We are Excited to Announce…Honor Society is Back for 2011 Rock the Red Kettle!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Salvation Army must have a slammin’ report card!

We are THRILLED to announce that the band Honor Society will once again headline our 2011 Rock the Red Kettle Tour!!

The guys behind the hit band have been supporting The Salvation Army since 2009 – serving the poor in various cities, making surprise visits at Kroc Centers, helping us feed the hungry, and encouraging young philanthropists! We are so appreciative of their initiative to give back to those in need, especially when they are busy making music and touring the country!

The tour will debut hits off of their acclaimed new album A Tale of Risky Business, Pt. 2 – just released on October 25!
Be sure to mark your calendar! Here are the concert dates:

November 29: Teaneck, New Jersey

November 30: New York City, New York

December 4: West Chester, Pennsylvania

December 5: Vienna, Virginia

December 8: Chicago, Illinois

December 10: Pittsburgh, PA

Don’t forget to RSVP! Click on the dates above to visit the event’s Facebook page. See you there!

For more updates, visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Angel Giving Tree Online Starts Today!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It’s officially on!

The Salvation Army and J.C. Penney Company have once again come together to launch the Angel Giving Tree Online Christmas gift drive!

You can provide Christmas gifts to a disadvantaged child or senior citizen this Christmas season by adopting an angel at www.jcp.com/angel. Once you’ve chosen your angel, you can begin purchasing gifts off of their wish lists. With record numbers of families in need this year, The Salvation Army hopes this year’s Angel Giving Tree will reach millions of children and seniors in need.

Make it a group effort! J.C. Penney has made it easier than ever to adopt. In their third year of supporting the cause, J.C. Penney’s latest angel site allows businesses, organizations and church groups to adopt multiple angels at one time – an effort to encourage adoptions as an annual holiday tradition among supporters.

To get started, visit www.jcp.com/angel. You can even choose your angel based on age, gender and your specific location.

A bonus: You have officially avoided the stress of malls and last minute shopping! But don’t wait too long – the deadline for buying presents for your adoptees is December 9.

With your generosity, you can ensure presents for some very special angels on Christmas morning. Does it get any better than that?

Click Here for our official press release.

Paper Angels: A Novel by Jimmy Wayne

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Last year we blogged about country singer Jimmy Wayne’s hit single “Paper Angels” – a musical account of Jimmy’s turbulent childhood and his life-changing experience through The Salvation Army’s Angel Giving Tree program.

The acclaimed singer is back with a book by the same name. Paper Angels, out November 1, is a story based on his hit song about an unlikely boy showing a disillusioned businessman about the true meaning of Christmas.

Jimmy co-wrote this novella with fiction author Travis Thrasher. Penning this story was especially significant for Jimmy, a recipient of Christmas presents from The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program as a child. The story reminds us about how simple acts of kindness can forever change the lives of others – the same way Jimmy’s life was forever changed by the kindness of his own ‘Paper Angel’. You can order your copy of this heartwarming story by clicking here.

There are many children and seniors in need. You too can have a meaningful impact on someone’s life this Christmas. By adopting an angel through our Angel Giving Tree, you can change a life! Simply visit www.jcp.com/angel to get started. Many thanks for your support!

Check out the video below to learn more.

November: National Homeless Youth Awareness Month

Monday, October 31, 2011

November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month.

When you think of a homeless person, it’s difficult to imagine a child fending for themselves on the streets. But did you know that more than 1.5 million children are homeless at some point in their lives? The number is shocking – and apparently increasing – according to The National Center on Family Homelessness.

So…why do they leave their homes?

Many homeless youths are victims of trauma. They come from homes of significant abuse: either their parental figures are abusing substances and/or the child is being abused. Some escape because their families don’t accept them for a variety of reasons. There’s also a large number of youth who are the products of failed juvenile justice. They’ve aged out of the foster care system and are expected to be independent without resources or support.

Not surprisingly, homeless youth can have significant mental health problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, suicidal thoughts, and substance abuse problems. Because of this, they are more susceptible to lives of crime or early parenthood and the vicious cycle of abuse continues.

As Americans, do we trust the system too much? Are we overlooking this blatant need? In the book of Matthew, we are called by Christ to care for children:

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:1-6, 10-14

The Salvation Army has many programs in place that are helping to end the cycles of poverty, abuse and neglect of children. Many Salvation Army units have “Adopt a Child” or “Adopt a Family” programs that allow for donors to directly pay for a child or family in need. Salvation Army transitional housing centers are commonly available in communities for youths and single parent families. Even better, Salvation Army transitional programs often include relevant training. So not only are they meeting their basic needs, younger residents will receive counseling and training to increase cognitive, behavioral, and psychosocial skills to help develop their education and career.

We liked The Salvation Army of Lubbock, TX’s approach to helping youths. Their Red Shield Home Transitional Shelter program gives homeless youths computers and technology classes to help them get a head start at beating cyclical homelessness. The information divide between lower-income and higher-income populations has been directly linked to access to technology. By providing technology for the younger generation, The Salvation Army of Lubbock is actively participating in bettering not only this generation, but generations to follow.

In an effort to combat this end, The Salvation Army also offers youth camps and recreational centers to encourage low-income children to learn new skills and self-reliance. Counselors at these camps encourage spiritual, physical and emotional development.

Finally, many Salvation Army units offer after-school programs that help hinder poor decisions by encouraging children to engage in healthy activities in those unsupervised hours after school.

In summary – there are a variety of programs with which you can help us!

You can get involved in our efforts to support homeless youths and to combat cyclical poverty. Helping financially is often inexpensive. Please consider reaching out to your local unit to find out how you can help “Adopt” a child financially, donate your time or items, or simply lend an ear to a child as a volunteer.

If you’d like to donate online, please visit our Ways to Give page.