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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Passing the Gavel

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board (NAB) met in Philadelphia last week, and Charlotte Jones Anderson officially began her term as our newest NAB Chairperson! She’s the first female to serve in this capacity.

[Passing the Gavel]
Charlotte Jones Anderson (center), joined by parents Jerry and Gene Jones (left), receives her gavel as official NAB Chairperson from Salvation Army Commissioners William and Nancy Roberts (right).

As the Executive Vice President Brand Management/ President of Charities for the Dallas Cowboys, Charlotte’s been actively involved with The Salvation Army. For 13 years she’s organized our Red Kettle Kickoff half-time show at the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game. Her parents Jerry and Gene Jones, owners of the Cowboys, were on hand to celebrate with her.

[Outgoing NAB Chairperson Rob Pace ]
Former NAB Chairperson Rob Pace (center) gets a kick out of his own Cowboys jersey. (Pictured Left to Right: Major George Hood, Gene and Jerry Jones, Charlotte Jones Anderson, Commissioners William and Nancy Roberts)

Outgoing NAB Chairperson Rob Pace lauded Charlotte and the Jones family for all their contributions to the work of The Salvation Army. To his surprise, they presented him with a Dallas Cowboys jersey, complete with his own name on the back! Mr. Pace was grinning from ear to ear thanks to the thoughtful gift.

The Salvation Army is grateful to Rob Pace for his years of dedicated leadership, and we’re thrilled to now have installed our next incredible leader Charlotte Jones Anderson

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Feeding the Need 2011 – New Food Survey Report

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Experts say the US’ economic recession ended in June 2009, but if you ask the general population, many will probably tell you they’re skeptical and are still feeling the pain.

The Salvation Army has just released a new report today that also seems to show the recession is having a lasting impact on Americans.

We talked to more than 30 Salvation Army food service programs across the country to put together “Feeding the Need 2011,” a survey conducted between October 2010 and December 2010 that represents the experiences of Salvation Army officers and employees who work directly with clients in need.

Based on the national feedback we’ve seen from our food service programs, there are many Americans still struggling and in need of help, despite experts’ assessment that the recession is over.

Here’s a few key findings from our “Feed the Need 2011” survey:

* 94% of Salvation Army food service programs reported an increase in requests for food assistance in 2010.

* Nearly 60% of Salvation Army programs saw donations remain flat or decline from all funding sources, including government, public and private sources.

* Of food programs surveyed, 55% reported that their shelves were half-full or less.

* 23% of programs reported that volunteering rates increased in 2010, a sign that many Americans are beginning to donate time and talent instead of money.

Learn more by downloading the complete “Feeding the Need 2011” survey here.

Donors and volunteers can learn more about supporting The Salvation Army by visiting www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

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Meet Mike Jones, A Hometown Hero and Salvation Army Board Member

Friday, January 14, 2011

Remember Mike Jones, the hometown hero who saved the lives of several Florida school board members taken hostage in their own meeting? The dramatic video of Jones thwarting the gunman was all over the internet and TV.

Most people recognize Jones from the recent news coverage of the event, but the more you get to know him, the more you realize he wasn’t just a hero in the moment. He’s been helping change people’s lives for years.

Jones currently serves as Bay District Safety and Security Director, and he’s also served 35 years in law enforcement as a police officer and detective. On top of that, he’s a local Salvation Army Advisory Board member.

While he was still in law enforcement, Jones worked several cases which led him to The Salvation Army. He helped many female domestic violence victims and abused children find shelter and assistance at our facilities.

Though at that time he generally knew of The Salvation Army’s work, he wasn’t fully aware of the many programs and services we offer. But now that Jones is a local board member going on his 4th year of service, he gets to see The Salvation Army from the inside out. His main role is to provide guidance and vote on issues related to finances, procedural policy, or other significant proposals.

“When you’re not a board member, you may not know everything [The Salvation Army is] doing,” Jones says. “But when I got in there and learned what they’re doing, it strengthened my faith even more…I could go on and on about how our community benefits from their work.”

Mike Jones with several refurbished bikes for his Salvage Santa program.
While he gives back through his service at The Salvation Army, Jones also heads another significant initiative called Salvage Santa, a program focused on refurbishing toys to donate to children in need. He started it more than 27 years ago as a hobby when he saw many great toys going to waste. Now he’s known all over the area for the work he and his wife do fixing up bikes, dolls, and games, and community members regularly drop by with donations. It’s gained so much attention that Jones was interviewed on Oprah in 1995! Check it out here under the video section. Jones is now serving 800 – 1,000 kids a year through Salvage Santa.

But for all these admirable things that Jones is known for, being forced to face off in a deadly gunfight is not the way most people would prefer to become known as a hero. I asked him how such a life-changing situation has affected him, especially his outlook on this new year.

“All the credit and glory goes to the good Lord. I’ve been through a lot of training in 35 years of law enforcement, and all of that kicked in, but Somebody guided me,” he said, describing how he was supposed to be on vacation that day, the seeming-coincidences that led to him be at the building at the right time, and narrowly avoiding the gunman’s shots in the meeting room. “I’m fortunate to be here today so I give all the thanks to God and what he does.”

During our phone conversation, Jones praised many of his colleagues on The Salvation Army Board and described them as “pillars of the community. ” While he probably wouldn’t say it about himself, it seems clear that those words easily describe Jones as well – not for a single heroic act highlighted on the evening news, but for the heroism he’s displayed through decades of service to others. The Salvation Army is extremely grateful to have him as a part of our organization.

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