Tax Day Approaches

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Benjamin Franklin once wrote in a letter to French physicist Jean Baptiste Leroy, “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.”

Now, more than 220 years following those insightful words, Americans are gearing up for Tax Day, as April 15 is only about a week away.

If you still haven’t completed your return or are in need of assistance, The Salvation Army may be able to help.

Some of our Salvation Army community centers are partnering with the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) to offer free tax preparation and assistance to low income and elderly taxpayers who qualify. You can contact your local Salvation Army community center to see if they offer this service. The IRS website also has more information on the VITA program and offers the contact number 1-800-906-9887 to call for VITA site locations.

The Salvation Army in Sheboygan, Wisconsin said they expect to assist with between 700 and 800 returns this year by the April 15 deadline. In Sioux City, Iowa The Salvation Army’s Captain Capt. Von Vandiver told local news station KPTH 44 that most of their clients received $400 in returns for each taxpayer they helped.

Another useful tool for taxpayers regardless of your income bracket is The Salvation Army’s valuation guide, which you can find here on our website www.satruck.org. This is incredibly handy for estimating the worth of your tax deductable, in-kind donations from clothes to appliances to cars, and The Salvation Army will provide you with a receipt when you drop them off in store or schedule a home pick up.

Also, don’t forget that if you donated to Haiti relief efforts before March 1, 2010, the federal government passed into law the charitable deduction bill that says your 2010 donation can count towards your 2009 return.

Hopefully this information will be able to help in some way as you work on your return. Best wishes in getting everything completed by April 15!

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Get a $10 Gift Certificate to Phillips-Van Heusen for Your Salvation Army Donations

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

There’s an old saying that goes, “A good deed is its own reward.” But who’s to say that you shouldn’t get some extra encouragement for an act of goodwill? Phillips-Van Heusen, one of the world’s largest apparel companies, is partnering with the Salvation Army to recognize your altruistic acts.

For in-kind donations you contribute between April 1 and May 31 to select Salvation Army Family Thrift Stores, you will be thanked with a $10 gift certificate to any Phillips-Van Heusen, IZOD, or Bass retail stores. Participating Salvation Army stores will provide you with a dated receipt for your generous donations and a coupon to redeem for your next shopping trip.

The goal of the campaign is to help replenish stock at Salvation Army Thrift and Family Stores, some of which have seen dwindling donations during the economic downturn. Proceeds from sales at these stores directly support The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARCs) where more than 300,000 men and women receive treatment for drug and alcohol addictions each year.

The Salvation Army operates a network of more than 1,300 thrift and family stores nationwide. These stores accept gently used donations of furniture, clothing, household appliances, automobiles and other items which are then re-sold to the general public. All gifts are tax-deductible and go to support Salvation Army programs and services in the local community. For more information or to find your local store, please visit www.satruck.org or call 1-800-SA-TRUCK.

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Million Meals Event for San Francisco Bay Area

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Salvation Army will host its next Million Meals Event for Haiti relief in California’s San Francisco Bay Area, and this one will be like no other before! Instead of packaging 1 million meals in two days, our goal is to package them all in ONE DAY!

If you haven’t heard of these events before, The Salvation Army distributes one million meals per week in Haiti and will continue to do so over the next six to nine months. In order to meet the demand, meal packing events are being organized around the United States in partnership with Numana .

And that means we need your help! Below is information about how you can be involved. You can also check out the About “Million Meals For Haiti” page to learn about packaging events nationwide and The Salvation Army’s work in Haiti.

WHAT: ONE MILLION meals to help curb hunger in Haiti

WHEN: Saturday, April 24, 2010.

Teams are being recruited for the following shifts:
8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

WHERE: The Cow Palace, Exhibit Building #2, 2600 Geneva Ave, Daly City, CA., 94014. Free parking, provided by The Cow Palace. Click here for a map to the Cow Palace

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Recruit a team of 12 people (age 10 and older, please) and sign up your team or sign-up as an individual.

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Honor Society Suprises Kids at San Francisco Kroc Center

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Youth at The Salvation Army San Francisco Kroc Center had an incredible surprise visit today from the band Honor Society while they were in town for their “Here Comes Trouble” tour! The guys took time out of their busy schedule to hang out with their new fans and everyone had a BLAST! Jason, Andrew, Alex, and Michael signed autographs and played pool, air hockey, and foosball with all the kids.

