Chefs for Hope

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A few months ago, they were homeless or barely getting by. Many of them had no background in cooking. But just last weekend they were working alongside several of Louisville’s top chefs, preparing and serving $250-a-plate dinners to a crowd of 100 diners at the ‘Chefs for Hope’ benefit.

They are the newest students of The Salvation Army Louisville’s Culinary Training Program, which provides homeless and low-income individuals with the skills they need to earn jobs in the food service industry. And while they may still be searching for permanent housing or a steady job, they’re now getting the experience and support they need to make it happen.

The ‘Chefs for Hope’ benefit is just one part of the students’ months-long intensive training, but it provides a unique and encouraging opportunity for them to work alongside local culinary stars. Louisville’s Courier-Journal ran a great article about the event, the proceeds from which will support the Culinary Training Program.

After reading about the six course meal and appetizers, no doubt you and I both wish we could have been at that dinner, but don’t worry! Next week, just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’re going to feature some special recipes from the Culinary Training Program’s head chef Josh Arnold.

Be sure to check our blog Monday for some edible inspirations from The Salvation Army’s kitchen.

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Salvation Army Youth in Super Bowl XLV Spot

Monday, February 7, 2011

Kids from The Salvation Army Cedar Crest Community Center joined Dallas Cowboy DeMarcus Ware in a Super Bowl XLV TV spot! Ware recited part of the Declaration of…

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Get To Know General-elect Commissioner Linda Bond

Monday, February 7, 2011

[General-elect Linda Bond]
Salvation Army General-elect Linda Bond

The following is an excerpt of an interview with The Salvation Army’s General-elect Commissioner Linda Bond. Commissioner Bond will serve as our organization’s world leader beginning in April of this year. To read the full interview, click here.

1. Please tell us about yourself and your background.

I was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, as the youngest of 13 children. My mother was British, migrating to Canada with her parents when she was 17-years-old. My Canadian father was a coal miner.

The coal mining town and political environment in which I was raised also affected the way I view life and I thank the Lord for this. The marginalized, the poor and the addicted were part of the community landscape, and my parents were committed to seeing things change for the hurting. This was consistent with what I later learned to be the Lord’s mission – and the Army’s.

2. Can you please describe your thoughts and feelings when you were nominated for and then elected as General of The Salvation Army?

When I was nominated I felt it was an affirmation from my peers. My overall feeling was that ‘this is of the Lord’. He had been speaking to my heart through Scripture, and although I had not intended to, I accepted nomination in obedience to the Lord. I felt that I had to wait to see what he wanted to do. When I was elected I was humbled, but I had a real sense that this was the Lord’s doing. To me it was a miracle – it was a work of grace.

3. How is the election of a Salvation Army General different from the election of a political leader?

Well, there is no lobbying, for one thing! The major difference is that it is bathed in prayer. Unlike a political election, only a certain group have a vote yet all the Salvationists are praying for the High Council members to be granted wisdom by the Spirit.

4. Please describe spiritual leadership in a Salvation Army context.

I have very deep convictions about spiritual leadership, and for many years I taught classes on spiritual authority. To me the first point of spiritual authority is that power belongs to God. The power that he delegates to us has to be a power of love, the power to die to self, the power to live for others, the power for people and not over people.

5. Please outline the Army’s mission and explain how it is relevant and valid around the world today.

Well, everybody seems to quote Retired General John Gowans and I, too, think he captured the mission of The Salvation Army in his phrase ‘Save souls, grow saints and serve suffering humanity’.

Salvationists seem to know instinctively that the Army was raised up by God to connect people to Jesus. They also know that we believe that people can be holy now, that they can be Christlike. It’s in our DNA to serve. So that is the mission of the Army and those are the guideposts for us.

How is it relevant? Well, the world needs Jesus – that’s pretty relevant, isn’t it? The ills of mankind are not going to be addressed by any other means, except through the Cross of Christ. When we talk about the relevance of holiness, this world needs to see that the people of God make holiness believable. It needs to see authentic, deep Christians who live out the life of Jesus and do not just talk about it.

There is suffering humanity – all we have to do is watch television on any given night or look around our communities and say ‘We need Christians with their sleeves rolled up’.

6. What are some of the strengths of the Army worldwide?

Our name, because we are known in most places and are found trustworthy. Trustworthiness is a huge part of what makes us effective. People trust us and we never want to lose that.

Another strength of the Army, I believe, is its mission, which is so clearly defined. You would be hard pressed to find a Salvationist who did not know the mission. There is something about being very clear about our purpose that makes The Salvation Army as effective as it is.

Our visibility is also a strength. People recognize our uniforms and logos.

We have a long history yet we are known in society as an organization that is able to change its methods to relate to each generation while holding true to its essential principles. We must continue to do this, to be adaptable and flexible but principled.

7. What will be the main challenges facing you as General?

It is a challenge to serve in a very complex world without losing sight of our mission. We must also serve in a secular world and never be ashamed of Jesus. Both will take courage, wisdom and grace.

