A Community Investment

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Any time a new Kroc Corps Community Center opens somewhere in the country, we get excited just thinking about all the great programs and services that the local area will soon experience. Whether it’s fitness classes, job training courses, or after school programs, it’s overwhelming just to think about all the opportunities available. We believe the late Mrs. Joan Kroc would be very proud to see how her vision and generous endowment has developed from one Kroc Center in San Diego, CA to a growing network of Kroc Centers across the country, each deeply invested in their local communities.

This week I came across a story from The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division’s blog about the Kroc Center under construction in Chicago. Though it’s not slated to open until 2012, the Kroc is already investing in the community, as well as allowing the community to invest in the Center.

Eight local residents have already completed a construction training program sponsored by the Kroc’s general contractor, and their first job very well may be helping build the Kroc Center itself! It’s a unique opportunity for these individuals to become invested in the Kroc on a whole different level.

According to Chicago’s blog, the Kroc Center will create 220 construction jobs for locals during its two-year construction phase and another 200+ permanent jobs once it’s open. Read more about how the Kroc is benefiting the Chicago area even before it’s open, here at The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division’s blog.

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Reaching the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What would you do if you needed significant, life-changing help, but you were unable to communicate with those you depended upon for that help?

The Detroit Free Press reports there are about 655,500 deaf and hard-of-hearing people in Michigan, and it’s believed that the prevalence of alcohol abuse within the population is akin to that of the hearing community (They say about 1 in 5 people ages 12 yrs. and up have admitted to binge drinking once within a 30 day span).

Treatment for substance abuse, and even the getting to the point of being ready to seek treatment, is extremely difficult – and that’s an understatement. But those who are deaf and hard-of-hearing may face even more challenges on the road to recovery, especially in Michigan where funding falls short and there’s a lack of therapists and counselors trained in American Sign Language (ASL).

In Monroe, Michigan, The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center is filling this gap through its Deaf and Hard of Hearing Treatment Program. It’s the only day treatment program in the state that serves the needs of deaf or hard of hearing individuals with a substance abuse problem. It staffs certified and accredited interpreters and even offers a housing component for clients.

Richie Najor is one individual who receives assistance from the The Salvation Army’s Program. With one-on-one treatment from his fluent ASL therapist, Najor has been more successful in controlling his cravings and even holds down a good job.

Read more about his experience and The Salvation Army’s work in addressing the deaf community’s needs in the Detroit Free Press’ “Deaf have few options in drug, alcohol fight.”

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The Salvation Army Helps Victims in First Human Trafficking Conviction in Illinois

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Big news coming from Illinois –

The Salvation Army Chicago has assisted in a case that resulted in the state’s first human trafficking conviction.

The victims, 17 and 18 year-old females, have received help from The Salvation Army’s STOP-IT (The Salvation Army’s Trafficking Outreach Program and Intervention Techniques) Program, which offers psychological and medical treatment, educational services and vocational training for victims of the sex trade. The offenders were convicted of Class I felony charges and each sentenced to several years in prison.

Illinois State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez thanked the STOP-IT Program for their assistance in this case and cooperation with other agencies. Read the full story at The Salvation Army Chicago’s blog here.

According to the Illinois Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated minimum of 16,000-25,000 women and girls are victims of commercial sexual exploitation in Chicago every year. We hope this groundbreaking court decision is the first of many in bringing offenders to justice and helping restore the lives of exploited survivors.

The Salvation Army’s national website offers a wealth of information and tools to educate and equip people on the subject of trafficking, as well as what we’re doing to fight it. Under the “Programs That Help” tab, visit “Combating Human Trafficking,” or simply click here for a direct link.

To learn more about Chicago’s STOP-IT Program, visit www.usc.salvationarmy.org/stopit .

If this is a cause you’d like to get involved with, check out The Salvation Army’s “The Daily Cup” app for smart phones. It’s free and provides the latest info on social justice issues, including human trafficking. Download it here.

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From Our Kitchen To Yours This Valentine’s Day

Monday, February 14, 2011

Maybe you’re cooking dinner for a special someone this Valentine’s Day, or maybe you’re celebrating with some close friends. Whatever your situation, we’ve got a tasty meal idea for you from Salvation Army Chef Josh Arnold who runs our Culinary Training Program in Louisville, KY.