Here are a few photos of the fun. You can find more at The Salvation Army San Francisco’s facebook page. Also, check out the band’s tour stops and Twitter updates at their sites www.honorsocietyonline.com and www.honorsocietylive.com.

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EnviRenew Awards $10 Million Toward New Orleans Green Home Projects

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Salvation Army will announce today $10 Million in EviRenew Recovery Grants for 5 New Orleans neighborhoods. 125 Grants of $75,000 will be awarded to assist these deserving areas in developing Green Home sustainability projects.

EnviRenew is a Salvation Army initiative focused on making home-ownership costs more affordable through comprehensive green building standards and is a part of The Salvation Army’s ongoing recovery efforts in New Orleans. Energy efficient housing lowers owner’s expenses, enabling low and fixed income households to put aside more money towards savings and helps them achieve a better quality of life.

Working side by side with neighborhood associations, rebuilding agents, and community members themselves, Envirenew will establish replicable, sustainable standards for the area’s revitalization efforts.

EnviRenew’s four programs include:

· Grants for the new construction of 125 affordable, sustainable homes and homeownership grants for community-capacity builders (i.e. teachers and first responders)

· 125 home rehabilitations

· 250 $500 Green Home Sustainability Packages (home weatherization)

· EnviRenew Home Solar Program

“Kicking off EnviRenew is a great way to celebrate Easter by giving continued hope to those waiting to return home after a long journey of despair,” stated Captain Ethan Frizzell of The Salvation Army in Greater New Orleans.

Members of the community are invited to attend this exciting event! Details are below:

What: EnviRenew Recovery and Renewal Grants Announcement

Where: The Salvation Army Greater New Orleans Area Command

4526 S. Claiborne Avenue

New Orleans, LA 70125

When: 2:00 P.M.

April 1, 2010

Why: To announce the five Greater New Orleans neighborhoods that will receive 125, $75,000 for community capacity and funding for additional Green Home sustainability projects.

Guests: Capt. Ethan Frizzell, Area Commander, The Salvation Army of Greater New Orleans

For more information about The Salvation Army of Greater New Orleans, visit their website here.

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Happy Easter

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Do you have plans yet for Easter? Consider celebrating or supporting your community through events being held by The Salvation Army during this sacred weekend.

Units across the country will be holding sunrise (or “Sonrise”) services on Sunday, April 3 that community members are invited and encouraged to attend! Contact your local Salvation Army community center for more information about what’s going on near you. Here are just a few different types of events and services that The Salvation Army has planned:

San Francisco’s 88th annual Easter Sunrise Service at Mt. Davidson Cross, located atop the city’s highest peak, will take place Sunday at 7AM. The free, citywide nondenominational event will feature the talented Salvation Army Brass Ensemble, along with musical performances by a bagpiper, gospel singer, and youth choir. It will be a beautiful scene of worship as gatherers of diverse backgrounds and denominations join at the foot of our nation’s largest cross in honor of the sacrifice and resurrection.

Many other Salvation Army units will be holding sunrise or regular Sunday services, with some even hosting a breakfast. The Men’s Club of Salvation Army Battle Creek, Michigan are cooking their annual Sonrise Breakfast with pancakes, eggs, sausage, juice, milk and coffee, and The Salvation Army in Tucson, Arizona is collecting ham, eggs, potatoes, and pastries for the 600 people in need they plan to serve.

Other activities are spread throughout the week, such as a Saturday Easter Carnival being thrown by The Salvation Army in Waco, TX, and an Easter Egg Hunt being held in Bloomington Indiana, also on Saturday.

Do you know anyone in need of an Easter outfit? Our community center in Macomb County, Michigan is holding their annual Dress an Angel Program on Friday that lets children choose a dress, skirt or pant outfit.

And Easter baskets donated by churches, businesses, and organizations will be auctioned off by The Salvation Army in eastern Pennsylvania to raise money for the uninsured to help pay for their prescriptions.

Hopefully you can find some way to worship or be involved on this holy holiday. Happy Easter!

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Honor Society Partners with Salvation Army During National Tour

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

You may know the band Honor Society from their hit singles “Where Are You Now” and “Over You,” and the music video they did with The Salvation Army for the song “White Christmas.” (The guys are great Red Kettle Bell Ringers, by the way!)

