International Track Star Surprises Campers

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

International track star Lolo Jones paid a surprise visit to The Salvation Army’s Citadel Community Center (Corps) and Summer Day Camp in Des Moines, Iowa yesterday. Jones and an NBC television crew visited the center to help tell the story of how her family lived at The Salvation Army center during a time of homelessness when she was a child. Lolo was active in the Corps’ children’s ministries during her childhood.

After playing an intense game of dodgeball with the day camp children, Lolo encouraged them to reach for their goals.

The NBC crew captured video of Lolo Jones and the day campers in preparation for coverage of Lolo prior to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The footage is expected to be broadcast in August 2012. The film crew director said some of the video may be shown on NBC’s Today Show sooner.

Jones, an Olympic hurdler from Des Moines, is a two-time world indoor champion. She won her second outdoor national title in the 100-meter hurdles at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Des Moines on June 26 with a time of 12.69 seconds.

For more information about The Salvation Army’s work in Des Moines, visit their website at www.salvationarmy-desmoines.org.

Information provided by The Salvation Army’s Western Division.

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Numana Reaches 20 Million Meals for Haiti

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hunger relief organization Numana, Inc. has packaged 20 MILLION MEALS for Haiti Disaster Relief, according to the organization’s official press announcement released Saturday. The latest milestone was reached this weekend as volunteers from across the Midwest banded together at Numana community events held in Fayettville, AR, Milwaukee, WI and Pratt, KS.

In their statement the relief organization said, “Numana would like to thank first of all the thousands of people who have shown up to give of their money, energy and time to help make this happen. Rick McNary, Founder and CEO said, “We knew that if we provided people with the opportunity, they would respond overwhelmingly, and they have.” The Salvation Army deserves a special thanks as they have helped facilitate nearly half of all the meals packaged.

Fayetteville’s ‘Razorback Relief’ packaged a record 1.4 million meals in 24 hours, breaking the previous record held by Kansas City of 1.2 million. Milwaukee produced an impressive 573,000 meals, and Pratt turned out 276,00!

Thank you to everyone for your helping hands that together have made an incredible difference in the lives of Haiti’s starving population. For more information about Numana and how to be involved in upcoming events, visit their website at www.numanainc.com. You can also follow them on Twitter for the latest information and statistics @NumanaInc.

And sure to visit The Salvation Army online at www.salvationarmyusa.org for news of our ongoing service, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

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High Fashion Meets The Salvation Army

Friday, June 25, 2010

The styles below look like they were ripped from the pages of a high-end fashion magazine…

But would you believe the models featured are all wearing clothes that were donated to The Salvation Army?

In Argentina, the local Salvation Army teamed up with ad agency JWT Argentina and five of the country’s top fashion designers to put together these stunning outfits, blowing away conventional ideas of thrift store style!

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The goal of The Salvation Army Argentina’s “Sr. Amor” campaign is to raise awareness of the importance of recycling clothes through donation and resale, which benefits both people in need and the environment.

The pieces pictured above were auctioned off earlier this month with the funds raised going to support The Salvation Army.

Now don’t let Argentina have all the fun. Visit our site www.satruck.org to learn more about donating clothes and other items to The Salvation Army. Your generous gifts donated to our Family Thrift Stores willsupport the work of our Adult Rehabilitation Centers. You could look around stores to see if you find some new inspiring treasures for yourself!

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Volunteers Help Salvation Army Show Continuous Care for Haiti

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

News of Haiti’s ongoing recovery has slipped from the headlines, but the country’s need has not disappeared. Despite this drop in media attention, The Salvation Army and volunteers continue to devote countless man hours to serving earthquake survivors.

Just this past weekend hundreds of individuals from Kalamazoo, MI and the surrounding area gathered at an old Sam’s Club warehouse where they packaged 620,784 meals for Haiti over a period of two days. The event was hosted by hunger relief organization Numana, Inc. and The Salvation Army. A photo run by the Kalamazoo Gazette showed a grown man and a four year-old boy working together in the assembly-line style packing process. Though the picture may at first appear unremarkable, the sharp contrast of this seemingly mismatched pair captures the unique sense of unity and passion to help that bonds an otherwise diverse group of volunteers. Kalamazoo proved to have a great turn out of helping hands!

You would expect with it being more than five months following the earthquake, public interest would fade. But Numana hosts widely-attended meal packing events like the one in Kalamazoo every week across the country in order that The Salvation Army will have a continuous supply of food to distribute to Haitian survivors. Actually, three separate events will be taking place this weekend in Kansas, Wisconsin, and Arkansas, with Arkansas attempting to set a record of packing 2 million meals during a first-ever 24 consecutive hour event! It actually seems like the public’s desire to help is gaining steam.

Numana founder Rick McNary told the Kalamazoo Gazette that in the five months since the earthquake more than 18 million meals have been packaged for Haiti through Numana’s partnership with The Salvation Army and volunteers across the country!

