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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WSJ: How to Raise a Philanthropist

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Wall Street Journal published an article this week about a growing trend among affluent families of teaching their children the importance of giving. Thankfully, “doing good” is not dependant on financial status!

There are always opportunities to pass along to the younger generation the value of helping others. The article suggests practical ideas applicable to any parent, like simply talking about the “good feeling” you get from giving, bringing children with you to volunteer and visit charities, or letting kids educate parents on causes they care about, rather than the other way around.

We believe philanthropy is a vital life lesson that you’re never too young to learn. Here are just a few ways The Salvation Army can help your family put some of these suggestions into practice:

* Have your kids collect their old clothes and toys for giveaway and bring them with you to donate to a Salvation Army Family Thrift Store. Make the experience even more impactful by explaining how their gift will benefit people in need, and use the videos and resources at our website www.satruck.org to show them real life stories.

* Make volunteering a family event, such as serving meals together at a Salvation Army shelter or being bell ringers. Visit your local Salvation Army corps to learn how you can help address your community’s specific needs.

* Empower children to donate financially. Have them fill out the online donation form for you or let them click the “Donate Now” button. Give them some change to put in the Christmas Red Kettle, or help them host their own online Red Kettle. You could even ask them if they’d like to put a percentage of their allowance toward supporting The Salvation Army.

* Find out what they’re passionate about. The Salvation Army serves a vast range of needs that they can get involved with or learn more about on our website. Maybe they have a desire to help other kids or feel strongly about supporting disaster survivors – they could get started right away by sending a child in need to summer camp or donating to our disaster relief efforts.

* Make special occasions about ‘others.’ Start a family tradition to make a donation in your child’s name on their birthday, purchase and give a toy at Christmas time for a child in need through Salvation Army Angel Tree, or serve a meal together at a Salvation Army shelter at Thanksgiving.

* Put your money where your mouth is. Offer to match a donation that your child makes. Set a long-term goal to work towards to give your child a greater sense of accomplishment and help your family work together as a team.

* Gear school and extra-curricular projects towards philanthropic causes. Programs such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts require participants to design and implement service projects. Many children and young adults have worked with The Salvation Army to complete their assignments and benefit their communities in the process.

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Happy National Salvation Army Week!

Monday, May 9, 2011

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Today’s no ordinary Monday – it’s the first day of our 58th annual National Salvation Army Week! Every year we use this week to say ‘thank you’ to our volunteers, donors, and beneficiaries who have enabled us to serve in the United States for more than 130 years!

Typically observed in the second week of May, National Salvation Army Week was first declared by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954. In the proclamation, Eisenhower noted: “Among Americans, The Salvation Army has long been a symbol of wholehearted dedication to the cause of human brotherhood . . . Their work has been a constant reminder to us all that each of us is neighbor and kin to all Americans, giving freely of themselves, the men and women of The Salvation Army have won the respect of us all.”

Everyday this week we’ll post on our national website a Salvation Army “Did You Know video,” and on our blog we’ll list Salvation Army Week events going on around the country. We hope you’ll celebrate this long standing tradition with us and learn something new in the process. Check our blog, website, and social media sites each day for new fun facts!

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National Volunteer Week

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It’s National Volunteer Week, a time for us to recommit ourselves to serving others and celebrate those who generously give back!
Last year, 3,411,613 volunteers assisted The Salvation Army by working in our food programs, serving as Red Kettle bell ringers, assisting at-risk youth, rebuilding disaster sites, and more. Our volunteers are critical partners in helping us fulfill our promise to America of “Doing the Most Good.”
As President Obama stated in his presidential proclamation, “…These everyday heroes make a real and lasting impact on the lives of millions of women and men across the globe.”
We completely agree!
This week we will share on our blog how volunteers are getting involved with The Salvation Army across the US, as well as what we’re doing to express our sincere appreciation for their support, so check back for updates.
If you would like to get involved with a Salvation Army near you, search for opportunities via www.volunteermatch.org. Many of our local units post opportunities on this website, and we’d love to have you join us.

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It’s a Record: $142 Million in Giving!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thank you, America! The Salvation Army raised $142 million in Christmas Red Kettles during the 2010 season, setting a record for the sixth straight year!

This is great news considering how much more need we’ve seen across the country, and these funds will go to support our many programs year round.

Wow. It was a busy Red Kettle season, to say the least. We used many of our traditional efforts, from the volunteer bell ringers you probably saw on every corner, to our annual Thanksgiving Day Kickoff at Cowboys Stadium. Plus, we had a few new ideas up our sleeves, like our Rock the Red Kettle Concert and a new iPhone app.

When it all comes down to it, though, we couldn’t have done any of this without you. Thank you for your generosity. And thanks to our many corporate partners for your continued support. We’re very grateful for all of your help with assisting those in need!

