Thursday, September 16, 2010
The United States has been ranked as the world’s 5th most generous nation, according to the 2010 Gallup’s World Giving Index. Rankings were based on responses to survey questions about the frequency of charitable behavior including donating money, volunteering and helping strangers.
Here’s who took the other top spots (repeated numbers indicate a tie):
1. New Zealand
5. United States
Coming from The Salvation Army’s perspective, we’re not surprised that the American public has a big heart – much of what we do hinges on the generosity of others. According to our 2010 National Annual Report, more than 3,411,613 Salvation Army volunteers donated their time and effort last year! And during the last two years’ holiday giving seasons, when the economic downturn suggested that financial donations should be on the decline, Americans gave more than ever before to our Annual Christmas Red Kettle Campaigns!
What do you think about our nation’s rank as #5? How important do you think philanthropy is to the strength and well-being of a society?
And let’s extend the poll to our readers – In the last month, have you supported an organization or charitable cause by donating money, volunteering or helping a stranger? Bonus question: In which way of these ways do you like to give back the most, and why?
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
The Washington Post reports that Washington, DC sports teams and athletes are increasingly focusing on charitable giving.
Staff writer Susan Kinzie says, “For reasons idealistic, self-serving or practical, athletes and teams are putting a greater emphasis on donating money, volunteering and helping local communities — with more commitment to providing real impact rather than just photo ops.”
As a DC resident, it’s nice to hear that my teams are giving back. Between the baseball, hockey, basketball and football teams, DC athletes are helping revitalize local neighborhoods, investing in cancer prevention, fighting hunger, supporting children’s education programs and addressing a load of other issues. With the unique voice and wide supporter base that comes with the territory, athletes have a great platform to get the message out on deserving causes and make lasting, positive impacts on communities and individuals.
I’ll admit though, sometimes I’m skeptical when I hear about big names pushing a cause. I wonder, do they really care about or have a genuine commitment to this issue they’re attaching themselves to? For me, sincerity is important.
What’s your take on athletes being active in philanthropy? Do you have a favorite athlete who’s an outspoken advocate for a charity or a cause? Does a sports/charity partnership make you more likely to support the members involved?
Felix Jones spends time coaching kids at The Salvation Army’s North Mabee Center in Tulsa, OK.
Felix Jones spends time coaching kids at The Salvation Army’s North Mabee Center in Tulsa, OK.
Since becoming a Salvation Army employee, I’m happy to say my skepticism has tempered after seeing athletes and teams from around the country give and serve generously through our organization in ways that have invaluably inspired and assisted those in need. Their collaboration with us has ranged from extended partnerships to isolated volunteer efforts. Some athletes have never been involved with the Army before, while others have actually been clients in our programs.
Maybe you root for some of the teams and players who have worked with us:
* Felix Jones, Dallas Cowboys – He tutors students in ACT prep at The Salvation Army’s North Mabee Boys & Girls Club in Tulsa, OK and has served as a role model in other programs. He’s also pledged $25,000 to the North Mabee Center. Why? He played football at North Mabee as a kid and personally knows what a great impact it has on the local community.
* Robert Meacham, New Orleans Saints – Young aspiring football players received personal tips on playing the game from this Super Bowl Champion during a summer sports camp at The Salvation Army’s North Mabee Center in Tulsa. Yep, Meacham also grew up playing ball at the center with Jones.
* Julius Erving, NBA Hall of Famer – The b-ball legend is an advocate for exercise and sportsmanship for youth in Atlanta, where he hit the basketball courts as a kid at The Salvation Army. One way he gives back is through his annual “Dr. J” Biddy Ball tournament hosted this year at The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, with the help of other players including Cory Blackwell, Vincent Askew and Duane Causwell.
* Omaha Nighthawks (UFL) – These players not only helped establish two mentoring programs through a $25,000 donation to the Omaha Salvation Army Kroc Center, the Nighthawks also serve as mentors themselves! And they’re holding their training camp at the Kroc Center where kids and the community will have the opportunity to see their role models in action.
* Indianapolis Colts – From hosting Christmas toy drives to a $25,000 donation equally shared by The Salvation Army and 4 other non-profits, the Colts are community-focused. On top of that, their Senior VP Tom Zupancic just joined our Advisory Board!
* Philadelphia Eagles – When disaster struck Haiti, the team wanted to help. Eagles guard and Haiti native Max Jean-Gilles, Eagles linebacker Akeem Jordan and Eagles employees volunteered to help The Salvation Army and Numana pack nutritious meals for earthquake survivors.
* Dallas Cowboys – For 13, going on 14, years the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game halftime show marks the official launch of our Red Kettle Christmas Campaign. The annual campaign has raised more than $1 billion since the partnership began in 1997 and has helped the Army to serve 30 million people each year nationwide. Plus, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his wife, Gene, opened the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Center for Children – a Salvation Army child care center for low-income families in Irving, TX. Mr. Jones is now an Emeritus member of The Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board and his daughter and wife are active board members.
Friday, August 13, 2010
The headlines under the newspaper’s business section seem to leave us lacking in optimism as of late.
Participation in the nation’s food stamp program hit a record high of 40.8 million in May, continuing a pattern of record highs for 18 straight months.
U.S. unemployment for July remained unchanged at 9.5%.
With the job market still struggling, the U.S. Congress passed another unemployment benefits extension for Americans without work who are trying to support themselves and their families.
Increased need has resulted in unprecedented demand for social services at many non-profits and charities, including The Salvation Army.
Bill and Melinda Gates, top, and Warren Buffett, bottom, have encouraged billionaires to donate half or more of their fortunes to charity through an initiative called ‘The Giving Pledge.’
As mentioned in our National 2010 Annual Report, some local Salvation Army units have reported a demand for services more than 400% above normal. In Hickory, North Carolina, we’ve served 75,000 more people than this time last year. And one of our food pantries in Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania serves up to 50 families per week, up from last year’s 15 families per week.
The good news is it seems that with increased need there’s also been a heightened call in general for philanthropic generosity.
Recently Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett announced an initiative called ‘The Giving Pledge,’ an effort to encourage American billionaires to give half of their wealth to charities or non-profits during their lifetime or after their death. It’s an interesting idea that they hope will “draw more people into philanthropy” and “continue for generations” to come. A list of pledge signers, including George Lucas, Ted Turner and T. Boone Pickens, is available at http://givingpledge.org.
What do you think of this idea? What causes would you like to see supported by these pledge signers?
It would be wonderful if this initiative did result in more resources reaching those most in need, but thankfully you don’t have to be a billionaire to make a difference.
In fact, I would argue that Salvation Army supporters are some of the most generous people out there. This year The Salvation Army’s Christmas Red Kettle donations soared to a record $139 million. That’s $9 million more than our 2008 record, another year in which the economy and logic suggested that donations would be down. And no, these donations did not come from billionaires. Most of it came in pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters from regular people with big hearts.
Though many Salvation Army offices were not (and are not) exempt from the strain of limited resources amidst escalating demand, The Salvation Army was able to provide help to nearly 30 million Americans last year thanks to our benevolent donors.
So while headlines may tempt us to feel dispirited, thankfully, as our supporters show us, there’s more to the story.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
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Tuesday, December 2, 2014
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Monday, November 19, 2012
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012
We’re all familiar with the relatively small sacrifice required to assist those in the poorest parts of the world. Organizations like Compassion International, Samaritan’s Purse and of course, The Salvation Army are adept at providing amazingly high returns from relatively small investments, in terms of improving the lives of those they help.
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.