Get ready because National Salvation Army Week is coming up – Monday, May 10 – Saturday, May 16!
National Salvation Army Week, typically observed in the second week of May, was first declared by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954. In the proclamation, Eisenhower noted: “Among Americans, The Salvation Army has long been a symbol of wholehearted dedication to the cause of human brotherhood . . . Their work has been a constant reminder to us all that each of us is neighbor and kin to all Americans, giving freely of themselves, the men and women of The Salvation Army have won the respect of us all.”
In 2001, President George W. Bush issued a new proclamation recognizing the week, stating: “During this week, I encourage Americans to express their appreciation for the Salvation Army’s good works and to follow their example of serving a cause greater than themselves.”
We hope you’ll celebrate the week with us!
Everyday next week we’ll post on our website a Salvation Army event going on around the country, and our blog will also list an interesting Salvation Army fact. We’re sure we’ll be able to make you say, “I didn’t know that!”
Today, Salvation Army service units, along with volunteers, businesses and government, celebrate National Salvation Army Week through a variety of special events and activities across the country.
We recently showed you Part 1 of an Honor Society interview where they sat down with The Salvation Army in Norfolk, VA. If you need to catch up and watch the video, check it out at our original post because now we have Part 2!
The band discusses their time with the kids at The Salvation Army’s Kroc Center in San Francisco, their experience on the Bed and Bread Truck in Detroit, and why they wanted to partner with us again.
For more information about the hit band Honor Society and how they’re helping to “do the most good” through their partnership with The Salvation Army, visit their website at www.honorsocietymusic.com or follow them on Twitter @honorsociety.
What do you get when you combine more than 2,600 Syracuse volunteers, Numana, and The Salvation Army? Apparently, 867,858 meals for Haiti!
In another one of our Numana community meal packing events for earthquake survivors, citizens of the greater Syracuse, NY area really wowed us by showing up in unexpected numbers and helping us far exceed our expected goal for the event! Individuals of all ages and backgrounds turned out, including a couple and their two 5 year old boys who they just recently adopted from Haiti.
Read the story about Saturday’s event HERE at The Salvation Army Eastern Territory’s website.
Numana’s website lists upcoming meal event locations and dates at www.numanainc.com.
If you’ve been following The Salvation Army’s relief efforts in Haiti you know that we’ve partnered with Numana, a hunger relief organization, and tens of thousands of volunteers from around the country to pack and ship nutritious and simple meals for earthquake survivors.
Here’s some exciting news:
We’ve reached ten million – 10,000,000 – meals for Haiti since January’s earthquake!
This weekend at multiple events around the country, San Francisco, CA saw more than 1 million meals prepared in one day, volunteers in Champaign-Urbana, IL also packaged 1 million meals, and New London, CT put together 269,016 meals ready to be shipped.
That’s amazing, and we couldn’t do it without the help of our volunteers! If you would like to volunteer at upcoming events or learn more information about Numana, visit their website at www.numanainc.com.
Chef Timothy Tucker’s students are not the typical individuals you would expect to be enrolled in intensive culinary classes – they’re homeless or living below the poverty line. But through these classes Chef Tucker is not just meeting the momentary needs of the disadvantaged population, he’s empowering them to support and sustain themselves for the rest of their lives.
Timothy graduated with a degree in culinary arts and worked in high end restaurants. He later spent a few years doing research and development on an organic farm where he says he began to understand that diet affects all areas of an individual’s functionality, attitude and behavior, and that food can play a significant role in healing.
Chef Tucker, wearing black, with his culinary students.
He brought this knowledge with him to The Salvation Army’s Center of Hope in Louisville, KY in 2005, where he developed the Culinary Training Program, an intensive 10 week course that teaches basic culinary skills needed to find an entry level position in the food and hospitality industry. Here, homeless or impoverished students learn everything from safety and sanitation in the kitchen, to knife skills, to preparing a range of foods, and much more. They’re tested weekly and even cook for events and fundraisers to raise support for this self-funded program.
The Salvation Army’s Culinary Training Program even has two gardens outside – one is the half the size of a football field and the other half the size of a basketball court – where fresh vegetables and herbs are grown for use in the kitchen. According to the Program’s Facebook page, these organic gardens grow nearly 1,500 pounds of produce each year which help feed the Center’s homeless. Amazing!
Culinary students receive intensive training and hands on practice in the kitchen. (Photos: Culinary Program’s Facebook page)
On average, 9 students complete the course each semester, and Chef Tucker says approximately 75% of his graduates secure work. The remaining 25%, however, don’t acquire a job not for lack of skill or help from the Program, but rather a lack of desire to rejoin the workforce. But Chef Tucker says he’s confident those individuals would be able to find a job if they pursued it. Meanwhile, he says he has visited his former students in their new work places and receives wonderful feedback about his program.
Under the guidance of Chef Tucker, The Salvation Army’s Culinary Training Program has done a great job of not just feeding the homeless but reducing homelessness through education and opportunity. He is working with other Salvation Army facilities across the country to replicate this program and reach other disadvantaged populations.
