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.
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.
Friday, June 4, 2010
For all you National Doughnut Day celebrators, we have a special treat for you! As promised, we’re posting the original Salvation Army doughnut recipe, just like our “doughnut girls” used to make them on the front lines for American soldiers during WW1.
Try them out and let us know what you think!
SALVATION ARMY DOUGHNUTS
5 C flour
2 C sugar
5 tsp. baking powder
1 ‘saltspoon’ salt
1 3/4 C milk
1 T lard
Combine all ingredients (except for lard) to make dough.
Thoroughly knead dough, roll smooth, and cut into rings that are less than 1/4 inch thick. (When finding items to cut out doughnut circles, be creative! Salvation Army doughnut girls used whatever they could find, from baking powder cans to coffee percolator tubes.)
Drop the rings into the lard, making sure the fat is hot enough to brown the doughnuts slowly. Turn the doughnuts slowly several times.
When browned, remove doughnuts and allow excess fat to drip off.
Dust with powdered sugar.
Let cool and enjoy! This recipe yields approximately 4 dozen doughnuts, so invite some friends to help eat!
Friday, June 4, 2010
The Salvation Army is celebrating the 72nd annual National Doughnut Day today!
We have a variety of events taking place across the country, including free doughnut giveaways – yum!
Why do we make such a big deal about doughnuts? The Salvation Army is widely credited with popularizing the doughnut in the United States by feeding American soldiers the tasty treat during World War I. For more background on our past with the pastry, click here.
We’re celebrating National Doughnut Day in partnership with doughnut vendors and shops nationwide, and we’ve listed below just a few of these many partner events taking place across the country today and Saturday. We hope you can make it out to the exciting celebrations in your local area. You won’t want to miss out on the festivities!
* Chicago, IL: Donors can help The Salvation Army “Take a Bite Out of Hunger” on June 4th and 5th, 2010. Fundraisers will be on the streets handing out commemorative Doughnut Day tags to donors to help support feeding programs for children, seniors, the homeless and families in need. Local celebrities will be participating in events and providing entertainment at the James R. Thompson Center on June 4th from 11 AM – 1PM.
* Cincinnati, OH: The Salvation Army in Greater Cincinnati will host games and other activities, in addition to providing free doughnuts and drinks on June 4. The event is in partnership with the Greater Cincinnati Retail Bakers Association and Bakemark, an international supplier of baking supplies to independent doughnut shops,
* Los Angeles, CA: BakeMark will make a $10,000 donation to renovate The Salvation Army’s Haven Shelter in West Los Angeles. The Salvation Army will also be providing free doughnuts and coffee to veterans and their families from across Southern California from 7:00 to 8:30 AM on June 4.
* Vero Beach, FL: The Salvation Army will be handing out free doughnuts from a mobile canteen at the new Dough Boy’s Donuts and Bagels in Vero Beach from 5:00 AM – 2:00 PM.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
It’s finally here! You’ve been following videos, photos, and posts of Honor Society’s experiences with Salvation Army programs across the country while the hit band rocked out on their Here Comes Trouble tour.
Now Alex, Michael, Andrew, and Jason have released their final video with original footage and personal commentary as they reflect on their Salvation Army experience as a whole and the moments that most significantly impacted them.
The Salvation Army is incredibly thankful for the support of this talented band and all the hard work they put into volunteering with our programs! They made it a top priority to learn more about the people and communities they served and encouraged their fans to get involved as well. Who else can say they’ve done that while in the middle of a national tour?!
Thank you, Honor Society, for a great partnership!
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Chocolate, glazed, strawberry with sprinkles, jelly filled, Bavarian crème, French cruller, powdered sugar, blueberry cake…
What kind of doughnut will you choose in celebration of National Doughnut Day on Friday, June 4, 2010? Since the day does only come once a year, maybe a sampling of several flavors is in order.
As you think about which tasty pastries will make the cut, think about this: did you know National Doughnut Day originated with The Salvation Army?
The Salvation Army first celebrated it in 1938 in the city of Chicago as a way to honor Salvation Army “doughnut lassies” from World War I. The special day also served as a way to raise funds and bring awareness to the Army’s social service programs during the Great Depression.
Not Familiar with the Story of Salvation Army Doughnut Girls?
Approximately 250 Salvation Army volunteers provided assistance to American soldiers in France starting in 1917 during World War I.
As our young soldiers faced physical and emotional peril amidst the fighting, female Salvation Army officers had the idea to comfort them with good home cooking, using their limited ingredients to create delicious fried doughnuts for the boys.
These women, earning the nickname “Doughnut Lassies” and “Doughnut Girls,” served countless treats to grateful soldiers, traversing through the trenches to bring the men doughnuts and coffee. More than just filling an empty stomach, these doughnuts and the joyful presence of the women who worked so hard to make them provided the soldiers with the boost their spirits needed during an extraordinarily difficult time.
The doughnuts became an instant hit that was brought back to America by returning “doughboys.”
Visit our blog tomorrow for a list of fun Salvation Army National Doughnut Day celebrations taking place across the country, as well as our original doughnut recipe!
