Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Chicago’s all abuzz these days with Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s jump into the mayoral race.
But that’s not all that’s going on in the Windy City this week. City residents, along with the hopeful candidate who’s equally known for being a “workout fanatic,” may be interested in some other news-worthy buzz from The Salvation Army:
This Thursday The Salvation Army is officially breaking ground on Chicago’s Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center. Plus, the Chicago White Sox have generously donated $1 million to the construction efforts!
The future facility will be a gym enthusiast’s dream, housing an indoor sports complex, basketball and tennis courts, an aquatic center, a state of the art fitness center, a climbing wall, basketball courts and more.
But if you’re not as much an exercise enthusiast as Rahm, don’t worry. The Kroc Center will offer a lot more than just opportunities for physical activity. It will also house a Family Life and Education center and an Academy of the Arts, where Chicagoans can have access to after-school programs, job training, educational classes, and workshops that have never before been so easily accessible. The Kroc will offer a little bit of everything for almost every interest represented by Chicagoans!
In an official press release White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf stated, “Our commitment to the development of the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center is part of a dedication to bettering the lives of all Chicagoans. The White Sox, as a professional sports organization, are accountable to all of our fans and the entire Chicago community. We commend the Salvation Army for their work and devotion to the growth of people of all ages, races and genders, and we hope White Sox Charities’ support will help the organization achieve its mission of building a community center to serve Chicagoans of all ages.”
If you can’t make it to Thursday’s groundbreaking, learn more about this awesome community initiative at the Kroc’s website www.kroccenterchicago.org or on the center’s Facebook page (KrocChicago).
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
A recent study found that parents play a significant role in influencing their children when it comes to supporting charitable causes.
Children of parents who do not support a nonprofit are only 25% likely to grow up to be a donor, while parents involved in nonprofits increase their children’s odds of becoming a donor more than 80%.
This begs the question, what kind of example do we want to set for our kids? What habits and beliefs are we instilling in them? Most of us agree that raising responsible and caring citizens is important, especially with the growing rate of need in our communities.
Now you don’t have to be a board member of a charity to teach your kids about generosity and responding to need. I remember what a strong impact my parents left on me when they faithfully put a check into the church offering plate each Sunday and gave me a dollar or few coins so that I could contribute as well.
In a post titled, “Early Lessons in Generosity,” CBS Moneywatch’s ‘Bank of Dad’ blog offers some broad but practical suggestions about how parents can teach kids about philanthropy, such as bringing them with you next time you donate your family’s used items to a Salvation Army Family Thrift Store.
And with the holidays just around the corner, there will be plenty of opportunities for adults to involve kids in giving. How about letting them drop some money into a Salvation Army Red Kettle or pick out a toy for our Angel Tree program for a child in need?
If we want to ensure that the next generation understands the importance of giving, the best way is to make giving a family affair.
For information on programs and services offered by The Salvation Army, visit our website at www.salvationarmyusa.org.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
During July 2008-July 2009, 1,574 victims of domestic abuse were denied emergency shelter in Indiana due to lack of space, according to the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. During that same time period 53 deaths in the state were caused by domestic abuse.
Donna*, an abuse victim and mother of three, feared for her life but found it hard to escape from her husband’s escalating violence because she didn’t know where to go.
The Salvation Army of Indiana is doing everything they can to make sure victims find safe shelter, and they’ve just received a $30,000 grant from The Indianapolis Foundation that will help in their efforts.
The funds will support their Emergency Bed Space program run by The Salvation Army’s Women’s and Children’s Shelter, which coordinates space availability at area shelters and makes sure every spot is filled. The grant will help cover everything from meals, linens, and mattresses to housing costs and more.
Through the Emergency Bed Space program, Donna* was able to find room at a shelter for her and her children where they stayed for several months before saving up enough money for a place of their own (read her testimony here).
Since 2003, hundreds of families and individuals with stories like Donna’s* have found shelter and new beginnings through The Salvation Army Indiana’s Emergency Bed Space program, and The Indianapolis Foundation’s generous grant will help ensure hundreds more continue to do so.
Read the full story about the grant award and The Emergency Bed Space program at The Salvation Army Indiana’s website http://salvationarmyindiana.org/.
*Name changed to protect confidentiality
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Southwest Airlines announced they’re buying Airtran, a merge is pending between Continental and United, and Delta’s staying put but faces increased competition from these other guys.
A lot’s going on between these airlines, but most of us don’t get too involved in the nitty gritty details of their business beyond wondering about the future of our fare prices.
But, before you turn your attention to the next news headline, one more thing worth considering is the fate of your frequent flier miles. I know, you’re probably thinking, “C’mon Salvation Army, where are you going with this?”