For more information about the amazing work of The Louisville Salvation Army’s Culinary Training Program, visit their website at www.centerofhoperadio.org . Also visit them here on Facebook and help them reach their goal of 3,000 friends by the end of May!
Celeste Smith was well acquainted with the Seattle social scene and an insider among the city’s exclusive social clubs. She sits on boards, has served as president (multiple times) of prestigious clubs, and lives in a nice home on the affluent eastside of the city. Celeste recounted to me that as she passed Salvation Army Bell Ringers outside store fronts at Christmas time, she would regularly donate to the iconic Red Kettles. However, she said she never stopped to think about what her donations meant for the person on “the other side.”
Celeste Smith says she donated to The Salvation Army, but she never expected to be in need of The Salvation Army’s help.
Until, that is, she became that other person. After being diagnosed with aggressive stage 2A breast cancer, Celeste underwent heavy treatments, leaving her exhausted and unable to continue her job as a realtor.
“I had a lumpectomy in April, radiation July-August, and chemotherapy and Herceptin treatments which concluded in October 2009. During this time and since I have had no income except a Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) check of $339.00 a month, food stamps and the generosity of friends.”
Celeste filed bankruptcy, her house went into foreclosure, and she had to sell her belongings or borrow money from people in order to make ends meet. She soon felt hopeless.
“I was so despondent. There was no place to draw from,” she said. “It’s not just about being depressed, it’s about feeling hopeless. To me, that’s a different thing. I couldn’t find one thing to take any kind of hope in. It was a moving thing for me. When I got to that point, I realized this was huge.”
Celeste sought out help and was referred to The Salvation Army (TSA) to begin to get a grasp on her finances. She visited February 17. During her appointment, Celeste’s Salvation Army caseworker talked to her about utility assistance through the emergency financial assistance umbrella program. That same day, TSA pledged $269 towards her overdue utility balances, which covered her outstanding electric bill, and all but $60 of her gas bill. The funds were paid to the companies, which postponed Celeste’s pending utility shut off, and TSA made an appointment for her with another organization called Hopelink to cover the cost of her remaining gas bill. She left that day with her utility service intact and a short term plan for her finances.
Once without hope, Celeste has now found encouragement in the assistance she received through TSA, and she says she feels like she’s moving forward.
“I just have to take it day by day. Even though now I don’t know where I’m going, I’m fairly positive because I’m better than I was. I have gone through this for a reason, for my own life learning. Maybe the social world of private club life isn’t where I need to be. I have to be positive because I feel like now I have a little bit of a mission. I want to help other people.”
Celeste’s doctor says she is in remission and her prognosis is good. Celeste hopes to start a foundation that will help single, low income women like her who have been diagnosed with cancer. She says when she becomes more financially solvent she would like to continue supporting TSA.
“The process of requesting help from all agencies is laborious and difficult to navigate making a difficult process even more exhausting. If it was not for non-profits like The Salvation Army to pay utility bills and water I am not sure where I would be. In the dark I suppose.”
For more information about The Salvation Army’s ongoing efforts, visit our national website at www.salvationarmyusa.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Here’s a video that will practically guarantee a smile on your face by the time you finish it.
Before heading to rehearsal for their concert at Nokia Theater, Honor Society visited The Salvation Army’s Harlem Corps Community Center in New York City where they met City Year volunteers and some very excited kids. When exploring the facility, the band admired (and even helped paint) the murals that decorate The Salvation Army Center’s school.
Honor Society spent most of their time with children’s choir and gave them tips on performing, including how to turn fear of being on stage into excitement! The band’s visit provided some awesome encouragement to the kids and everyone had a GREAT time!
Click here to find more information about The Harlem Community Center and youth programs offered by The Salvation Army’s Greater New York Division.
The hit pop rock band Honor Society has been going non-stop on their national tour, bouncing from city to city while also making it a priority to be personally involved in Salvation Army programs along the way. Before their concert in Norfolk, VA on Sunday, Michael, Andrew, Jason, and Alex were interviewed by the local [...]
More than 2,000 volunteers turned out to help The Salvation Army and Numana Inc. pack 1 million meals for Haiti last Saturday, completing the extraordinary feat within 15 hours! Our previous events have always been spaced out over 2 days, so thanks to everyone who worked so hard to help us meet this goal.
Salvation Army staff can’t hide their joy after volunteers packed one million meals in less than 24 hours.
With the help of UPS and FedEx, these million meals are in the process of being transported to Haiti where we will distribute them to the tens of thousands of Haitians who are being cared for by our teams.
Read more details about the Million Meals for Haiti event at The Salvation Army Western Territory’s Expect Change blog and see recently posted photos at The Salvation Army San Francisco’s Flickr page.
Learn more about how The Salvation Army San Francisco serves those in need by visiting their website at www.tsagoldenstate.org and stay updated through their Facebook page.
More meal packing events will be taking place around the United States, including one in Philadelphia on May 21 and 22, so stay updated through our blog, Facebook, and Twitter page to see when you can volunteer for the next one in your neighborhood.
If we haven’t said it enough, we want to say it again: THANK YOU to all volunteers who have so generously given of your time and effort for the betterment of others! We here at The Salvation Army love having you involved. As we continue to recognize National Volunteer Week, below are a few of [...]