Meet me in St. Louis

Monday, September 26, 2011

The following was contributed by Marcia Larson, Salvation Army National Advisory Board Member. Marcia attended The Salvation Army’s NAB meeting in St. Louis September 15-17, 2011 and blogged about her experience. Her reflections on the trip are below.

Click Here to read her blog.

I felt a little bit like Saul Thursday morning at the NAB induction. Not Saul chasing after David. But early Saul.

The Saul who at the beginning of 1 Samuel is tapped by God to step up to leadership and responds, “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin?

Later, Saul runs over and hides in the luggage (chapter 18).

I didn’t hide in my suitcase Thursday morning but was tempted; because it is a tremendous privilege and honor to serve on the Salvation Army NAB with people who possess years of professional experience, spiritual maturity that only comes from life experiences, and years / even generations of commitment to the Army.

It is humbling to be asked. And as Mark Abels likes to remind me, “I’m not old.” Not very experienced. And yet you’ve welcomed a 32-year-old single woman so warmly and lovingly to your ranks. Thank you.

The Salvation Army brings a cup of cold water…in Jesus’ name. And you don’t forget the “in Jesus’ name” part. While on a mission project in Tanzania last month I held an orphan whose mother tried to sell her to be offered up for human sacrifice. As I held Rehema, I immediately began to think of all the diapers, clothes, shoes, schooling costs, and physical need. And then the Holy Spirit stopped me. “Those are good things Marcia, important things, but what’s the best thing? What’s the everlasting thing?”

What we bring to orphans like Rehema, what the Army brings to the hurting around the world is not just physical sustenance. Because buildings fall down. Clothes wear out.

What the Army brings first and foremost is what 1 Peter 1:3 & 4 calls “ the living hope of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, an inheritance that does perish, spoil, or fade.”

The past three days in St. Louis brought new friends, new issues to think about, new experiences into my life. I ate fried pickles. Smiled for all of Marlene’s pictures. Taught Sally how to “tweet,” talked with Jim Nordstrom about customer service, learned about Kenya from Commissioner Roberts, worshipped at the Gateway Center, stayed in a room the size of my NY apartment, drank lots of coffee, and even had a marriage proposal.

Coming back to NY, it’s back to The Wall Street Journal – bringing news to the world.

But going forward I’ll now be serving on committees of the NAB that bring the Good News of the Gospel. The best news.

Thank you for this opportunity to fulfill the Great Commission through the work of The Salvation Army as we do the most good, for the Most High.

Cultivating a Future

Monday, September 26, 2011

Congrats to the newest graduates of The Chattanooga Salvation Army’s Culinary School! Most graduates have planned for years for such a milestone. For the record 614 grads that received their diplomas last week, this was a rather unexpected achievement.

Just 15 weeks earlier, students like Chef Augusto Rivera were out of life options. A sordid past of drugs, alcohol and homelessness had him questioning where he would live or to whom he would turn. A time-to-time recipient of Salvation Army meals, his decision one day to instead serve the food sparked a desire within him to cook. When The Salvation Army’s Culinary School Program became available, he made a decision to completely turn his life around.

Thanks to the training he received through The Salvation Army Culinary Program, Augusto’s newly-honed skills landed him a job as Assistant to Class Instructor Chef Terry Epps.

Augusto is just one example of many newly-trained chefs who, amid unforgettable pasts of unfortunate events or poor life decisions, desire to end their homelessness, addictions and sadness.

Chef Terry is proud of his class- especially since all 614 have been hired since graduating!

Congrats, Grads!

Check out the full news story here.

For more information on The Salvation Army’s Programs, Click Here.

Flood Relief Work Continues in Tioga County, New York

Friday, September 23, 2011

The relief work continues in upstate New York in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Thanks to hundreds of volunteers from in and within surrounding areas, Tioga County, one of the hardest-hit areas in the region, is progressing towards recovery.

The Salvation Army of Owego recently partnered with Tioga Opportunities, Inc.- a nonprofit human service agency- to provide disaster relief at Countryside Community Center. Along with assisting victims with clean-up, hot meals are being served daily from 11:30 – 5:00. The shelter is located at 9 Sheldon Blvd., Owego, NY.

The Salvation Army has deployed 1/3 of its officer personnel from The Empire State Division to affected sites. 11 mobile service and feeding units are still in service and have provided more than 15,000 meals and 30,000 bottles of water thus far. 2,800 cleanup kits have been distributed to victims.

If you’d like to help us in our recovery efforts, please visit our website at www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY. You can also donate using your mobile phone by texting the word “STORM” to 80888 to make a quick $10 donation*.

*A one-time donation of $10 will be billed to your mobile phone bill. Messaging & data rates may apply. Donations are collected for The Salvation Army by mobilecause.com. Reply STOP to 80888 to stop. Reply HELP to 80888 for help. For terms, see www.igfn.org/t.

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.