The Virtual Bell Ringer Contest is Officially On!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Last week we posted about the Online Red Kettle – one of the newest developments from The Salvation Army that makes is easy for anyone to ‘ring the…

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Sam’s Club Donates $500,000 to The Salvation Army!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sam’s Club, a well-known retail warehouse club with locations nationwide, is a long-standing supporter of The Salvation Army and once again, they generously put forth their efforts at a local level to help us raise money.

For the last couple months, more than 150 of the participating clubs in the western division teamed up with their communities to support The Salvation Army- and they raised a whopping $488,383!

Fundraising methods varied by location but the creative juices were certainly flowing. Among the most inventive were on-site movie nights, bowling tournaments, garage sales, cookouts, dunk tanks, car shows, silent auctions, and bake sales. One location even built a jail cell that motivated managers to raise $50 to bail out their own employees!
Although the fundraising methods differed, you can be sure that every event took place on location.

After the campaign ended, Sam’s Club employees wanted to celebrate their efforts. Participants traveled from all over the western region to meet in Kansas City for a volleyball tournament. Players received coaching from special guest Misty Mae Treanor, Olympic gold medalist volleyball champ.

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TODAY: Salvation Army of Omaha to Turn Sandbags into Moneybags

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tom Becka of KFAB will broadcast his 4-7pm (CST) radio show live from Loft 610 in Midtown Crossing on Monday (June 27) as a fundraiser for Salvation Army flood relief. The restaurant is located at 220 S. 31st Ave, Omaha, Nebraska.

The public is invited to stop by and help fill sandbags with donations for The Salvation Army’s work to help flood victims in the metro Omaha/Council Bluffs area or to listen to KFAB for details on how to donate. The goal is to fill 200 sandbags or “moneybags” with money that day. Of every dollar donated to the fund, 100% goes to the flood relief operation.

Becka’s live on-location show will feature calls from listeners as well as interviews with Salvation Army emergency disaster services representatives and Divisional Commander Major Paul Smith.

“The Salvation Army is often the last to leave the scene of a disaster and becomes involved in long-term recovery even after the threat is past,” said Smith.

Salvation Army Red Kettles Not Just for the Holidays

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettles, usually associated with bell ringing and the holidays, are making their summer debut at more than 140 sites in Omaha and surrounding communities (including Bellevue, Carter Lake, Elkhorn, LaVista, Papillion and Ralston).

Among the many places where the countertop red kettles can be found are all locations for Hy-Vee, American National Bank, Blimpie’s, Fantasy’s, Little King, Security National Bank, Starbuck’s, Wheatfield’s and Cubby’s in the Old Market. For more locations where you can donate, go online to www.givesalvationarmy.org. Donations to the kettles will be used 100 percent for flood relief in Omaha‘s metro area.

Cleanup Kits Needed
Hy-Vee has joined with Action News 3, Journal Broadcast Radio and The Salvation Army in an on-going campaign to provide clean-up kit supplies to flood victims. The public is invited to donate new supplies for the kits. Supplies needed include buckets, rubber gloves, disinfectant, brushes, brooms, mops, bottled water and safety goggles.

Donations may be dropped off at any Omaha Fire Station, Action News 3, 10714 Mockingbird Drive; Journal Broadcast Radio, 5030 N 72 Street; or The Salvation Army, 3612 Cuming Street.

The kits are being given to flood victims by The Salvation Army for businesses and homes in Omaha’s metro area.

Volunteers Needed for Mobile Feeding Units
The Salvation Army’s Kroc Center has been active since Memorial Day deploying mobile feeding units to feed and hydrate emergency workers who are monitoring flood activities along the Missouri River daily. Since May 30, more than 21,000 people have been served.

Volunteers are needed. If you would like to help with the mobile feeding unit, contact Ginger Noel at the Kroc Center, 402.905.3519 or ginger_noel@usc.salvationarmy.org. For all other volunteer opportunities, contact Kay Weinstein at 402.898.6000 or kay_weinstein@usc.salvationarmy.org.

Monetary donations:
To donate to The Salvation Army’s flood response in South Dakota, Iowa or Nebraska visit givesalvationarmy.org, call 800-SAL-ARMY or mail a check to The Salvation Army, 3612 Cuming Street, Omaha NE 68131. Be sure to designate your donation to “Flood Relief.”

