He’s Our New Favorite Elf

Friday, December 3, 2010

This man has got to be the cutest elf we’ve ever seen…

But the toys he makes year round don’t go towards Santa’s stash. They go to The Salvation Army.

The elf is 90 year-old Sidney Johnson of Fremont, Nebraska who uses his skills to create beautiful toys to benefit underprivileged children. He’s made hundreds over the last several years, and he could have probably made even more if his family didn’t impose a 1 toy/day limit to keep the elderly elf from wearing himself out!

A Nebraska NBC news station recently ran the story and video [embedded above], which are being picked up by affiliates around the country. It’s apparent that we at The Salvation Army aren’t the only ones who love the guy – just read the comments viewers posted here under the original news story, and you’ll get an idea of the fan base that has rallied around Mr. Johnson!

Mr. Johnson, The Salvation Army would like to echo those sentiments of appreciation. We are blessed by your kindness and sincerely grateful for your selfless efforts to serve underprivileged families. You’ve been a wonderful blessing to far many more people than you know!

The Story of the Red Kettle

Thursday, December 2, 2010

We’re officially in the Christmas season, and chances are you’ve seen or will soon see our Salvation Army Red Kettles and bell ringers while you’re out and about.

Our Red Kettles have become a holiday icon – just ask anybody about them and they’ll know what you’re talking about. But do you know how this tradition started?

Today I thought it would be helpful to share the history of The Salvation Army’s Christmas Red Kettle Campaign to give you a deeper understanding of the heart behind this century-old tradition. Here goes:

In San Francisco during December of 1891, Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee resolved to provide a free Christmas dinner to the area’s poor, but he had no way to pay for all that food from his own pocket. So the question remained, how would he do it?

His thoughts went back to his days as a sailor in Liverpool, England. On the Stage Landing he saw a large iron kettle called “Simpson’s pot” into which passers-by dropped charitable donations.

The next day he received permission to place a similar kettle at the Oakland ferry landing. No time was lost in securing the pot and placing it in a conspicuous position, so that it could be seen by all those going to and from the ferry boats. Beside it he placed a sign that read, “Keep the Pot Boiling.” Word spread of his endeavor and he quickly raised the funds to feed 1,000 of the city’s poorest individuals on Christmas day! But he didn’t end it there.

By 1985 the kettle was used in 30 Salvation Army locations along the West Coast, and shortly after they spread to the East Coast. In 1897, the kettle fundraising campaign in Boston and other cities helped pay for 150,000 Christmas dinners for the needy.

Thus, Captain McFee launched a tradition that has spread not only throughout the United States, but throughout the world.

Today, donations raised through our Christmas Red Kettle Campaign fund a vast range of Salvation Army programs and services that serve 30 million Americans year round.

So remember, when you’re dropping a donation in to a Red Kettle, you’re continuing a long standing tradition, but most importantly, you’re making it possible for The Salvation Army to continue to serve the those most in need.

Help Hanes Warm 1 Million Feet

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Did you know that socks are the number one requested item at homeless shelters?

Hanes, the #1 sock brand in America, does. That’s why they’ve launched a virtual sock drive to benefit The Salvation Army.

For each person that ‘Likes’ Hanes on Facebook and clicks ‘Help Hanes Donate,’ the brand will donate one pair of socks. Last year they set a goal of 100,000 pairs and met it in one day! Due to the overwhelming support, this year they’ve raised the goal to 500,000.

Help Hanes and The Salvation Army knock this year’s drive out of the park again by warming up 1 million feet. Visit Hanes on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/Hanes or find more info at www.Hanes.com.

There’s even a cool sock-o-meter to monitor the amount of support raised so far…but I’m not going to tell you how many socks have already been pledged. You’ve got to go see for yourself!

Cheesecake Factory Makes Hearts and Stomachs Happy

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Today we want to give our friends at The Cheesecake Factory a big shout out and thank you for their help in ‘doing the most good’ for people in need.

On Thanksgiving Day, for the 9th year in a row, more than 3,000 Cheesecake Factory staffers volunteered to serve a Thanksgiving Day Feast at Salvation Army Community Centers across the country.

From Anaheim to Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston, Long Island, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, they served up A-MAZ-ING meals to more than 6,000 low-income families and individuals.

There was turkey and all the trimmings, plus… The Cheesecake Factory’s famous Pumpkin Cheesecake! Yum! Their cheesecake is so good you order it before your meal (if you’ve ever eaten at the restaurant, you know what I’m talking about).

The delicious food and friendly service from the volunteers made for an incredible feast that our Salvation Army clients will not soon forget.

Thank you, Cheesecake Factory, for sharing the love and sharing the food to meet the needs of the hungry.