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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Today is the first day of the Lenten season. If you observe this religious tradition, have you decided what you’ll sacrifice for this time leading up to Easter?
Most people I know stick to one thing to abstain from for these 40 days, like chocolate or playing video games. But Kathleen See in The Salvation Army’s Eastern Territory posted her own idea for Lent. For her, each day is a new opportunity to either give something up or do something good for others.
Below is her calendar for the first week of Lent. Maybe you can use this as a guide for your own plans. View Kathleen’s full list here.
March 9 Give up watching TV
March 10 Give up drinking your favorite hot drink
March 11 Learn a Bible verse
March 12 Give up the trip to the mall
March 13 Invite someone to Sunday dinner
March 14 Go to bed an hour earlier and use the time to pray
March 15 Cut your spending by $10 this week and put it in a box and decide what person in need will receive it at end of Lent season.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Trust us, you won’t wear that again! Donate it to a good cause. Photo: 27 Dresses
I’m not as bad of a dress hoarder as Katherine Heigl in “27 Dresses,” but for awhile I did have several bridesmaid and formal gowns filling the dark recesses of my closet. Those dresses and I told ourselves it was just a matter of time before we went out, together again, to that next big party.
But we both knew it wasn’t really going to happen. Then there finally came the day when we (mutually) decided it was best to move on, and our last hurrah took place at The Salvation Army Thrift Store donation center. It was good closure to know that they would make some deserving young women very happy for just the right occasion.
In truth, most women probably have a handful of formal dresses collecting dust in their closets. The Ashland Salvation Army Kroc Center in Ohio is hosting an event that could provide that needed push to purge.
As a part of “The Princess Closet,” the Kroc is collecting gently used prom, homecoming, and bridesmaid gowns to make sure every young woman can be outfitted for prom night. Through generous public donations the event will help girls who cannot afford a new prom dress find something equally beautiful. Plus, the girls will get expert advice on hair styles and makeup.
Is there a better fate for your old dresses? I can’t think of any.
If you don’t live in the Ashland, OH area, just take your dresses to a nearby Salvation Army donation center. Plenty of young women will be searching our stores for that perfect prom dress. Yours may be just the one they’re looking for.
Friday, March 4, 2011
The Salvation Army began in 1865 when William Booth, a London minister, gave up the comfort of his pulpit and decided to take to the streets where his message and service would reach the poor, the homeless, the hungry and the destitute. His method was unheard of and controversial, even attracting persecution. For a time, he and his followers were dubbed, “Soap, Soup and Salvation Army.”
Today, The Salvation Army has dramatically grown since Booth’s time, but our work continues to be inspired by his example of boldly searching out and serving the most vulnerable among us.
A modern day version of out Booth’s street outreach can be seen at an event that took place this week in New Jersey. In one of the area’s most poverty stricken neighborhoods, the local Salvation Army brought out a food truck and distributed soup, coffee, and coats to anyone in need.
In a community with high rates of homelessness, Salvation Army officer Terrell Curry explained, “We want to go where no one goes.”
Read more about The Salvation Army’s outreach event here.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Our neighbor to the north, The Salvation Army Canada, has just launched a campaign called The Dignity Project that’s generating some buzz over the border. The initiative is designed to educate the public about the realities of poverty and underscore the point that everyone deserves fundamental human dignity.
In pursuing this project, The Salvation Army Canada felt it important to ask the public, “How do average Canadians feel about the poor living among them today?” And while respondents ranked poverty as the third most critical issue facing their country, their feedback revealed a lot of people still hold misperceptions about the poor and the challenges they face.
Though the report and findings are tailored to Canada, this is important for Americans to reflect on too. You may not encounter poverty in your everyday life, but as many as 1 in 6 Americans live in poverty today. So ask yourself, have you ever thought, consciously or subconsciously, the following about the poor?
* If poor people really want to work, they can always find a job.
* A good work ethic is all you need to escape poverty.
* I think that if we gave poor people more assistance, they would just take advantage of it and do nothing.
* Poor people usually have lower moral values.
* People are poor because they are lazy.
If so, you should take a look at the full report here.
More information about The Dignity Project, including a blog and a video series, is available at http://dignity.salvationarmy.ca/.
The Salvation Army’s faith motivates its mission to serve and treat everyone with dignity and respect. To learn more about the work we do serving more than 30 million people in need every year in the United States, visit us at www.salvationarmyusa.org.