Donations of used Household Goods and Clothing:
Due to the high expense and time demands associated with delivering your gently-used household goods and clothing (gifts-in-kind), The Salvation cannot guarantee that any individual gifts-in-kind donated now will be sent to the disaster area. In time of disaster, our stores fill these needs from existing, pre-sorted stock. By continuing to donate gently-used household goods to your local Salvation Army store, you not only help your community, you help us prepare for future disaster relief needs. To find your nearest drop-off location, please go to www.satruck.org.

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Kindness Challenge

Friday, February 18, 2011

We need your help!

USA TODAY has launched the “#KindnessChallenge,” a Twitter campaign for charity. The top charity tweet-getters with the most creative ideas or goals from fans about how they’re supporting their favorite nonprofits will be featured in a story in USA TODAY.

Will you show your support for The Salvation Army? There’s only a few hours left – you have until 6pm ET tonight (Feb 18) – but here’s what you can do:

Finish the following sentence on Twitter:

“My #USATODAY #KindnessChallenge goal is to help (insert full name of charity or that charity’s twitter handle)….”

To support us, tweet:

“My #USATODAY #KindnessChallenge goal is to help @SalvationArmyUS …” and then let the world know what you plan to do! Need a few ideas? How about:

“…feed the hungry by donating food from my community garden.”

“…raise funds be recruiting all my friends to ring at Christmas Red Kettles.”

“…by shopping only at their Thrift Stores for a month.”

Get creative, and you can even have your friends retweet your messages.

For the complete list of rules, visit USA Today’s Kindness Blog here.

Thanks for Tweeting!

Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS

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Now That’s The Holiday Spirit

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas may be over, but that doesn’t mean the spirit of Christmas has to be. Today we’re sharing with you stories of many ordinary people who have done extraordinary things to give back to those in need. If you ever think that you don’t know what you can do to foster change, we hope you’ll be encouraged by these stories of individuals of all different ages and means who find creative ways to help others.

Lynn Smith (Photo: WAVE News)

A SPECIAL BIRTHDAY WISH

Lynn Smith of Kentucky has for years adopted angels through The Salvation Army Angel Giving Tree program. But this year, as she turns 50, she wanted to do something extra special – so Smith adopted 50 angels! She enlisted about 40 friends to help as their birthday present to her.

BINGO!

Mary Timmons was hesitant to take up bingo because she viewed it as gambling. However, she knew exactly what she wanted to do with the money. For the past six months, the 97-year-old has been saving all of her 50-cent bingo winnings in order to donate it to The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle fundraiser. This December she dropped more than $40 in quarters into a Red Kettle outside her local Walmart.

Bob and Betty Haldeman (Photo: John Carrington/ Savannah Morning News)

CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND

For several years Bob and Betty Haldeman have created a winter wonderland of Christmas lights on their lawn (and the lawns of their neighbors) to be enjoyed by the public. They play Christmas music, serve free coffee and hot chocolate, and collect donations for The Salvation Army Red Kettle fundraiser. Over the past 12 years with their light display they’ve collected $50,000 for the campaign!

“THANKS-FOR-GIVING”

Dan and Denise Costa of Modesto, CA have volunteered with The Salvation Army since the 1970’s. They were instrumental in creating the annual “Thanks-For-Giving” event for people in need held at the Modesto convention center. Unlike a traditional food line, the event mirrors the experience of a 4-star, fine dining restaurant with linen table cloths, garnished tables, plated dinners, music and entertainment, games for kids, and full table service. Dan and Denise even write letters to the public and collection donations to fund the dinner so that it comes at no cost to The Salvation Army. More than 1,000 people enjoy “Thanks-For-Giving” each year.

SMALL COINS REAP BIG GAINS

The Salvation Army of Greensburg recently concluded its first ‘World’s Largest Kettle’ Campaign, a program aimed at filling the world’s largest Salvation Army kettle with 5.4 million pennies. While the program did not succeed at filling the entire kettle, $20,000 was raised in pennies in just one day. Donors to the program ranged from young children who contributed just a few pennies, to a man who had been saving pennies since 1963 and was looking for a special avenue to share those pennies. A local middle school had homerooms compete against each other and collected 963 pounds of pennies—an estimated $1,500.00. A local bartender collected more than 75 pounds of pennies from tips and other loose change left at the bar.

MYSTERY SANTA

Salvation Army Captain Deborah Weigner dropped off 35 Angel Tree tags at the local Walmart in Corry, PA for shoppers to sponsor a child a need before Christmas. When she returned to the store another day, the service desk attendant informed her that every single child’s wish list had been taken care of. An anonymous Ohio business owner had come through the store and seen the tags. He took each one and employed the help of other shoppers to buy everything on the tags, stating “No child shall be left behind this Christmas.” He spent more than $1,400 to make sure that they would all have a merry Christmas.

