driver Morgan Shepherd and his racing ministry, visit www.racewithfaith.com.

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Photos: Japan Relief

Monday, March 21, 2011

Thank you to everyone who has supported or is following our ongoing relief efforts in Japan. We’ve received more photos of the response work and have shared them below. Salvation Army International Headquarters also has them posted to their Flickr account here.

A Japanese Salvation Army emergency vehicle en route. Three Salvation Army emergency response teams were sent out from Tokyo to Sendai, Mito and towards the Fukushima area.

One of The Salvation Army Japan’s emergency canteen vehicles, preparing to serve up a fresh batch of hot noodles – very welcome in the cold temperatures.

The Salvation Army’s emergency canteen vehicles have been working hard, serving hot food and drinks to a thousand people at a time.

Poor weather did not deter the crowds, lining up patiently outside The Salvation Army’s corps (church) in Sendai.

The Salvation Army’s corps (church) in Sendai, near the epicentre of the earthquake, is also distributing essential supplies.

Relief supplies, comprising bottled water, biscuits, blankets, towels and diapers were prepared for distribution.

A Salvation Army kitchen in north-east Japan, with officers and members catering for some of the thousands who have been displaced by the earthquake and tsunami.

[Japan - SA Officer Distributing Food]
The Salvation Army’s officers and volunteers in Japan have been distributing packed lunches to evacuees and residents of earthquake-affected areas.

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Things Get Dirty at a Salvation Army Thrift Store

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dirt? It’s not an item you’d expect to be for sale at a Salvation Army Thrift store.

But in Billings, Montana, that’s just what you’re going to find, and The Salvation Army promises it will be “top-of-line” quality.

To be more specific, workers are starting an organic Bokashi composting business and selling some of it to local home gardeners. The rest will go to community and school gardens the Army is helping establish.

The entrepreneurial idea is just in time for the approach of spring!

Plus, The Salvation Army composting business will support nine formerly homeless men who are working on the project. Salvation Army Major Kevin Jackson says their entrepreneurial skills have really shined since the start of the operation. In addition to expanding their business skills, the men are taking educational courses, adding up to great experience and knowledge that will make them competitive in the job market.

Get all the dirty details about The Salvation Army’s compost initiative here at the Billings Gazette.

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