Charles MacGregor, coach of the North Shore Salvation Army Shields, says soccer can help get the homeless off the streets. (Photo: Rob Newell, North Shore Outlook)
If you could put an end to homelessness, how would you do it? Would you believe there’s an international movement looking to soccer (or football, as it’s called abroad) as a solution?
The Homeless World Cup is an international soccer tournament that uses the sport as a catalyst to encourage homeless people to change their lives, as well as to change the attitudes of governments and the public to create better solutions to homelessness. Every year, teams of homeless individuals compete in local, regional, and national matches for the opportunity to represent their country in the Homeless World Cup. This year’s 2011 tournament will be held in Paris.
Mel Young, Founder & President, explains, “We simply use football as a way of getting homeless people to come together to begin to take responsibility for the next step in their lives. We have created a global football stage where we have simply changed the landscape around homeless people and then they change as a result. It is simple. It is magic.”
[North Shore Salvation Army Shields]
The North Shore Salvation Army Shields are based out of the John Braithwaite Community Centre in North Vancouver. Photo: Vancouver Street Soccer website
In Vancouver, Canada, Salvation Army employee Charles MacGregor took notice of the homeless soccer movement and established a Vancouver Street Soccer League Team called the North Shore Salvation Army Shields. The team recently won a tournament in December 2010.
In a recent interview, MacGregor described the experience to the North Shore Outlook, “It’s bonding. It’s team play. It’s getting the guys out of their rooms or off the street…For two hours we just focus on playing. I hope what we’re doing is providing two hours where there are no other worries.”
According to the Homeless World Cup website, “[the tournament] has triggered and supports grass-roots football programs in over 70 nations and involved 50,000 people.” The organization also reports that 70% of their players significantly change their lives as a result of their involvement .
So, what do you think? Could soccer be a viable way to help end homelessness? Learn more at www.homelessworldcup.org.
Did y’all hear about former Michigan Wolverines football coach Rich Rodriguez? After being fired, he turned what could have been a really crummy situation into a great opportunity for his community.
Looking to move on by parting with his significant wardrobe of Michigan-related items (432 to be exact), Rodriguez cleaned out his closet and donated the clothes to a local Salvation Army thrift store in Wayne, Michigan.
The Salvation Army decided to auction off much of the gear and raised nearly $13,000 thanks to the hundreds of bidders who showed up for the event!
It turned out to be a great final play for the former coach. Read more here at The Detroit News.
The Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board (NAB) met in Philadelphia last week, and Charlotte Jones Anderson officially began her term as our newest NAB Chairperson! She’s the first female to serve in this capacity.
[Passing the Gavel]
Charlotte Jones Anderson (center), joined by parents Jerry and Gene Jones (left), receives her gavel as official NAB Chairperson from Salvation Army Commissioners William and Nancy Roberts (right).
As the Executive Vice President Brand Management/ President of Charities for the Dallas Cowboys, Charlotte’s been actively involved with The Salvation Army. For 13 years she’s organized our Red Kettle Kickoff half-time show at the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game. Her parents Jerry and Gene Jones, owners of the Cowboys, were on hand to celebrate with her.
[Outgoing NAB Chairperson Rob Pace ]
Former NAB Chairperson Rob Pace (center) gets a kick out of his own Cowboys jersey. (Pictured Left to Right: Major George Hood, Gene and Jerry Jones, Charlotte Jones Anderson, Commissioners William and Nancy Roberts)
Outgoing NAB Chairperson Rob Pace lauded Charlotte and the Jones family for all their contributions to the work of The Salvation Army. To his surprise, they presented him with a Dallas Cowboys jersey, complete with his own name on the back! Mr. Pace was grinning from ear to ear thanks to the thoughtful gift.
The Salvation Army is grateful to Rob Pace for his years of dedicated leadership, and we’re thrilled to now have installed our next incredible leader Charlotte Jones Anderson
Experts say the US’ economic recession ended in June 2009, but if you ask the general population, many will probably tell you they’re skeptical and are still feeling the pain.
The Salvation Army has just released a new report today that also seems to show the recession is having a lasting impact on Americans.
We talked to more than 30 Salvation Army food service programs across the country to put together “Feeding the Need 2011,” a survey conducted between October 2010 and December 2010 that represents the experiences of Salvation Army officers and employees who work directly with clients in need.
Based on the national feedback we’ve seen from our food service programs, there are many Americans still struggling and in need of help, despite experts’ assessment that the recession is over.
Here’s a few key findings from our “Feed the Need 2011” survey:
* 94% of Salvation Army food service programs reported an increase in requests for food assistance in 2010.
* Nearly 60% of Salvation Army programs saw donations remain flat or decline from all funding sources, including government, public and private sources.
* Of food programs surveyed, 55% reported that their shelves were half-full or less.
* 23% of programs reported that volunteering rates increased in 2010, a sign that many Americans are beginning to donate time and talent instead of money.
Learn more by downloading the complete “Feeding the Need 2011” survey here.
Donors and volunteers can learn more about supporting The Salvation Army by visiting www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.