8. How do you hope to use the latest technology in communicating with the worldwide Army? A question has been asked already: Are we going to have a blog?

I like using technology actually – I just love it! We need to explore every means to use technology to best advantage in order to fulfill our mission to the world.

As for a blog – again, for me it would be a matter of finding the time. But more importantly, I hope to visit and travel frequently, and I know from experience that in many parts of the Army world, it can be extremely difficult if not impossible to get on-line. But the Office of the General will require me to communicate by every means possible. I will do that. For many, they will expect to hear of these travels through a blog. Others will welcome regular electronic letters. But best of all is face-to-face contact and travelling will give lots of opportunity for this.

9. Is there anything else you would like to add?

I have to thank The Salvation Army. I’ve had hundreds of messages from all over the world and I am a bit overwhelmed by it all. I want to thank people who offered Scripture – people keep sending me Scripture. People offer congratulations but they also promise prayer support. There is no greater gift that someone can give to me. I need prayer.

I would love to be strong and energetic and healthy and totally committed to what the Lord called me into this position for. I just want to do what he has called me to do.

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Super Bowl XLV Scores Big for Those in Need

Friday, February 4, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday is coming.

Yes, it’s a great event, but for more reasons than you think. There’s some awesome behind-the-game events going down related to The Salvation Army that we think will help you appreciate the championship even more.

Charlotte Jones Anderson, the daughter of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, found ways to increase revenue and cut costs for the team. Photo courtesy of Star-Telegram/Paul Moseley

First, meet the woman behind this year’s Super Bowl, Charlotte Jones Anderson. She serves as Executive Vice President of Brand Management for the Dallas Cowboys, and she led the effort to bring Super Bowl XLV to Cowboys Stadium. Not only does this impressive executive have a hand in nearly every effort related to the Cowboys, she’s the new National Advisory Board Chair of The Salvation Army. Learn more about this leading lady and her football prowess at the Star-Telegram.

Volunteer Leigh-Ann Aguirre of Arlington asks for help from eighth grader Kevin Wallican (right) of Irving during the NFL’s Super Kids-Super Sharing event at Salvation Army Community Center in Arlington, TX. (Photo: Kye R. Lee/Dallas News Staff Photographer)

This year’s Super Bowl has been dubbed the greenest championship on record. In addition to many other environment initiatives, all leftover, usable material from the game will be donated to non-profits. The Salvation Army will head the sorting and distribution of recovered material.

Plus, students from across North Texas participated in the Super Bowl event “Super Kids-Super Sharing” program at our Community Center in Arlington, TX. They collected a record of nearly 30,000 items such as used books, school supplies, and clothes for children in need.

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That same community center in Arlington will soon officially become an NFL Youth Education Town (YET), which serve as legacies in the host cities of each Super Bowl. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the NFL have each donated $1 million to build the facility, which will be the first of its kind to be owned and operated by The Salvation Army. Through the YET center we’ll serve homeless and at-risk youth in North Texas with after school programs, fitness classes, computer labs, and more. Read more about this incredible project at The Dallas Morning News.

Did you know all of that great work went on with the planning of the Super Bowl? Makes you realize that the game is about much more than just an entertaining afternoon of sports!

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Our Social Justice App is So Hot Right Now

Thursday, February 3, 2011

More than 190,000 people have downloaded The Salvation Army’s free social justice app ‘The Daily Cup’ since we launched it December 15. That’s pretty cool!

If you’d like to get it on your phone, just go to www.getjar.com/Salvation-Army.

With The Daily Cup you’ll have access to important information about social justice issues like hunger, homelessness, HIV/AIDS, human trafficking, and natural disasters. You can even donate to worthy causes right through your phone. Click on the picture below to see what all the buzz is about. Business Wire has the official press release.

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More than Just a Good Deal

Thursday, February 3, 2011

One of the most well-known Salvation Army programs is our Thrift & Family Stores. You’ve probably found a new outfit on a budget there. More than likely you’ve even donated your stuff after finally giving in to that urge to clean out your closets.

But our Family Stores are about much more than just getting good deals. They’ve helped rehabilitate and restore thousands of lives – probably even that of an employee you met last time you stopped in.

An NBC news station in Tampa Bay, FL aired a great behind-the-scenes story about what our Thrift & Family Stores are really about, with testimonies from those whose lives have been changed. Check it out:

To learn more about Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARC) supported by our Thrift & Family Stores, visit www.satruck.org.

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Groundhog Day and Other Weird News

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Straight from Gobbler’s Knob this morning, the world’s most famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil has predicted an early spring! The winter-weary, and especially those impacted by this week’s blizzard, are probably rejoicing at the news – that is, if you put any stock in the forecast of a rodent.

However, there are some out there savoring what’s left of this bitterly cold season. Just a few hours east of Punxsutawney in Williamsport, PA, The Salvation Army held its Second Annual Polar Bear Plunge on Saturday. About 100 people dove in to the icy Susquehanna River, and about 500 more shivered as they watched from dry ground. Some of the plungers even came in costume, reportedly dressed for dunking in prom gowns, tuxedo garb, and even a buffalo headdress.