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Dallas Cowboys Bring Early Thanksgiving to Homeless

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Dallas Cowboys took a timeout from practice this week to observe one of their favorite traditions – serving food at their local Salvation Army homeless shelter.

More than 200 Salvation Army clients felt like they scored big when they got an early Thanksgiving dinner served by their home town heroes.

Don’t forget, you can see another great annual Cowboys/Salvation Army tradition next week. Tune in to the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day game on FOX to see our Red Kettle Kickoff halftime show with Keith Urban!

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Athletes Emphasize Charitable Giving

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Washington Post reports that Washington, DC sports teams and athletes are increasingly focusing on charitable giving.

Staff writer Susan Kinzie says, “For reasons idealistic, self-serving or practical, athletes and teams are putting a greater emphasis on donating money, volunteering and helping local communities — with more commitment to providing real impact rather than just photo ops.”

As a DC resident, it’s nice to hear that my teams are giving back. Between the baseball, hockey, basketball and football teams, DC athletes are helping revitalize local neighborhoods, investing in cancer prevention, fighting hunger, supporting children’s education programs and addressing a load of other issues. With the unique voice and wide supporter base that comes with the territory, athletes have a great platform to get the message out on deserving causes and make lasting, positive impacts on communities and individuals.

I’ll admit though, sometimes I’m skeptical when I hear about big names pushing a cause. I wonder, do they really care about or have a genuine commitment to this issue they’re attaching themselves to? For me, sincerity is important.

What’s your take on athletes being active in philanthropy? Do you have a favorite athlete who’s an outspoken advocate for a charity or a cause? Does a sports/charity partnership make you more likely to support the members involved?

Felix Jones spends time coaching kids at The Salvation Army’s North Mabee Center in Tulsa, OK.
Felix Jones spends time coaching kids at The Salvation Army’s North Mabee Center in Tulsa, OK.

Since becoming a Salvation Army employee, I’m happy to say my skepticism has tempered after seeing athletes and teams from around the country give and serve generously through our organization in ways that have invaluably inspired and assisted those in need. Their collaboration with us has ranged from extended partnerships to isolated volunteer efforts. Some athletes have never been involved with the Army before, while others have actually been clients in our programs.

Maybe you root for some of the teams and players who have worked with us:

* Felix Jones, Dallas Cowboys – He tutors students in ACT prep at The Salvation Army’s North Mabee Boys & Girls Club in Tulsa, OK and has served as a role model in other programs. He’s also pledged $25,000 to the North Mabee Center. Why? He played football at North Mabee as a kid and personally knows what a great impact it has on the local community.

* Robert Meacham, New Orleans Saints – Young aspiring football players received personal tips on playing the game from this Super Bowl Champion during a summer sports camp at The Salvation Army’s North Mabee Center in Tulsa. Yep, Meacham also grew up playing ball at the center with Jones.

* Julius Erving, NBA Hall of Famer – The b-ball legend is an advocate for exercise and sportsmanship for youth in Atlanta, where he hit the basketball courts as a kid at The Salvation Army. One way he gives back is through his annual “Dr. J” Biddy Ball tournament hosted this year at The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, with the help of other players including Cory Blackwell, Vincent Askew and Duane Causwell.

* Omaha Nighthawks (UFL) – These players not only helped establish two mentoring programs through a $25,000 donation to the Omaha Salvation Army Kroc Center, the Nighthawks also serve as mentors themselves! And they’re holding their training camp at the Kroc Center where kids and the community will have the opportunity to see their role models in action.

* Indianapolis Colts – From hosting Christmas toy drives to a $25,000 donation equally shared by The Salvation Army and 4 other non-profits, the Colts are community-focused. On top of that, their Senior VP Tom Zupancic just joined our Advisory Board!

* Philadelphia Eagles – When disaster struck Haiti, the team wanted to help. Eagles guard and Haiti native Max Jean-Gilles, Eagles linebacker Akeem Jordan and Eagles employees volunteered to help The Salvation Army and Numana pack nutritious meals for earthquake survivors.

* Dallas Cowboys – For 13, going on 14, years the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game halftime show marks the official launch of our Red Kettle Christmas Campaign. The annual campaign has raised more than $1 billion since the partnership began in 1997 and has helped the Army to serve 30 million people each year nationwide. Plus, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his wife, Gene, opened the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Center for Children – a Salvation Army child care center for low-income families in Irving, TX. Mr. Jones is now an Emeritus member of The Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board and his daughter and wife are active board members.

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