If you’d like to know more about our record Red Kettle Season, check out our official press release here.

Or if you’re more of a visual person, you may prefer this cool fact sheet:

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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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Passing the Gavel

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board (NAB) met in Philadelphia last week, and Charlotte Jones Anderson officially began her term as our newest NAB Chairperson! She’s the first female to serve in this capacity.

[Passing the Gavel]
Charlotte Jones Anderson (center), joined by parents Jerry and Gene Jones (left), receives her gavel as official NAB Chairperson from Salvation Army Commissioners William and Nancy Roberts (right).

As the Executive Vice President Brand Management/ President of Charities for the Dallas Cowboys, Charlotte’s been actively involved with The Salvation Army. For 13 years she’s organized our Red Kettle Kickoff half-time show at the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game. Her parents Jerry and Gene Jones, owners of the Cowboys, were on hand to celebrate with her.

[Outgoing NAB Chairperson Rob Pace ]
Former NAB Chairperson Rob Pace (center) gets a kick out of his own Cowboys jersey. (Pictured Left to Right: Major George Hood, Gene and Jerry Jones, Charlotte Jones Anderson, Commissioners William and Nancy Roberts)

Outgoing NAB Chairperson Rob Pace lauded Charlotte and the Jones family for all their contributions to the work of The Salvation Army. To his surprise, they presented him with a Dallas Cowboys jersey, complete with his own name on the back! Mr. Pace was grinning from ear to ear thanks to the thoughtful gift.

The Salvation Army is grateful to Rob Pace for his years of dedicated leadership, and we’re thrilled to now have installed our next incredible leader Charlotte Jones Anderson

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Mysterious Donations

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettles fill up with spare change and bills during the holiday season, but every year there’s a few unique and mysterious donations that appear. Here are a few that made our list in 2010:

South African Krugerrand

Krugerrands – A South African gold Krugerrand coin worth $1,100 was dropped into a Shreveport, LA Salvation Army red kettle. Two more Krugerrand coins were dropped into Salvation Army red kettles in Fort Collins, CO. Yet another was anonymously donated in Kauai, Hawaii. Who knew so many people have Krugerrands?

Wedding Band and Diamond Ring – This surprising donation was found wrapped around a $1 dollar bill in a kettle in Indiana.

In a similar incident in Minnesota, a woman donated her husband’s wedding band to a kettle, but it was on accident. Thankfully, she recovered it from The Salvation Army when she noticed it was gone from her coin purse. Whoops!

[Double Eagle Gold Coin]
Double Eagle Gold Coin

Gold coin, donated “In Loving Memory of Mimi.” For the past six years, an anonymous donor has dropped a $20 Double Eagle gold coin – wrapped in a note honoring Mimi – into one of South Florida’s Red Kettles. The coin, printed in 1928, is valued at $1,400.

Several other rare gold and silver coins have been donated to kettles all over the country!

Secret Santa donates $100,000

$100,000 from the North Pole – The Salvation Army received several extremely generous, anonymous donations in our kettles this year. One however, in Joplin, Missouri, came from “Santa Claus.” Five checks totaling $20,000 came from the jolly old elf, hidden in folded dollar bills.

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A Sudanese “Lost Boy” Finds New Family, Home with The Salvation Army

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Do you ever wonder, “Who are those people who so faithfully ring the bells alongside Salvation Army Red Kettles every holiday season? What is it that motivates each of them to serve?”

What makes many of these faithful servants unique is that many bell ringers have been on the other side of the social service system. They have first-hand experience at homelessness and going without – bell ringers like Peter Adup, one of the “lost boys” from Sudan who escaped to the U.S. as a teenager when his entire family perished due to political strife. He has no immediate family left, but The Salvation Army has become his family.

He currently resides at a Salvation Army homeless shelter, where he’s working to get back on his feet with gainful employment – perhaps even as a Salvation Army officer one day! In his free time, he volunteers every chance he gets, including as a bell ringer.

Peter Adup is recognized as Southern California’s “Bellringer of the Year.” (Photo from Salvation Army of Southern California’s Facebook album.)

For three years in a row now he’s been stationed at one of the highest trafficked kettles in Los Angeles.
Due to his contagious smile and amazing energy, his has one of the most successful kettles in town.

Despite all of the hardship Peter has faced in his home land – or perhaps because it – Peter’s desire is to pursue full-time ministry and return to Africa as a missionary.

His amazing attitude and contagious energy are evident to all, and those are just a few of the reasons the Southern California Division has named him “Bell Ringer of the Year.”

His is an inspiring story of triumphing despite all odds.

Information submitted by Dawn Wright from The Salvation Army USA’s Southern California Division. Thanks Dawn!

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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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