The Salvation Army is incredibly thankful for the help of Numana and all the compassionate volunteers who continue to diligently give their time, efforts, and resources for those in need in Haiti, even after the overwhelming need no longer makes news headlines!

For more information about The Salvation Army in Kalamazoo, visit their website at www.tsakalamazoo.org or find them on Facebook.

You can also learn more about Numana, Inc. through their website www.numanainc.com.

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Celebrate Summer with 10,000 Scoops of Ice Cream!

Monday, June 21, 2010

We’ve waited all year and it’s finally here – the first day of summer! The season is a veritable celebration of life’s simplest pleasures, such as shedding your shoes for a barefoot jaunt in the grass, lingering on the porch to enjoy a beautiful sunset, and savoring the smell of charcoal as the breeze carries with it the aromas of outdoor barbecues.

And of course, it can’t be summer without a cold scoop of ice cream! Thankfully, Denali Flavors, creators of Moose Tracks Ice Cream, has this covered.

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, Denali Flavors will give out 10,000 free scoops of Moose Tracks ice cream today in an event that not only celebrates the inauguration of summer, but also supports The Salvation Army. For every scoop of ice cream eaten, Denali Flavors will donate $1 to The Salvation Army’s Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Grand Rapids that is scheduled to open later this year. The money will help support the many programs that will be offered to local youth in the areas of education, fine arts, sports, health, and spiritual development. The multi-use facility will contain a gymnasium and performing arts, education, aquatic, fitness and worship centers.

You can read more information about the progress of The Salvation Army’s Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Grand Rapids by visiting their website HERE.

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Helping Homeless Children Succeed

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Nearly 150 homeless individuals are housed in The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center in Detroit, and about 80 of those are children. Salvation Army Captain Barbara McCauley told The Detroit News that many mothers who come through their doors sought shelter there when they were kids.

Unfortunately, children of homeless adults face the risk of getting caught in the cycle of homelessness. In addition to the effects posed by the emotional stress and instability of their circumstance, moving from place to place and from school to school causes many children to fall behind in their education. These struggles kids face while they are young could pose a notable impact on their development into adults.

Organizations including The Salvation Army recognize the need to confront these issues in order to stop the trend. Through mentorship and tutoring, staff and volunteers are strengthening kids with vital educational and recreational opportunities the children might otherwise miss. This effort is even taking place now at our Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center in Detroit.

In addition, homeless parents are able to focus more effort on finding jobs and housing while their children are being intellectually and emotionally nurtured.

Check out an article featured in the Detroit News that discusses this life-changing endeavor and our efforts at The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center in Detroit: Tutoring Programs Try to Break Cycle for Homeless Children.

For more information about The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center in Detroit, click HERE.

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2010 World Cup: The Salvation Army’s Work in South Africa

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Have you gotten caught up in the excitement of the 2010 World Cup? Are you soaking up each match as nations battle it out in the Group Stage, vying for a coveted spot to progress to the second round? Have you immersed yourself in World Cup trivia and player stats and even learned about South African culture (with your vuvuzela in hand)?

Whether you’re actively following the soccer games or just happen to catch headlines splashed across the news, almost everyone is at some degree aware of the global rivalry playing out across our TV screens.

At The Salvation Army, many of us have also enjoyed watching the games in our spare time – I was more than just a little happy to see the United States tie with England on Saturday! But The Salvation Army’s interest in the games extends beyond a mere competitive spirit.

The Salvation Army has been working in the communities of South Africa since 1883 to provide feeding programs, homes for babies and children with HIV/Aids, shelters for homeless people, community development projects, and much more.

But of more recent concern surrounding the 2010 World Cup is an increase in human trafficking. This, unfortunately, is many times an unintended consequence of major sporting events which draws a huge influx of tourists and an immense demand for sexual services. Additional factors specific to South Africa also contribute, including widespread poverty and relaxed visa requirements.

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The Salvation Army is passing out ‘Red Cards’ at the 2010 World Cup as a part of our anti-trafficking campaign.

Therefore, The Salvation Army Southern Africa Territory has been working tirelessly for more than a year to ramp up their anti-trafficking campaign in anticipation of the 2010 World Cup. Its focus is twofold: Prevention and Awareness.

* Prevention: The Salvation Army is hosting Holiday Clubs and soccer clinics to keep children off the streets, providing them a safe place where they will be less vulnerable to fall prey to traffickers. Safe houses for women and children are also available.

* Awareness: The Salvation Army has spent the past year and a half educating communities on the threat of trafficking through conversation and teaching. We also launched a toll free number 08000-RESCU (73728), which is a hotline for both victims of trafficking as well as a platform for community members with ‘tips’ about trafficking in their neighborhood.

During the World Cup we are handing out ‘Red Cards’ warning against trafficking, as well as advertising our message on soccer balls, vuvuzelas, and water bottles.

The Salvation Army Southern Africa Territory is also engaged in other outreach activities during the games, including street ministry, soccer clinics, Kids Clubs, and their usual community programs.

To learn more about how The Salvation Army is working to assist South Africans and make the 2010 World Cup safer for everyone, click HERE.

