Japan Earthquake Efforts

Friday, March 11, 2011

Following news of the massive earthquake and resultant tsunami in the Pacific, The Salvation Army in the USA is staying in contact with The Salvation Army in Japan. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this unimaginable disaster.

Commissioner Makoto Yoshida of The Salvation Army in Japan described it as the largest earthquake in the last 100 years. He reported the most damaged city is Sendai, which is about 400 km away from Tokyo.

We’ve learned from him that they are sending a team to Sendai tonight and tomorrow will start providing basic needed necessities, as well as assessing the level of damages and what they can do.

In Tokyo, because the whole public transport shut down and stranded many commuters, The Salvation Army opened a section of their Territorial Headquarters building for those who could not get home. The Army served them hot drinks and meals.

We expect to have reports from The Salvation Army in Hawaii soon and will keep you updated as information comes in.

Background: The Salvation Army has been at work in Japan since 1895, operating more than 80 centers there, including two hospitals and four Children’s homes. The Salvation Army has nearly 200 officers, 3,000 members and just under 1,000 employees already at work in Japan.

On This Day in History

Thursday, March 10, 2011

On March 10, 1880 The Salvation Army “officially” landed in the United States. Commissioner George Scott Railton and seven female officers landed in New York City after having been sent from London by Salvation Army founder William Booth to begin their ministry in this country.

However, in truth, The Salvation Army’s Lieutenant Eliza Shirley had already arrived in the US in 1879 to join her parents, who had migrated to America earlier in search for work. That same year she held the first meeting of The Salvation Army in America, in Philadelphia, but it was not officially commissioned by William Booth.

The good news is the Salvationists were received enthusiastically. Shirley wrote to General Booth, begging for reinforcements. None were available at first, but glowing reports of the work in Philadelphia eventually convinced Booth, in 1880, to send an official group to pioneer the work in America.

While Commissioner Railton may get the credit for officially pioneering the work in the US, Lt. Shirley played a significant part in laying the groundwork!

40 Days of Sacrifice

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Today is the first day of the Lenten season. If you observe this religious tradition, have you decided what you’ll sacrifice for this time leading up to Easter?

Most people I know stick to one thing to abstain from for these 40 days, like chocolate or playing video games. But Kathleen See in The Salvation Army’s Eastern Territory posted her own idea for Lent. For her, each day is a new opportunity to either give something up or do something good for others.

Below is her calendar for the first week of Lent. Maybe you can use this as a guide for your own plans. View Kathleen’s full list here.

March 9 Give up watching TV
March 10 Give up drinking your favorite hot drink
March 11 Learn a Bible verse
March 12 Give up the trip to the mall
March 13 Invite someone to Sunday dinner
March 14 Go to bed an hour earlier and use the time to pray
March 15 Cut your spending by $10 this week and put it in a box and decide what person in need will receive it at end of Lent season.

All Dressed Up With Somewhere To Go

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Trust us, you won’t wear that again! Donate it to a good cause. Photo: 27 Dresses

I’m not as bad of a dress hoarder as Katherine Heigl in “27 Dresses,” but for awhile I did have several bridesmaid and formal gowns filling the dark recesses of my closet. Those dresses and I told ourselves it was just a matter of time before we went out, together again, to that next big party.

But we both knew it wasn’t really going to happen. Then there finally came the day when we (mutually) decided it was best to move on, and our last hurrah took place at The Salvation Army Thrift Store donation center. It was good closure to know that they would make some deserving young women very happy for just the right occasion.

In truth, most women probably have a handful of formal dresses collecting dust in their closets. The Ashland Salvation Army Kroc Center in Ohio is hosting an event that could provide that needed push to purge.

As a part of “The Princess Closet,” the Kroc is collecting gently used prom, homecoming, and bridesmaid gowns to make sure every young woman can be outfitted for prom night. Through generous public donations the event will help girls who cannot afford a new prom dress find something equally beautiful. Plus, the girls will get expert advice on hair styles and makeup.

Is there a better fate for your old dresses? I can’t think of any.

If you don’t live in the Ashland, OH area, just take your dresses to a nearby Salvation Army donation center. Plenty of young women will be searching our stores for that perfect prom dress. Yours may be just the one they’re looking for.