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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Show Us Your RTRK Photos

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thousands of you turned out or tuned in online to our first Rock the Red Kettle Concert. Thanks for the awesome support and donations! By the way, we love, love, LOVE all of your photos that have been tagged on Facebook, Flickr and Twitter.

If you haven’t posted your pics yet, what are you waiting for? Tag them as The Salvation Army USA to have them linked on our Facebook page (SalvationArmyUSA) or use #RocktheRedKettle for Twitter and Twitpic. We want to see them!

Check out these shots that have already been posted by fans:

[Americana at Brand stage. Photo by @LaurenKate22]
Here’s where it all happened, at the Americana at Brand. Pic posted on Twitter by @LaurenKate22

Hanging out with New Hollow! Pic posted on Twitter by @CJAnderson626

[Emily Osment Flickr photo by lisa_hiser]
Emily Osment was a hit with the crowd. Flickr Photo posted by lisa_hiser

[One Call Flickr photo by lisa_hiser]
One Call proved to be great singers AND serious dancers. Flickr photo by lisa_hiser

[Ashlyne Huff Flickr photo by lisa_hiser]
Ashlyne Huff sang her hear out. Flickr photo by lisa_hiser

[Honor Society Flickr photo by Lisa_Hiser]
The night ended on a great note with Honor Society. Flickr photo by lisa_hiser

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You Guys Rock!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Just wanted to post a quick THANKS to everyone who turned out or tuned in to our first Rock the Red Kettle last night! What a show! We loved getting to rock out with you and sharing more about our cause.

Thanks for all the donations and incredible support. Let’s do it again!

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