As airlines make changes within their companies, some are also changing the stipulations around their frequent flier miles such as implementing expiration dates. Rather than just letting the miles you’ve accumulated here and there expire, consider donating them to The Salvation Army.
Just as we accept monetary donations and gifts-in-kind to help people in need, we also accept your donated airline miles. They are used to quickly transport Salvation Army emergency personnel and volunteers during times of national disaster, including Hurricane Katrina and 9/11. They also provide travel to individuals and families who are in need of emergency medical attention and social services outside of their area.
Recently The Salvation Army helped a sexual trafficking victim return home to South America, and an American soldier was also able to attend his father’s funeral across country days before he shipped out to Afghanistan – all thanks to your generously donated airline miles.
Visit our website HERE to see how your United and Delta miles can help ‘do the most good’ for people in need.
Monday, September 27, 2010
After decades of being trapped in prostitution, two women from Omaha finally escaped the streets with the help of The Salvation Army.
Today we’re sharing a little bit of their stories, as published by Omaha’s local news channel KETV ABC 7, of how they turned their lives around.
For general information on The Salvation Army’s work to fight abuse and exploitation, click here. For specific information on The Salvation Army of Omaha and its Wellspring Program, visit their website www.givesalvationarmy.org.
Former Prostitutes Tout Program As Lifesaver
Wellspring Program Helps Get Women Off Streets
September 27, 2010
OMAHA, Neb. — Two women, who have been working the streets of Omaha as prostitutes for more than 10 years, said they found a way out through a program sponsored by The Salvation Army.
The women said they realized their lives were going nowhere and were just getting worse. They said they got help from the Wellspring program.
With October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, they wanted to get their stories out.
Delores (not her real name) is about 45 years old. The high school graduate and one-time college student worked the streets for more than a decade.
“While enrolled in college, I just got mixed up with the wrong people and from there it went downhill,” she said.
Delores said she turned to drugs and then to prostitution. She said she couldn’t stop.
“It was a very dangerous life I was living,” she said.
Cece (also a pseudonym) has a similar story.
“It was like an adventure. It was fun. I was like getting this money. It was fast and I really didn’t have to do nothing to get it,” she said.
Cece was a prostitute for nearly 20 years. She said what started out as being fun, eventually proved otherwise.
“Throughout those 20 years, I’ve been stabbed, I’ve been raped, I’ve been shot at,” she said. “By the grace of God, I’m sitting here telling my story today.”
If it weren’t for the Salvation Army’s Wellspring program, both women said there is no telling where they’d be.
“Prostitution isn’t a choice,” said Mary Raynovich, the director of Wellspring. “We find that it’s really about a lack of choices.”
Raynovich said she works with as many as 100 women every month. About 73 percent of them have been sexually abused and roughly 90 percent of them are chemically addicted, she said.
But, no matter how troubled some of the women are, Raynovich said they are not a lost cause.
“No matter how long you’ve been on the street, there’s hope. You can get off the street,” said Raynovich.
“I believe that if I reach out and let them (other prostitutes) know that there is hope, they will have something to cling to,” said Cece.
“If it wasn’t for our case manager in the program, I know I would still be lost,” Delores said. “I would still be out there, or dead.”
The stories from women like Cece and Delores have helped the Salvation Army secure a $25,000 grant for the Wellspring program. The check will be presented at the end of October.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Happy Friday! Since it’s the end of the week, we’re keeping it simple with an easy-to-read list of news by the numbers. These curt quantities represent a mix…
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Look at the pants you’re wearing today. Did they ever do anything to fight unemployment?
If you’re wearing a pair of Dickies’ limited-edition “Detroit 874,” your response will be, “YES!” If not, you can keep your answer to yourself and continue reading…
Dickies just launched the exclusive Detroit 874 style this week. For every pair sold, the company will donate a pair of their Original 874 Work Pants to The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit to benefit the unemployed and workers in need. These pants will serve as the crucial work apparel they need to find and retain jobs.
Dickies has already donated $25,000 and 5,000 pairs of original 874s to The Salvation Army. If all 5,000 limited edition Detroit 874s are sold, the company hopes to double that donation!
You can help today by purchasing a pair of stylish Detroit 874s available exclusively online at www.dickies.com. And don’t worry if your work dress code calls for something different than blue pants – Dickies are great for both work and play!
Thank you, Dickies, for your great idea to help those in need!
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Today is the final day of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) summit in New York where world leaders have gathered to track the progress of their objectives and stir up a renewed sense of urgency and commitment to assist developing nations as only five years remain before their 2015 deadline.
