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.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Did you know that socks are the number one requested item at homeless shelters?
Hanes, the #1 sock brand in America, does. That’s why they’ve launched a virtual sock drive to benefit The Salvation Army.
For each person that ‘Likes’ Hanes on Facebook and clicks ‘Help Hanes Donate,’ the brand will donate one pair of socks. Last year they set a goal of 100,000 pairs and met it in one day! Due to the overwhelming support, this year they’ve raised the goal to 500,000.
Help Hanes and The Salvation Army knock this year’s drive out of the park again by warming up 1 million feet. Visit Hanes on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/Hanes or find more info at www.Hanes.com.
There’s even a cool sock-o-meter to monitor the amount of support raised so far…but I’m not going to tell you how many socks have already been pledged. You’ve got to go see for yourself!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Today we want to give our friends at The Cheesecake Factory a big shout out and thank you for their help in ‘doing the most good’ for people in need.
On Thanksgiving Day, for the 9th year in a row, more than 3,000 Cheesecake Factory staffers volunteered to serve a Thanksgiving Day Feast at Salvation Army Community Centers across the country.
From Anaheim to Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston, Long Island, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, they served up A-MAZ-ING meals to more than 6,000 low-income families and individuals.
There was turkey and all the trimmings, plus… The Cheesecake Factory’s famous Pumpkin Cheesecake! Yum! Their cheesecake is so good you order it before your meal (if you’ve ever eaten at the restaurant, you know what I’m talking about).
The delicious food and friendly service from the volunteers made for an incredible feast that our Salvation Army clients will not soon forget.
Thank you, Cheesecake Factory, for sharing the love and sharing the food to meet the needs of the hungry.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Recent studies show teens send and receive on average almost 3,340 text messages per month! Older cell phone users aren’t quite as active, but even those in their 50’s still average several hundred. To state the obvious – that’s a lot.
Imagine if we used even a small portion of all the text messages we send to make a lasting impact on others.
With The Salvation Army’s Text to Give campaign, we can.
Just text “GIVE” to 85944 to donate $10, and you will help provide a meal for a hungry family, a place to sleep for the homeless, job training skills for an out of work individual, or other life-changing opportunities for those in need.
That’s a text message that says a lot.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you are enjoying a blessed holiday with your family and friends. What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? Cooking all day? Or just eating the food…
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Congratulations to Jim Cummings, the big winner of our Online Red Kettle contest!
Jim has won an expenses-paid trip to Dallas where he’ll be in the middle of all the Thanksgiving Day action straight from the seats of Cowboys Stadiums. That includes a rocking performance by Keith Urban during our Red Kettle Kickoff halftime show and a must-see match-up between the Dallas Cowboys and defending Super Bowl champs, the New Orleans Saints.
Of all individual online red kettles, Jim’s raised the most money, receiving donations all the way from Hong Kong, UK and Germany. Thanks Jim, for your work in helping raise funds to support Salvation Army services for those in need!
The contest may be over, but we still need virtual bell ringers! You can start your own online red kettle by registering at www.onlineredkettle.org.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Keith Urban will perform for The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Kickoff during the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day game halftime show. Game airs LIVE at 3:15CT/4:15ET on FOX.
Tomorrow’s the big day. Yes, Thanksgiving, but also…
The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Kickoff! The event marks the official launch of our Christmas fundraising campaign, and as always, we’re doing it up BIG!
We’re teaming up with the Dallas Cowboys (marking 14 years of partnership)to bring you an amazing halftime show during their Thanksgiving Day game versus the New Orleans Saints. Three-time Grammy Award winner Keith Urban will be the featured performer, rocking the stadium out with hits from his new album.
The Cowboys Game and Kettle Kickoff Halftime Show will air LIVE on FOX at 3:15CT/4:15ET.
So whether you’re gearing up for or winding down from your turkey dinner, be sure to tune in!
A scene from the 2009 Red Kettle Kickoff with Daughtry.
As part of the campaign, more than 25,000 Salvation Army workers and volunteers across the country will ring bells and collect donations for people in need with our iconic red kettles. Over the years your generous contributions have helped us serve 30 million Americans each year, and last year you outdid yourselves – giving a record $139 million to our Red Kettle Campaign! Maybe this year we can surpass that too…but we’ll worry about breaking records later.
For now, enjoy your Thanksgiving, and enjoy the halftime show! We hope it will become a part of your family’s annual turkey day traditions.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
The Salvation Army officially kicks off our annual Christmas Red Kettle Campaign this Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, with the help of the Dallas Cowboys!
We’re pumped. The fun will start early in the morning with a LIVE interview from Cowboys stadium between team owner Jerry Jones and Salvation Army National Commander William Roberts.
You can tune in as they discuss the Christmas Kettle Kickoff and how donations raised during the holiday season will help meet needs in your local community all year long. Find your city and local affiliate on the chart below for air times:
Later that day, country music star Keith Urban will celebrate our Red Kettle Kickoff with an awesome performance during the Dallas Cowboys halftime show. The game and show will be nationally televised LIVE by FOX at 3:15 CT/4:15ET, so be sure to tune in!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
There was a lot of energy and excitement at the Rascal Flatts/JCPenney Angel Tree Toy Drive in Manhattan last week! Too many fans to count turned out with new toys for some lucky angels.
Rascal Flatts weaved in and out of the crowd to meet as many people as possible and sign copies of their new album. From the photos it looked like a scene from Where’s Waldo?
The evening’s climax came when toy drive partners JCPenney (represented by VP Rick Jones), Rascal Flatts, and The Salvation Army (represented by Major George Hood) took the stage to share what a positive impact the program would have on children and seniors in need. They thanked the audience for their generous support.
When Major Hood returned from NYC, I asked him about his thoughts on the event and our partners. His response was very encouraging.
“They’re so committed to these kids. It’s really refreshing to work with a retailer who wants to make sure kids are cared for,” he noted.
“This is a corporate partnership where the people involved really are focused on meeting the needs of children – making sure kids have Christmas presents is more important to JCPenney and Rascal Flatts than any recognition they’re going to get.”
Just how important, you ask? Each member of Rascal Flatts has already adopted an angel of their own.
So what are you waiting for? Adopt yours today.