Weird? Absolutely, but it was all for a good cause. The local Salvation Army says they raised more than $5,000 as a result of the Polar Bear Plunge, which will go to support community programs, especially those benefitting youth.

Fun fact for the Day: Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow 98 times and hasn’t seen it 16 times since 1887.

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The Salvation Army Announces New World Leader

Monday, January 31, 2011

Today The Salvation Army announced its new world leader and the 19th General will be Canadian-born Commissioner Linda Bond. She was elected by The High Council of The Salvation Army, made up of senior leaders from around the world who met this week near London. Commissioner Bond will succeed the current world leader General Shaw Clifton, who retires early April.

Commissioner Bond will be the 3rd woman and the 4th Canadian to hold the post of General of The Salvation Army in our 146 year history. She comes to the role with 42 years experience of ministry and leadership and currently heads up the church and charity’s work in Eastern Australia. This region includes the recently devastated state of Queensland where The Salvation Army continues to be heavily involved in assisting victims of widespread flooding.

Once in post as General of The Salvation Army, the Commissioner will become the head of more than one million Salvationists in 123 countries. The Salvation Army also has more than 100,000 employees who between them communicate in 175 different languages.

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Video: How Young People Can Make a Difference

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nancy Lublin, CEO and “Chief Old Person” of DoSomething.org, has a hunch that age gives young people an advantage over their older counterparts in accomplishing social good.

Watch the video above to learn how Donald Trump and Milk Duds led to her epiphany.

It’s an interesting thought, considering that when it comes to ‘accomplishing stuff,’ juvenescence is generally viewed as something to be overcome based on the hindrances associated with it – the perceived lack of life experience, few funds, etc.

But not according to Nancy. Regarding being young, her mantra is embrace it and use it while you can. She knows from experience, and so does The Salvation Army.

We have many youth activists involved in our organization who are making big changes in their communities. Just look at examples from:

- Ryan, a 14 yr. old from Florida whose gleaning efforts have helped provide more than 1,600 nutritious meals for homeless men, women and children. http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/?p=4992

- Stephen, an 11 yr. old who has held Christmas parties to collect toys for needy families since he was a preschooler. http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/?paged=4

- Several young musical artists (Honor Society, Ashlyne Huff, and Emily Osment among them) who are raising awareness and getting involved in community service through Salvation Army programs. http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/?p=4473 http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/?s=here+comes+trouble+tour&x=0&y=0

- Connor, a 9 yr. old who was so moved by the need resulting from Haiti’s earthquake, he used a coffee can to start his own donations drive and garnered national attention for it. http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/?p=320

Just to be clear, we don’t promote stalking Donald Trump or other questionable strategies to test Nancy’s theory.

We do, however, encourage you to not use age as an excuse to prevent you from doing something great, especially when it comes to serving others. You’re never too young, too old, or too middle-aged to help do the most good.

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Can Soccer Solve Homelessness?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Charles MacGregor, coach of the North Shore Salvation Army Shields, says soccer can help get the homeless off the streets. (Photo: Rob Newell, North Shore Outlook)

If you could put an end to homelessness, how would you do it? Would you believe there’s an international movement looking to soccer (or football, as it’s called abroad) as a solution?

The Homeless World Cup is an international soccer tournament that uses the sport as a catalyst to encourage homeless people to change their lives, as well as to change the attitudes of governments and the public to create better solutions to homelessness. Every year, teams of homeless individuals compete in local, regional, and national matches for the opportunity to represent their country in the Homeless World Cup. This year’s 2011 tournament will be held in Paris.

Mel Young, Founder & President, explains, “We simply use football as a way of getting homeless people to come together to begin to take responsibility for the next step in their lives. We have created a global football stage where we have simply changed the landscape around homeless people and then they change as a result. It is simple. It is magic.”

[North Shore Salvation Army Shields]
The North Shore Salvation Army Shields are based out of the John Braithwaite Community Centre in North Vancouver. Photo: Vancouver Street Soccer website

In Vancouver, Canada, Salvation Army employee Charles MacGregor took notice of the homeless soccer movement and established a Vancouver Street Soccer League Team called the North Shore Salvation Army Shields. The team recently won a tournament in December 2010.

In a recent interview, MacGregor described the experience to the North Shore Outlook, “It’s bonding. It’s team play. It’s getting the guys out of their rooms or off the street…For two hours we just focus on playing. I hope what we’re doing is providing two hours where there are no other worries.”

According to the Homeless World Cup website, “[the tournament] has triggered and supports grass-roots football programs in over 70 nations and involved 50,000 people.” The organization also reports that 70% of their players significantly change their lives as a result of their involvement .

So, what do you think? Could soccer be a viable way to help end homelessness? Learn more at www.homelessworldcup.org.

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