Fight Hunger with a Click and a “Like”

Monday, November 15, 2010

Did you know that in the United States 1 in 6 people don’t know where their next meal will come from? Or that 37 million people have sought help from food pantries or banks? Did you know 18.5 million children eat free or reduced-price lunches at school?

Walmart stores are pledging over $2 billion by 2015 to fight hunger in America, and between now and the end of the year they’re letting you choose to whom $1.5 million of that will go.

How It Works:

* Visit fightinghunger.walmart.com where you’ll find a list of 100 communities along with each of their food hardship rates.

* Login to Facebook and “Like” the community you think needs the funds the most. Your “Like” counts as one vote.

* The community with the most votes will receive $1 million, and the next five communities will receive $100,000 each. The funds will be divided up amongst a number of local organizations fighting hunger (like The Salvation Army) in those supported communities.

You’ll be furthering the cause with just a click of a mouse.

If the virtual world isn’t your preference, or you’d just like to do more, step away from your computer and into a Walmart store this week. From Nov. 15 – Nov. 22 Walmart facilities across the country are hosting in-store food drives to benefit local-area food banks. Donate non-perishable foods for another simple way to help fight hunger.

Find Walmart’s Fighing Humger campaign on Facebook here. While you’re on the site, swing by The Salvation Army’s page here.

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Shopping the Most Good at Target

Monday, November 15, 2010

Not that some of us out there need any additional incentive to go shopping, but this week Target has a promotion that makes it pretty hard to resist.

For each Target gift card of $20 or more purchased in store from Sunday, Nov. 14 – Saturday, Nov. 20, Target will donate $1 to The Salvation Army (up to $400,000 total).

It’s a good way for you to knock out some holiday shopping and a great way to give back to your local community. Plus, can you imagine the look on Aunt Sue’s face when she finds out her awesome present is also helping serve people in need?

The Salvation Army is thankful for Target’s generosity, and we hope you’ll let them know how much their efforts are appreciated next time you stop in their stores.

Remember, this promotion goes through the 20th, so there’s only 6 days left to help The Salvation Army with doing the most good by shopping the most good !

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Watch Tonight – New National Leaders’ Installation

Friday, November 12, 2010

Don’t have plans tonight? Now you do! This evening is the installation service for The Salvation Army’s new national leaders Commissioner William and Nancy Roberts. You’re officially invited to watch the ceremony LIVE online!

What: Installation Service for The Salvation Army’s new National Commander and National President of Women’s Ministries

Who: You + Commissioners William and Nancy Roberts

When: 8:30pmEST/7:30pmCST, Friday, November 12

Where: Here at our blog (look down), or streaming LIVE through www.live.salvationarmymedia.com from Chicago, IL

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Our Red Kettles are even on CNN

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Salvation Army’s Major George Hood, National Community Relations and Development Secretary, appeared live on CNN yesterday with host Ali Velshi to discuss our 2010 Red Kettle Campaign.

As our iconic red kettles are already appearing on streets and by store fronts, Major Hood talked about how the money raised from this holiday tradition is critical in supporting local Army programs and services year round.

In case you missed the interview, we’ve got the video for you right here:

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New National Leaders to be Installed

Thursday, November 11, 2010

As of November 1, The Salvation Army is under the new national leadership of Commissioners William and Nancy Roberts, and their official installment service is taking place Friday, November 12 in Chicago, IL at 8:30pm EST/7:30pm CST.

For anyone interested in watching the ceremony, it will be broadcast LIVE online at www.live.salvationarmymedia.org.

Here at National Headquarters we’ve already had the opportunity to welcome Commissioners Roberts with a special chapel and welcome lunch. For those of you who haven’t had the chance to meet them yet, we can tell you they’re an extremely friendly and personable couple that we’re excited to have join us!

As officers of The Salvation Army they’ve served all over the world – most recently in Kenya and before that London, England and South America, in addition to some cities in the United States. We’ve already heard a few fascinating anecdotes about their work within communities across the globe and they’ve assured us we’ll hear more.

Good…we always love a good story.

We’re confident that Commissioners Roberts will be excellent leaders, not just because of their broad perspective and experience, but also because of their evident love for people. If you’re available Friday evening we definitely recommend tuning in to their installation service.

You can also find the biographies of our fearless leaders here.

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A Paper Angel, A Country Star

Monday, November 8, 2010

Country music star Jimmy Wayne will be performing in Nashville tonight at the ‘A Gathering of Angels Benefit Concert’ to promote our Salvation Army Angel Giving Tree program.

As an advocate of Angel Tree, Jimmy’s doing more than just promoting a good cause. He knows from personal experience the incredible hope it provides to those in need.

Jimmy survived a turbulent childhood and bounced around from foster home to foster home with his sister before ending up on the streets. During those difficult years they were also adopted angels, receiving Christmas presents from kind, anonymous donors through the Angel Tree program. The gifts were a source of cheer amidst an otherwise dark time.