Friday, May 28, 2010
Happy Memorial Day Weekend! As we recognize those who gave their lives in service to our nation, do you plan to participate in any events taking place around your community? The Salvation Army will be out and about, so make plans to join us!
Here are just a few of the many ways The Salvation Army will be serving others and recognizing Memorial Day:
San Francisco Bay Area, California – Since 1924, The Salvation Army has held an annual Memorial Day service at Cypress Lawn to honor our fallen soldiers. They will continue the tradition this Sunday, when they’ll remember service members with song, prayer, scripture, and an inspirational message. Click here for more info on this and other area events.
Nashville, Tennessee – Member s of the community are invited to honor veterans and their families at the National Cemetery on Memorial Day, where food and beverages will be served throughout the day. Visitors are welcome to share their war and Salvation Army service stories.
Davenport, Iowa – The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) will take members of its recovery program for a fun day at the county park, where they’ll be able to relax with their families and grill out. Plus, members of the Salvation Army’s Des Moines ARC will also join and challenge Davenport in a friendly game of softball.
Kodiak, Alaska – During the annual Kodiak Crab Festival, The Salvation Army will team up with the local fire department to serve delicious homemade doughnuts to festival attendees. They estimate that they’ll make and serve about 1,500 doughnuts!
Seattle, Washington – On Saturday and Sunday The Salvation Army will sponsor a community volunteer event at the State Convention Center to pack a million meals for Haiti earthquake survivors. Just a few hours of your time can make a huge difference for those in need. Follow the link to volunteer: http://salvationarmynw.org/haiti/ .
Thursday, May 27, 2010
With nets in-hand, more than a dozen students from Grand Rapids, Michigan schools will assist in the transfer of approximately 4,250 live fish from a portable semi-trailer tank to a “Fishin’ Hole” located in the center of Grand Rapids’ soon-to-be-open Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center’s campus. The release will include 200 Bluegills, 50 Perch and 4,000 minnows. When open, the “Fishin’ Hole” will provide those young and young-at-heart an opportunity to try their luck at catching the “big one” right in the heart of the city.
What a great way to get people in the mood for summer and encourage kids to get excited about fishing, especially if they’ve never had an opportunity to try it before!
In addition to fishing, families and individuals will have plenty to keep themselves entertained and active when the Kroc Center opens in October. Covering more than 20 acres, the center will provide programming and opportunities in the areas of Arts and Music, Education, Health and Wellness, Recreation and Worship. For more information about the Kroc Center in Grand Rapids, visit www.grkroccenter.org.
Additional information about The Salvation Army’s many Kroc Centers can be found here or on our national website at www.salvationarmyusa.org.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
As Memorial Day weekend approaches, backyard grills are getting ready for their summer debuts, even at The Salvation Army! In Mobile, Alabama, the holiday weekend is the cue for the Army’s annual barbeque fundraiser, where hungry supporters will have the opportunity to purchase slabs of Salvation Army Chef Cecil Morris’ delicious, award-winning ribs (yes, they are so tasty that they were recognized by Food Network star Paula Deen).
Proceeds from the event will help support the reopening of The Salvation Army Center for Women and Children that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, with the new facility being able to shelter 50 homeless women and children.
Read more about Friday’s annual rib fundraiser and all the delicious details at the Alabama Press-Register here.
There’s also an amazing backstory behind the event’s talented chef. Cecil Morris, Culinary Arts Manager for The Salvation Army in Mobile, was once a client of our rehabilitation program while he struggled with alcohol and drugs earlier in life. While working in The Salvation Army kitchen as a part of his recovery process, he picked up on and practiced basic culinary skills, learning and climbing his way up over the years to where he is today – successful, self-supporting, sober, and inspiring others who are also trying to turn their lives around. You can read more about Chef Morris’ amazing personal story and opportunities offered by The Salvation Army in Reader’s Digest and USA Today.
Now what are you waiting for? Grab a bib and some wet naps and get some ribs before they’re gone!
For more information about The Salvation Army in Mobile, Alabama, visit www.salvationarmymobile.org.
Monday, May 24, 2010
There is something cheerful and nostalgic about seeing roadside lemonade stands run by eager, entrepreneurial children. Nothing beats following the crayon-etched signs and dropping a few quarters into a tackle box-turned-cash register, then being greeted by a kid beaming with accomplishment as they hold up a refreshing homemade beverage in return.
That’s why we’re excited about a creative benefit called “LemonAiD Days” to support homeless children and their parents, an effort organized by The Salvation Army in Central Kentucky. Beginning June 1st, individuals and groups in this area can register their lemonade stand online or at their local Salvation Army. Participants will receive a LemonAiD kit in the mail that includes official badges, posters, and return envelopes for proceeds.
This fundraiser is a great way for kids to practice creativity, learn about economics, and be empowered to make a difference in their community. Proceeds will benefit The Salvation Army’s Comprehensive Emergency Shelter for families in Central Kentucky, with funds supporting the operational expenses associated with housing homeless children, such as providing food, lodging, diapers, clothing, and child-care.
For more information or to register online, visit www.lemonAiDdays.org. To learn more about The Salvation Army in Central Kentucky, visit www.salvationarmylex.org.