Michael, Jason, Andrew, and Alex are partnering with The Salvation Army again as they tour across the United States during April and May. The band will volunteer time during some of their tour stops to support local Salvation Army programs and host canned food drives, so stay updated through our blog, Facebook, and Twitter as we provide more information about events near you!

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Salvation Army Chefs’ Winning Meal Recipe

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

“Monster Meal.”

Initially, this recipe name leaves me with mixed emotions. Part of me wonders, “Should I be scared?” and another part of me asks, “Why have I not tried this ‘Monster Meal’ sooner?”

But a judging audience voted this dish, prepared by a team of Salvation Army chefs, as the “Most Flavorful” in a local Wyoming competition. Community Action, the Natrona County Detention Center, and ProStart Culinary Arts program also participated in the Iron Chef-like event where participants were required to draw their recipes from a list of shared ingredients (instant dry milk, creamy tomato soup, egg noodles, rotini, canned corn and applesauce) and prepare them within a specified time limit.

The purpose of the kitchen show-down was to demonstrate the versatility of food commodities that can be found in just about any home, specifically with social service programs, families, and individuals in mind who are looking for ways to maximize their food budget while still eating nutritional meals. The Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies donated the ingredients.

Below is The Salvation Army’s winning recipe for “Monster Meal,” provided by Salvation Army chefs Carl Israel, Elijah Israel, Tracy Israel and Deb Weakland. Try it out if you have a chance and let us know what you think. Bonus points if you can figure out why it’s named that!

Monster Meal

1 onion, finely diced

1 tbsp. butter or margarine

1 lb. ground beef or any ground meat

1 can Manwich sauce

1 can creamy tomato soup

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. chili powder

2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

3 tbsp. dry milk

1 lb. pasta, cooked and drained

1 can whole-kernel corn, drained

1 can kidney beans, drained

2 cups shredded cheese

Sauté diced onion in butter in large skillet.
Add ground meat and brown. Drain off grease.
Add Manwich sauce, soup, brown sugar, garlic powder, chili powder and Worcestershire sauce and simmer.
Combine 3 tablespoons dry milk with 1/2 cup water and add to meat mixture.
Put cooked noodles in large pot (can use same pot noodles were cooked in).
Pour the meat mixture over the noodles and stir.
Add corn, kidney beans, and cheese. Stir and heat through.

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Love it & Leave It

Thursday, March 25, 2010

If you haven’t been to the grand opening of the new Esprit flagship clothing store in NY City, you’ll want to get there ASAP. If you’ve already been, chances are you left pretty happy!

Today, March 5, through tomorrow, March 6, Esprit is hosting their ‘Love It & Leave It’ campaign, meaning you could be one of many lucky customers who pick out an outfit you absolutely love, try on, and take home for free! All you have to do is leave something you’re wearing. This trade sounds MORE than fair!

And what happens to the item you bid adieu? Esprit will donate everything they receive to The Salvation Army, where your clothes will embark on their second life at our Salvation Army Family Thrift Stores, and the proceeds from their sales will directly support our Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARC) (See? The good just continues to snowball!).

Get a little bonus for yourself while doing some good, and help Esprit support a great cause. Details are below, and you can also visit their Love It & Leave It website, as well as their facebook page. For more information about The Salvation Army, visit our national website at www.salvationarmyusa.org.

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Spring is Here!

Monday, March 22, 2010

It is officially spring, and what better way to celebrate than to roll up your sleeves for a vigorous round of spring cleaning?

Ok, so there are probably better ways to enjoy the season, but whether you are a clean freak or deathly allergic to brooms, The Salvation Army can help you in your clutter-clearing efforts by taking unwanted or unused items off your hands!

And as additional encouragement, it may help to know that your generous donations to The Salvation Army Family Thrift Stores support our Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARC) which are completely funded through the sales of Family Store donated items.

If you need even further encouragement, we’ve tried to make it as convenient as possible by offering multiple ways to donate:

* In Person – Drop off your belongings to a Salvation Army Family Thrift Store

* Call 1-800-SA-TRUCK – Schedule a pickup at your home by phone

* Visit www.satruck.org – Schedule a pickup at your home by going online (Scheduling over the internet is not available in some areas.)

So gather up all those things that you’ve been “meaning to get rid of” and send them over to your local Salvation Army store, where an item worth a few dollars and cents becomes invaluable in restoring the life someone in need! Just ask James and many others like him:

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