He’s shared a Shrimp Fettucini Alfredo and Chocolate Covered Strawberries recipes that will help you keep things simple but sweet this Feb. 14th.

Once you’re done creating your own culinary masterpieces, read here how Chef Josh is using his kitchen to help the homeless and low-income individuals turn their lives around.

Bon appétit!

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SHRIMP FETTUCINI ALFREDO

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fettuccini pasta
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound cooked shrimp – peeled and deveined
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • salt to taste



Directions

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

2. In a large skillet, sauté shrimp and garlic in the butter for about one minute. Pour in half and half; stir. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese in one tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly. After all Parmesan is added, mix in parsley and salt. Stir frequently making sure it does not boil. Sauce will take a while to thicken.

3. When sauce has thickened, combine with cooked pasta noodles; serve hot.

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CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES

Ingredients

  • 1 12oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 12 oz. package white chocolate chips
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, brandy, coffee or your favorite liqueur
  • Approx. 50 strawberries
  • *Chopped Nuts optional*



Directions

1. Rinse strawberries and dry completely

2. Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Mix in half and half and vanilla. Remove from heat.

3. Push a toothpick into the stem end of the strawberries. Dip strawberries into the melted chocolate. Turn strawberry upside down and push the toothpick into a styrofoam block, or set on very lightly oiled piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet, so the chocolate will dry evenly. Allow to set.

4. Melt white chocolate and drizzle over the dipped strawberries.

*Optional – Roll freshly dipped strawberry (while chocolate is still melted) in your favorite chopped nuts.*

5. Allow to set until ready to serve.

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Share the Love this Valentine’s Day

Friday, February 11, 2011

“This Valentine’s Day, forget the wining and dining. Do something that matters.”

Those words are from Philanthropy Writing blogger Elaine Fawcett, and I think she’s got it right.

In her post “16 Charitable Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day, ” Elaine shares unique and practical ways to take the focus off of ourselves and really show others we care – and ‘others’ as in not just spouses and significant others. Have you ever thought of giving homemade Valentines to the sick, elderly or homeless (#5)? What about using the money you’d spend on dinner at a fancy restaurant and going to a Valentine’s themed charitable fundraiser instead (#2)? Read Philanthropy Writing’s Valentine’s post here for the complete list. (Plus, look for a shout out to The Salvation Army in #7!)

Meanwhile, The Salvation Army plans to share the love with local communities across the country this weekend and Monday – we’ve listed a few examples below. Look for similar events in your hometown, or reach out to your Salvation Army if you’d like to help find charitable ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

* We Salute You: VA hospital Veterans will receive special handmade Valentines from The Salvation Army in Paris, TX. Several youths and women from the Ladies Home League have made more than 350 cards for the occasion. Additional corps, including some in TX and GA, will participate in the National Salute to Veterans by visiting their local VA Hospital.
* Dinner and A Show: Get ready for a special evening of entertainment in Astoria, NY. The Salvation Army will continue their Valentine tradition of hosting a dinner theater, complete with a surprise special performance by a professional singer. The event comes with entertainment, music, food, games, and more, all for only $15 that go to supporting Salvation Army services. Try to get all that from a fancy restaurant meal!

* 3 Days of Cookies: The Salvation Army’s Women’s Auxiliary in Oil City, PA is hosting their annual Valentine’s Day Cookie Fundraiser. The ladies pour their love for others into baking over this 3 day event, and they’ve already made 260 dozen (3,120) cookies! The sale proceeds will help fund activities and programs. In 2010, $2,000 from their efforts purchased toys for children in need at Christmas, as well as $500 to purchase new toys for the Salvation Army’s nursery.
* Your Majesty: Students from our after school program in Steel Valley, PA will celebrate the day with a Valentine’s Day Ball, and a Valentine’s King and Queen will be crowned! Many other centers across the country have parties and events planned for kids and young adults, like our Kerrville Kroc’s Young Adult Valentine Dinner and a separate Youth Night packed with games and activities.

