Youth Driven to “Do the Most Good”

Monday, October 17, 2011

What an inspiring gal!

Katie Wilkinson, a high school junior in Tempe, AZ started a “Red Kettle Club” at her school, a student group that will support the community year-round by means of The Salvation Army.

Through social media outlets, a PowerPoint presentation, and persuasion, Katie attracted more than two dozen students to the first meeting to tell fellow students about her idea. Club members will coordinate fundraising events in Tempe to support Salvation Army Programs that Help – an initiative that encourages donors to help community members in need.

She’s already planned the first event- an all-day bell ringing affair outside of Kroger’s on December 3 to benefit the homeless.

Inspired by her parents’ volunteer efforts her entire life, Katie is “Doing the Most Good” in their footsteps. We’re amazed at her love and dedication!

Check out the original article here.

Want to “Do the Most Good” in your community? Visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org and type in your zip code in the upper right corner to contact your local Salvation Army.

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Do You Know About The ARC’s?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

You may have seen the Today Show Tag Sale Auction that we promoted over the weekend. Thanks to risky bidders, generous supporters, and big-spenders, The Salvation Army raised almost $10,000 which will help fund The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARC).

Most people don’t think of rehab when they think of Salvation Army. In fact, it’s safe to say that most people only associate red kettles and thrift stores to The Salvation Army. When I talk with folks about the plethora of Salvation Army programs available, listeners are always pleasantly surprised.

They’re amazed to hear that The Salvation Army has been helping those afflicted with drug and alcohol addictions for over 100 years. In fact, The Salvation Army thrift stores exist solely to fund The ARC’s! With 119 locations across the country, the centers provide spiritual, social and emotional assistance, without discrimination, to adults who have lost their ability to cope with life and provide for themselves.

What makes The Salvation Army ARC’s stand out from other rehabilitation centers is that ARC program participants are cured in the only lasting way – through spiritual awakening. They discover a personal relationship with God, a deeper meaning to their existence, and a foundation of values. They leave treatment with a deeper understanding of their fallible nature but also surety and trust in God’s promise of salvation. Participants graduate with an understanding that God is the only true source for lasting change and happiness.

The inspiration behind this blog post came from an ARC success story that was posted on www.SouthernSpiritOnline.org.

Addicted to drugs, Justin was given one more chance to turn his life around through treatment. By means of his probation officer, Justin was admitted to The Salvation Army ARC of Jacksonville, Florida. While undergoing treatment and counseling with over 100 other men, he was inspired to be like them – grateful, happy, and full of joy and love for God. Through the positive six-month experience, Justin found his faith. Although his life has been at times tumultuous, he feels that God led him to his current career – Christian Counseling – through all of his life experiences, particularly that of his placement at the ARC. Read Justin’s inspiring full story here.

Your donations and purchases at Salvation Army thrift stores could potentially safe someone’s life. For ways that you can support The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers, please visit www.satruck.org.

Click here to read more success stories from graduates of The Salvation Army ARC’s.

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Project KNOT: A Quick Success in Indianapolis

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Last week, The Salvation Army of Eagle Creek, IN teamed up with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) and Marion University to celebrate an exciting new partnership called Project KNOT: Kids and Neighborhood Outreach and Training. The alliance was formed in an effort to keep kids out of trouble within the hours after school by providing them with a safe and structured environment.

Kids who take part in Project KNOT after school can choose how they want to spend their time, whether it’s working on their homework with help from instructors, participating in group activities, playing on the complimentary computers, or simply relaxing.

To celebrate the new community goal and to kick off the program, all three organizations (including several IMPD officers!) hosted a block party last week complete with food, games, prizes and The Salvation Army’s renowned giant Red Kettle Bounce House.

Check out the photos here.

“It was also a great opportunity to show the neighborhood and the people that we are willing to work with others,” said Captain Amos Shiels, Corps Officer at The Salvation Army Eagle Creek. “I am excited about what the future holds for Eagle Creek, and I am grateful to be a part of the ministry here.”

On the day after the event, 17 new kids showed up for the after-school program ready for fun and snacks. And now they need volunteers! If you’d like to help support Project KNOT by donating your time, please contact Captain Amos Shiels by calling 317-299-4454.

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Amazing Support Made “The MOST Amazing Race” a Hit – Again!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Last weekend, the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota were transformed into one giant race course for several dozen brave adventurers.

The Salvation Army Northern Division hosted their sixth annual “MOST Amazing Race,” patterned after the CBS hit show “The Amazing Race.” 24 teams of two hussled from checkpoint to checkpoint where they faced mental and physical challenges that ranged from fun to silly to difficult to tasty! See the photo captions for more details – there’s one challenge in particular that would make even the bravest of the brave think twice…

Congrats to Grant Dietrich and Jesse Struve of the team “Two Guys,” first-time winners of The MOST Amazing Race and the $5,000 grand prize provided by the race’s corporate sponsors! They crossed the finish line with an impressive time of 4 hours, 8 minutes, followed closely by teams “Let’s Winning” and “Super Karate Monkey Death Car.”

While the race is a ton of fun, it also supports an important cause as teams fundraise in order to compete. The earnings benefits The Salvation Army’s Bed and Bread Club, which helps alleviate hunger and homelessness in the Twin Cities. Over $214,000 has been raised since the event started in 2006. This year competitors and donors helped raise more than $22,000!

We also want to shout the praises of our teams who did an amazing job with fundraising: congratulations to our top fundraising team “Adventure Guy and Gal,” along with “House of Luu’s” and “Two Guys.”

Find more info about the race, plus awesome photos, at www.thesalarmy.org/race. We already can’t wait for next year!

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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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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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