The experience was so important to him that it inspired his 2004 hit song “Paper Angels,” referring to the angel shaped tags which represent the Christmas wishes of children and seniors up for “adoption.”

I wonder, did Jimmy ever imagine that one day he would be on the other side serving as a voice for a program from which he once received support? I don’t know, but the generosity of others certainly resulted in a life-changing impact on the course of his life (while a homeless teenager, an elderly couple adopted him for real and set him on the course for college and a music career).

By adopting an angel this holiday season through our Angel Giving Tree online program, you too can have a significant, positive effect on the life of a child or senior in need – we have more than 140,000 signed up this year. Just go to jcp.com/angel, or watch the video below to learn more.

Thanks for your support!

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Introducing Garbage Bag Couture

Friday, November 5, 2010

Go to your closet and pick out your nicest dress. Now throw it on the floor because you can’t be caught dead in that at tonight’s event hosted by The Salvation Army of Pittsburgh.

Forget sequins and silk. Trash bags are all the rage this evening at The 9th Annual Garbage Bag Gala where you’ll find “Pittsburgh’s classiest guys and girls” gathered for “this season’s trashiest event.”

The gala is a unique fundraiser to raise money for homeless families living at The Salvation Army’s East Liberty Family Caring Center. Instead of spending money on a new outfit, partygoers donate the funds to The Salvation Army where they’ll be used to support family center residents. Oh ya, and as a fun twist, attendees create evening attire out of plastic garbage bags!

For more information, find the Gala on Facebook (The 2010 Garbage Bag Gala) or visit their website at garbagebaggala.com.

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Salvation Army Bell Ringer Sets a World Record

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Salvation Army captain is the newest name to go down in the Guinness Book of World Records! Captain Ken Chapman from The Salvation Army’s Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi Division set the record for continuous bell-ringing for 30 hours, 5 minutes, and 50 seconds, breaking the previous record of 28 hours and 50 minutes set in Canada. Congratulations!

But the stunt was more than just about having his name go down in history. Dressed in his Salvation Army uniform with his hand bell and a Red Kettle close by, Captain Chapman’s goal was to recruit more bell-ringing volunteers and raise awareness of the great need in his local community.

In fact, Salvation Army units across the country are looking for volunteer bell ringers. If Captain Chapman can ring a bell for more than a day straight, we’re sure some folks out there can do it for an hour or two!

Please contact your local Salvation Army to learn more about how you can sign up to be a Christmas bell ringer. We can always use more.

In the meantime, Captain Chapman is giving his arms a rest while he waits for his record to be certified by Guinness World Record officials in London.

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Angel Giving Tree is Online! Adopt Your Angel Today

Thursday, November 4, 2010

This week is the official launch of The Salvation Army and JCPenney’s annual Angel Giving Tree online Christmas gift drive at jcp.com/angel!

Now you can play Santa for children and seniors in need by adopting these “angels” and buying presents from their wish lists.

Christmas shopping for family and loved ones is a daunting holiday task for almost everyone, but it’s especially so for those who don’t have the financial means to buy gifts. Fortunately, Angel Giving Tree online provides them peace of mind when generous supporters like you lend a helping hand.

Just ask Yolanda Wheeler, a blind, single mother from Jackson, MI raising two children and her teenage sister. Her kids will have gifts this year thanks to Angel Giving Tree.

To help other families like Yolanda’s just go to jcp.com/angel to adopt someone today. You can even choose an angel in your area by searching by zip code or find one according to age and gender. You’ll also be able to find gift drop-off locations or an address to mail your presents for free thanks to UPS.

There are more than 100,000 kids and seniors across the country waiting to be adopted. With your help, you can make sure they have some very-much needed presents waiting for them under the tree when they wake up on Christmas morning.

Hurry! The deadline for adopting and shopping is December 10.

To read the our official press release, click here.

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Bell Ringers – From Festive to…Funky?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I know it’s not even Halloween yet, but I can’t wait to see Salvation Army Red Kettles on street corners and outside store fronts and to hear the accompanying ring of hand bells.

Part of my anticipation has to do with the festiveness wrapped up in this tradition. For me, that familiar scene triggers the comforting realization that the holidays are here.

Most of my eagerness though has to do with the people. I can’t help but appreciate and respect bell ringers who have obviously taken time out of their schedule to stand on sidewalks and ring their hearts (or hands?) out in order help those in need.

My favorite is when I see a bell ringer get creative and incorporate their talents, usually singing or playing an instrument. Sure, it kicks up the “fun factor,” but mostly I love how a person’s devotion to their cause can inspire them to use their imagination and inspire others in return. With that in mind, you’ll understand my excitement when I came across this video this morning from The Salvation Army’s Northern Division (serving Minnesota and North Dakota):

I’ve seen carolers, and I’ve seen musicians, but rappers? That’s a first!

Apparently the “Salvation Souljas” made the music video to recruit more volunteer bell ringers, so I don’t know if they actually rhyme and dance when they’re manning the Kettles.

But if we happen to see an increase in funky, flowing bell ringers this season, now we know where the trend started!

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