The Salvation Army has signed on to a letter with several Christian organizations that urges the US, the EU, and the African Union to show a “clear and strong commitment” to the MDGs . For 145 years The Salvation Army has worked to meet human needs by addressing poverty, hunger, education and other issues, but it will take a clear vision and strong partnership from multiple global entities including governments, NGO’s, the private sector, and the public to make a dramatic worldwide impact as outlined in the MDGs.
A simple, colored pictorial chart lays out the 8 ambitious goals, which are broken down into 21 targets. If only implementing these solutions to the complex global issues of poverty, hunger, and education were as straightforward as the diagram seems to portray!
However, while these goals are aggressive, the UN reports that significant progress has been made. Their report shows that before the global economic crisis, “the depth of poverty had diminished in almost every region,” and while the world’s sluggish markets have slowed this progress we are “still on track to meet the poverty reduction target.”
Other areas need vast improvement, such as achieving universal education and reducing child mortality rates (MDG #4) which are on the decline, but not quickly enough to meet the 2015 target. The Salvation Army World Services Office (SAWSO) signed on to a pledge to participate in reducing malnutrition during children’s first 1,000 days – from the time of pregnancy to the age of 2 years – when they are most susceptible to the harmful effects of malnutrition. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton applauded the 1,000 days initiative in an address during an MDG summit side event.
Do you have ideas on how to meet the 8 development goals by 2015? Leave a comment on the UN’s Ideas for Development blog, where anyone from experts to the regular Joe can post their two cents.
If you’d rather listen to discussion than spark it, you can tune in below the live webcast of the UN General Assembly’s debate.
Monday, September 20, 2010
If you’re ever discouraged by your circumstances, here’s a story to help encourage you to not give up hope:
Eight years ago Stephanie Tillman and her family were evicted from their house and were left with nothing. They ended up in a Salvation Army homeless shelter in Kansas where they received housing, food and support for the next four months.
Thanks to contacts made at The Salvation Army, the Tillman family was able to move out of the shelter and begin reestablishing their lives. Stephanie found a job in an engineering firm. Things were looking up.
Stephanie eventually branched out and opened her own graphic design company Crossover Graphics (now ikros.com), which has grown exponentially into a multi-million dollar company since its establishment in 2007. She serves as CEO and her husband works as the CIO, and they have hired ten employees to help support the burgeoning business. Their circumstances today stand in stark contrast to what they were several years ago.
This Thursday, Stephanie will host a ribbon cutting event to celebrate her company’s new headquarters. As a part of the festivities, she’s donating $25,000 to the local Salvation Army to help fund a new homeless shelter that will be built next year!
A media advisory explains the generous gift: “The Salvation Army provided shelter and love to Stephanie and her family, which helped turn her life around. This experience was instrumental in going from homeless to owner of a business established in 2007 that has experienced 555% growth within the last year.”
What an inspiring, real life example for everyone that just because circumstances can take a turn for the worse, all is not lost! And during those most difficult times, The Salvation Army aims to be that beacon of hope when things seem to be at their worst.
Thank you to Stephanie for her generous donation that will help The Salvation continue to provide families and individuals with the resources and opportunities they need to get back on their feet, just like the Tillman family. Best of luck to your entrepreneurial endeavors!
Stay connected with The Salvation Army by following us on Facebook and Twitter.
Friday, September 17, 2010
A newly released Census Bureau report found that the number of Americans living in poverty has increased to 1 in 7. The number of those without health insurance is also reportedly on the rise. It’s a startling thought when you put into those terms just how many Americans are in need of help.
The Salvation Army is working hard to meet these needs that are becoming ever more widely present in our communities.
In Grand Rapids, MI many people will have the opportunity for new work soon. The Salvation Army’s Kroc Community Center is expected to open in October, and they’re seeking to fill 120 positions. The Kroc Center held a widely-attended job fair yesterday. Pretty soon the Center will not only be offering recreational and educational opportunities, but economic ones as well for the community.
Plus, this week in Savannah, GA The Salvation Army held its 6th annual ‘Stand Down for Homelessness’ event, basically a one-stop shop of resources for the homeless. People in need were able to speak face to face with more than 50 vendors gathered at the Salvation Army to discuss information about jobs, housing and social programs, as well as receive services like flu shots and teeth cleaning.
The Salvation Army of Louisville also held their own event called ‘Standdown: Operation Homeless Connect.’ In a similar fashion, area homeless met directly with agencies and offices about jobs, housing and healthcare. Attendees received personal attention from housing providers and case managers and many walked away with free eyeglasses, HIV screenings, hospital referrals and new ID cards.
These events were great ways to directly connect homeless citizens with the resources they need to help them get back on their feet.
If you or someone you know is in need, contact your local Salvation Army to see how we can help you today.