Their Tweets Give the Homeless A Voice. What Can Yours Do?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

As much as people like to bash social media, sites like Facebook and Twitter have played crucial roles during recent global events.

From serving as the one of the very few connections between earthquake-shaken Haiti and the outside world, to helping organize revolutionary protests in Egypt, social media is proving to the world stage that hey, maybe there’s more to this than just letting virtual friends know the scoop on our relationship status.

There’s a lot of good that can come from this stuff if we use it well.

A few New York interns appear to have already figured that out. As a part of their project “Unheard in New York,” these interns gave four NYC homeless men their own prepaid cell phones and Twitter accounts with the purpose of helping them tell their stories. Every day Danny, Derrick, Albert and Carlos tweet about what it’s like to live on the streets, the struggles they face, and how they came to be homeless. From once feeling like they didn’t have a voice, they now have thousands of people following, talking with, and learning from them on Twitter.

If these tweets can give a voice to the homeless, what can your tweets do? How can your Facebook status become more than just the status quo? We want to hear your ideas for using social media to do good.

I’d like to suggest one way you can get started – connect with The Salvation Army online. We’re on Facebook (The S alvation Army USA) and Twitter (@SalvationArmyUS). We share how we’re serving people in need every day and opportunities for you to be a part of it.

Salvation Army Responding After Destructive New Zealand Earthquake

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Salvation Army in New Zealand is responding after the city of Christchurch was struck by a major earthquake today – the second in less than 6 months. At least 65 people are known to have been killed hundreds are trapped in the debris.

By late afternoon The Salvation Army was assisting more than 1,000 people. Locals are being temporarily housed in large marquees that were already on site for a flower show.

Major Rex Cross, emergency services coordinator for The Salvation Army in Christchurch, said that The Salvation Army was calling its emergency response teams together but travel across the city was extremely difficult. Food supplies for approx. 1,500 people were also being organized.

Some Salvation Army buildings are reported to have been damaged by the quake.

This disaster comes as a significant blow, especially as the shock of September’s 7.1 magnitude earthquake is so fresh and reconstruction from that event has not even finished.

The Salvation Army New Zealand has launched a Canterbury Earthquake Appeal in order to swiftly respond to the area’s humanitarian need. If you’d like to support The Salvation Army’s relief efforts, click HERE to donate.

Read The Salvation Army’s full earthquake report here.

NASCAR’S Morgan Shepherd Invites Kids To Tour Pit Row

Friday, February 18, 2011

Less than 24 hours to go til race day at Daytona and The Salvation Army will be front and center, displayed on the hood of NASCAR driver Morgan Shepherd’s #89 car. (Haven’t heard about this yet? Get updated at our original blog post here.)

Rumor has it it’s already been nicknamed “The Salvation Army car” at the race!

Plus, two kids from our local Salvation Army programs, siblings Kevante’ and Dijonae, get to attend Saturday’s race as special guests of Morgan Shepherd. Racers are even planning to hold the race for a few minutes so Kevante’ and Dijonae can walk through the track and see the cars. It’s going to be an awesome experience!

Be sure to watch the race and cheer extra loud (even if you’re tuning in from your living room) for Morgan and his Salvation Army car. Check our blog next week for photos and updates about the event, including feedback from Kevante’ and Dijonae.

The Salvation Army wants to say a huge THANK YOU to Morgan for “donating his hood” to us, and we also want to say CONGRATS! He was inducted into the Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame this past Monday.

Good luck Saturday. We’re rooting for you!

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