* YUM!: Loosen your belts for The Salvation Army Tulsa’s “Sweetheart Breakfast” of heart-shaped waffles and pancakes. The event will raise money for the United Way, and attendees will have the option of participating in a “Biggest Loser” style competition for the next 6 weeks. In Lubbock, TX the Army will also be hosting a special Valentine’s Dinner for their Men’s Club and Home League. Plus, they’re providing 800 Valentine candy bags to shelter residents and Meals on Wheels to deliver to their clients.
* Great Shopping: To show their Thrift Store shoppers, workers, and volunteers how much they’re loved, the Salvation Army in Wheeling, WV has planned a “Valentine Appreciation Lunch Special.” They’re setting up a table in front of the store with free pizza and soft drinks for the community to make the 14th an extra special day.

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Look for Us at Daytona!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

[Morgan Shepard The Salvation Army Daytona car 2011. ©Phil Cavali]
Morgan Shepherd will race his #89 Salvation Army Nationwide Series car at Daytona on Feb 19. ©Phil Cavali

Tune in to NASCAR’s Daytona 500 on February 19, and you’ll see The Salvation Army racing around the track!

That’s because NASCAR veteran Morgan Shepherd has generously “donated” the hood of his #89 Nationwide Series race car to our organization and will be sporting our Red Shield and ‘Doing the Most Good’ brand promise.

At age 69, Shepherd is the founder of Victory in Jesus Racing Ministries, and while he’s got a small team with limited means, he’s still searching for opportunities to give back.

“There are millions in our country right now who have lost their jobs, their homes, and their spirit,” Shepherd said. “The demand is very high and we thought we could take our “ministry on wheels” to a higher level and assist The Salvation Army when they need it the most. I’ve been blessed in so many ways over my career, and this is a way of giving back in honor of our fans and supporters. We don’t have much, but what we have, we can “donate” to The Salvation Army.”

Get to know more about our newest partner and driver of #89 Salvation Army Nationwide Series Team through the below Q &A. We hope you’ll root for Morgan Shepherd on race day! Learn more about his efforts at WWW.RACEWITHFAITH.COM

Q: How Long have you been racing?

A: “I’ve been racing in Nascar since 1970. I’ve been racing for The Lord Jesus Christ since I found him in 1975. Over 40 years total and over 800 races.”

Q: What’s (What does) it feel like to represent The Salvation Army in Nascar?

A: “Well, you gotta respect anything that’s been around longer than I have.(laughs). But Man! What an honor. The Salvation Army has been around for what, over 130 years? They are so dedicated to “doing the most good” for those in need helping the needy and the impoverished and most importantly in a Christian manner that makes our team really excited to show off their Red Shield and “Doing The Most Good” motto branding promise at Daytona.”

Q: What is Morgan Shepherd’s motto?

A: I’ve read and been told to hang it up or retire. I’m too old, or we don’t have the funding to compete. But I feel really good, my health is fine, I take care of myself, and most importantly, I have faith. So my
motto is simple, “Faith is something you believe in when common sense tells you not to.”

Q: You say you feel great, but do you have the tools necessary to compete against drivers 1/2 to 1/3rd your age and teams with far superior technology and equipment?

A: “The most powerful tool I have is the power of prayer. Don’t underestimate it. You hear people say when things go bad, Why did God do this to me? Sometimes God has nothing to do with it. Sometimes you turn your back on him and you’re on your own. Bad things can happen to good people. They lose their jobs, their homes, their car, and then their spirit. Prayer is always the answer. Don’t turn your back on the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray hard and often and he will listen, and do what he feels is right for you.”

Q: Any racing goals for 2011?

A: “Well we certainly would like to put The Salvation Army in the winners circle, but we are a very small team with limited funding compared to many of the other teams, so realistically, I’d like to be the oldest driver in Nascar’s upper-two levels to finish a race in the Top 10. I think the record is 59 years of age. I’d like to get a Top 10. We’ve come close the last couple of years, but it just didn’t fall our way. I have faith we can do it.”

Q: Morgan, you are very spiritual. Any favorite passages from The Bible?

A: “Well I always like the story of David and Goliath. The original underdog story. David had no chance, but young David took out a rock and set it in his sling and slung it. Striking the phillistine in the head, and he fell to the ground. I feel like David sometimes. But I’d say my favorite passage would be Hebrews 12:1….LET US RUN WITH ENDURANCE THE RACE GOD HAS SET BEFORE US.”

To follow Morgan Shepherd and The Salvation Army Race Team, visit www.racewithfaith.com, or go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

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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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