You can also visit The Salvation Army Southern Africa Territory’s website at http://www.salvationarmy.org.za/.

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Kids Score Big as Sports Role Models Team Up With Salvation Army

Friday, June 11, 2010

If you’ve ever played on a sports team or been involved in athletic activities, you understand what a positive role sports play in healthy physical, emotional, and social development. Plus, being active is fun!

Recreational activities are an important part of The Salvation Army’s mission in serving others and provide wonderful opportunities to support and build up youth and communities as a whole. With summer just around the corner, The Salvation Army and several professional sports role models have been busy making sure kids have a chance to get active and play! Here are just a few examples taking place right now across the country:

Tomorrow (June 12) in Durham, NC, NFL quarterback David Garrard will host his second annual Air It Out Football & Cheer Camp. Garrard’s foundation has enabled children from The Salvation Army to attend at no charge! In addition to Garrard, several NFL players and college cheerleaders will be personally facilitating the camp.

Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones

Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones and The Salvation Army each pledged $25,000 to the North Mabee Boys & Girls Club in Tulsa, OK during an MVP Weekend camp for local children, which included a “Sound Mind, Sound Body” football camp for high school players. Participating campers even got personal playing tips from Jones, as well as New Orleans Saints wide receiver and Super Bowl champion Robert Meachem.

The United Football League (UFL) Nighthawks in Omaha, NE donated $25,000 to the Salvation Army Kroc Center to establish two mentoring programs for local children. Through the Mini-Hawk program, Nighthawk players will have the opportunity to mentor children ages 12 and under. Through a second program geared at older kids, teenagers will have the opportunity to meet and interact with members of the Nighthawks team.

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Also, players from the Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Commissioner David Stern kicked off the new NBA Cares Learn & Play Center at The Salvation Army Los Angeles Red Shield Youth & Community Center. The Lakers played with and encouraged the kids at the opening event. The Center, newly furnished with books and computers, will provide a great place youth to develop physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

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A Purple Heart Returns Home

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Purple Heart has finally found its way home after mistakenly surfacing January in a box of donations at a Salvation Army Store in New York. The medal was found with a certificate and photo of a young soldier, and figuring the valuable honor was not intended to be given away, Salvation Army staff had few clues to direct them to the rightful owner.

The certificate described the award of Sgt. Richard E. Owen “for military wounds received in action resulting in his death on June 6, 1944,” but no one knew who dropped off the donation, if Sgt. Owen was even from the New York area, or the names of his living family members. However, after thorough research, Salvation Army Captain Ronald Heimbrock discovered Sgt. Owen was from the “Easy” Company Paratroopers, 101st Airborne Division, whose mission in Europe during WWII inspired the popular HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers.”

Capt. Heimbrock contacted the local newspaper to run a story in hopes of finding someone with a connection, which was then picked up by AP who distributed stories across the country. Soon, the American Legion reached out to Capt. Heimbrock to assist in the search by posting information on their blog. (Click here to read a story discussing the myterious details surrounding the Purple Heart and Capt. Heimbrock’s efforts.)

When the Winchester Virginia newspaper wrote an article on the matter, the reporter was approached by a woman named Ellen Marshall, the great niece of Richard Owen, with a photo album containing pictures of her great uncle. She explained that she and her sister Susanne Marshall helped take care of the estate of Sgt. Owen’s widow, their great aunt Ruth McCann, after she passed in 2002, which is how they came into care of the Purple Heart and mistakenly gave it away amidst of a box of other items.

With the mystery finally solved, a ceremony honoring Sgt. Owen was held on Armed Forces Day in James Island, SC, during which Susanne Marshall was presented with her great uncle’s Purple Heart and certificate. Many shared in the joy of knowing Sgt. Owen’s family was reunited with the important symbol of the man’s sacrifice to his country. Salvation Army Capt. Ronald Heimbrock was present, along with Mark Seavey of the American Legion.

Click here to read the American Legion’s story of this very special event and highly anticipated reunion.

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Students’ Discards Becomes Charities’ Treasures

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It’s about that time of year when college students move out of their dorm rooms and head back home for the summer, but sometimes, all the “stuff” they’ve accumulated over the past year doesn’t take the road trip with them, whether it be for lack of want, space, or another reason.

Instead of ditching or throwing away perfectly good items, from clothes to books to appliances, students have an opportunity to give them new second-hand life with the help of The Salvation Army.

At Skidmore College in New York, the school has partnered with The Salvation Army for their annual “Give and Go” event. Student volunteers collect the usable items left behind in the dorms and donate them to the Army, where they will be sold in our Family Thrift Stores or given to other local charities who can put them to good use. Read the full story about this conservation effort at Skidmore College’s website by clicking here.

According to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, several other colleges in New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Massachusetts are participating in similar efforts, with Salvation Army trucks swinging by the campuses following the student exodus. Between 1,000 and 2,000 pounds of goods and food are salvaged at each location, diverting the items from the landfill and into the hands of people in need. Find the full article here.

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