Friday, December 10, 2010
We’re really looking forward to Thursday, Dec. 16. Know why?
It’s our Fourth Annual Dream Drive, when 10 families in 10 cities across the country will receive $1,000 worth of food and holiday gifts from Sam’s Club.
The event is hosted by Sam’s Club and Off the Field professional football players’ wives association for our Salvation Army Adopt-a-Family program.
We can’t wait to help brighten the holidays for these families in need, and we want to share the experience with you.
Visit our blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages next Thursday where you’ll get to see pictures of this exciting event and the families who will be blessed by this year’s Dream Drive!
Friday, December 10, 2010
Singer-songwriter Ashlyne Huff teamed up with The Salvation Army to record her own version and music video of the holiday classic “All I Want for Christmas.”
We love it because the Ashlyne’s not only got a great voice, but her message is all about giving back. Throughout the video you see clips of her serving at real Salvation Army programs!
Check it out below. If you like what you see, you can find more of Ashlyne next week, when she’ll be performing with other hit artists for our free Rock the Red Kettle Concert. We’ll be streaming it live at this site next Wednesday.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
USA Today is running a ‘Holiday Heroes’ series from now thru Christmas about people who go to great lengths to serve others. It’s a great read that will make your heart swell during the season of giving.
Grab today’s front page, or visit their website at www.usatoday.com. The hero they’re featuring this week is Stephen Smith, and get this – he’s only 11 years old!
But for the past 7 years (yes, his philanthropic spirit was inspired at the age of 4) he and his family go all out to donate Christmas presents to The Salvation Army for children in need.
We won’t ruin the story for you, but it’s amazing to read how a preschooler’s sincere concern for others has snowballed into a wonderful annual community tradition of giving back.
It just goes to show that absolutely anyone can make a positive difference if their heart’s in it. To Stephen and the Smith family, thanks for helping The Salvation Army do the most good!
Check out the Holiday Heroes article here. It’s a truly amazing story!
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Starting today, Kroger is partnering with The Salvation Army and Feeding America to offer free flu shots to thousands of uninsured and underinsured individuals.
Customers interested in the free vaccine should stop by their local Salvation Army of Feeding America food bank to pick up a flu shot voucher. They’re good at Kroger stores or a Kroger banner pharmacy such as City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s.
Every year 5 -20 % of Americans get the flu, while more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu-related complications, and about 36,000 people die from flu-related causes.
The Salvation Army and our partners are committed to promoting health and wellness and hope these vouchers will help protect many families and individuals this season.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
We know. Salvation Army bell ringers are probably all over the place in your town! but there’s even more of them that you don’t see because their kettles are all online.
Yep. Virtual bell ringers.
And Jim Cummings from Denver, CO seems to be the virtual kettle king. So far this season his online kettle has raised a hefty $52,000, nearly 75% of his $70,000 goal. The guy’s good!
So good, in fact, that this is actually his 5th year in a row to raise the most money for an individual online kettle. As you recall, this Thanksgiving his efforts earned him a trip to our Red Kettle Kickoff in Dallas. In past years his outstanding kettle also won him another trip to Dallas to attend The Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board Conference. Jim is on the Salvation Army Advisory Board for Metro Denver where he is 1st vice chair.
Jim hands out and posts cards encouraging people to donate to his online kettle. This is one side…
How’s he do it? Jim does a great job of reaching out to friends, family, and coworkers through email to encourage them to help him fill his online red kettle. And even something as simple as an email pays off big.
“I am a retired partner of Deloitte and a large portion of my gifts come through present and past Deloitte personnel from all over the world,” he says. “I have received gifts this year from Hong Kong, UK and Germany.”
But as many contacts as Jim already has, he’s not afraid to enlist the help of acquaintances.
Jim regularly volunteers with a real bell and kettle at Walmart and the mall. When people pass by or donate their change, he hands them a card he pre-printed with information about how to donate to his online red kettle. They may forget Jim’s name and web address by the time they get home, but they’ve got the handout to remind them! He also posts the cards at various places like Starbucks and church.
[Jim Cummings ]
…and this is the other.
How does he feel after all that work?
“It was a lot of fun,” he admits. “A lot of people wanted to see me win.”
His impressive record has earned him a special nickname from his church pastor:
So what advice can Jim give someone who wants to support The Salvation Army but doesn’t think standing on street corners with a bell and kettle is their thing?
He recommends do it all online by hosting you own virtual red kettle. The website is easy to work with and raising support is as simple as sending an email to friends and family.
To start your own individual or team (yes, get others involved too!) kettle, visit www.onlineredkettle.org.
Who knows, maybe next year you’ll give Jim a run for his money for the 2011 title of #1 ding-a-ling.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
The Salvation Army has a lot going on at Christmas time, but this year we’re trying something completely new, and we have a feeling that it’s going to be awesome.
It’s our inaugural Rock the Red Kettle Concert, happening in only one week!
On Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 7pm PST at The Americana at Brand Shopping Center in Glendale, CA, the hottest new young rock bands are going to perform together for this FREE concert open to the public. We’ll stream the whole thing LIVE from www.ustream.tv/rocktheredkettle so you can even watch from your computer.
The hit lineup includes:
With this concert we want to reach and inspire a younger generation of philanthropists.
Plenty of kids, tweens, and teens are looking for opportunities to make a difference and get behind a worthy cause, so with the help of these bands, The Salvation Army is going to show them how to do it.
In between songs and sets, the audience will get to know more about the good the Army does and how the technology they use everyday can be tied in to support our mission. We’ve got everything from online red kettles, a Text to Give initiative, an iPhone bellringer app, and Facebook and Twitter pages ready to be harnessed by the tech saavy teenage masses!
Check back with our blog next Wednesday when we’ll post the live streaming video.
It’s guaranteed to be a rockin’ good time. You won’t want to miss this!
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
We’ve been hearing about some unique Red Kettle bell ringers who are using creative approaches to help raise more money for Salvation Army services in their communities.
These ringers will make you take a second look if you pass by their kettles.
Tinker the Tiny Horse. She doesn’t have hands but she still manages to ring for hours. Watch video
Elvis Presley -The King lives afterall…singing and ringing and shakin’ his hips at Wal-Mart. Watch Video
Union Soldiers Vs. Confederate Soldiers – They’re at it again, but this time they’re fighting for bragging rights of best Red Kettle fundraiser. Read more
Dallas Cowboys Football Players vs. Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders – This team is even competitive off the field…but do they stand a chance against the ladies? Read more
Monday, December 6, 2010
Do you know what you’re asking for from Santa this year?
Maybe you haven’t had a chance to think about it, but now’s as good a time as any. Target is in the giving mood, and your holiday wish list can help people in need!
By submitting a Gift of Joy wish list on Target’s Facebook page, you will help them donate up to $50,000 to The Salvation Army. They’re contributing $5 per list, so get your friends and family involved!
Just visit Target on Facebook (www.facebook.com/target) and select the ‘Give Joy’ tab here.
Then pick 5 items from the selection for your Gift of Joy wish list.
Done. It’s that easy.
And as if that weren’t enough, you also get an opportunity to enter into a drawing for a chance to win a Target gift card!
That’s it. No buying, no wrapping, no nothing. Just tell Target what you’re wishing for and someone in need will have their holiday dreams come true, thanks to you.
Click here to Enter the Sweepstakes
Friday, December 3, 2010
This man has got to be the cutest elf we’ve ever seen…
But the toys he makes year round don’t go towards Santa’s stash. They go to The Salvation Army.
The elf is 90 year-old Sidney Johnson of Fremont, Nebraska who uses his skills to create beautiful toys to benefit underprivileged children. He’s made hundreds over the last several years, and he could have probably made even more if his family didn’t impose a 1 toy/day limit to keep the elderly elf from wearing himself out!
A Nebraska NBC news station recently ran the story and video [embedded above], which are being picked up by affiliates around the country. It’s apparent that we at The Salvation Army aren’t the only ones who love the guy – just read the comments viewers posted here under the original news story, and you’ll get an idea of the fan base that has rallied around Mr. Johnson!
Mr. Johnson, The Salvation Army would like to echo those sentiments of appreciation. We are blessed by your kindness and sincerely grateful for your selfless efforts to serve underprivileged families. You’ve been a wonderful blessing to far many more people than you know!
Thursday, December 2, 2010
We’re officially in the Christmas season, and chances are you’ve seen or will soon see our Salvation Army Red Kettles and bell ringers while you’re out and about.
Our Red Kettles have become a holiday icon – just ask anybody about them and they’ll know what you’re talking about. But do you know how this tradition started?
Today I thought it would be helpful to share the history of The Salvation Army’s Christmas Red Kettle Campaign to give you a deeper understanding of the heart behind this century-old tradition. Here goes:
In San Francisco during December of 1891, Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee resolved to provide a free Christmas dinner to the area’s poor, but he had no way to pay for all that food from his own pocket. So the question remained, how would he do it?
His thoughts went back to his days as a sailor in Liverpool, England. On the Stage Landing he saw a large iron kettle called “Simpson’s pot” into which passers-by dropped charitable donations.
The next day he received permission to place a similar kettle at the Oakland ferry landing. No time was lost in securing the pot and placing it in a conspicuous position, so that it could be seen by all those going to and from the ferry boats. Beside it he placed a sign that read, “Keep the Pot Boiling.” Word spread of his endeavor and he quickly raised the funds to feed 1,000 of the city’s poorest individuals on Christmas day! But he didn’t end it there.
By 1985 the kettle was used in 30 Salvation Army locations along the West Coast, and shortly after they spread to the East Coast. In 1897, the kettle fundraising campaign in Boston and other cities helped pay for 150,000 Christmas dinners for the needy.
Thus, Captain McFee launched a tradition that has spread not only throughout the United States, but throughout the world.
Today, donations raised through our Christmas Red Kettle Campaign fund a vast range of Salvation Army programs and services that serve 30 million Americans year round.
So remember, when you’re dropping a donation in to a Red Kettle, you’re continuing a long standing tradition, but most importantly, you’re making it possible for The Salvation Army to continue to serve the those most in need.