He’s in the Big Leagues Now

Friday, September 3, 2010

Baseball news feeds were abuzz this week as Freddie Freeman made his Major League debut after getting a call up from the Atlanta Braves. The newbie was even in the starting lineup. The 20 year-old first baseman has been described as a “phenom” and is a contender for Minor League Player of the Year.

But did you know Freddie also grew up in The Salvation Army? His family has been a part of it for 6 generations! Check out this video interview, courtesy of WAPT in Jackson, MS, of Atlanta Brave Freddie Freeman discussing his faith, baseball, and The Salvation Army.

Also, we’re happy to report that Freddie won his game Wednesday night against the NY Mets. The final score was 4-1.

The Salvation Army Readies to Provide Care at Hurricane Evacuee Shelters

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Many coastal residents and tourists are evacuating inland as Hurricane Earl approaches the Outerbanks.

Emergency management officials in North Carolina have requested The Salvation Army provide feeding services today for evacuee shelters in Beaufort, Carteret and Pamlico Counties.

The Salvation Army is able to provide evacuee feeding services through our mobile kitchen units that are setting up at county-designated shelter locations in preparation for Earl. These mobile kitchen units are fully equipped kitchens and can provide immediate, ongoing mass feedings from one location or while roaming throughout an impacted area.

The Salvation Army will also be providing feeding and hydration services to first responders and emergency personnel.

“Each day The Salvation Army responds in service to crisis situations. And not every crisis is as sensational as a Hurricane, as many are personal, individual and of the heart. Our team is mobilized and fully prepared for response and service as need arises and for as long as the need last”, said Major Willis Howell, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army North & South Carolina Division.

Stay tune to The Salvation Army’s Hurricane Earl updates as they become available through our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Athletes Emphasize Charitable Giving

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.

The Salvation Army Prepares for Hurricane Earl’s Arrival

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hurricane Earl continues its path towards the US eastern coast with winds reaching 125mph as of this morning, making the storm a Category 3.

All Salvation Army units have been notified of the potential impacts from Hurricane Earl. Personnel in coastal North Carolina and the Eastern Shore of Maryland are working with county and state emergency management officials as well as reviewing local response plans and procedures in case their assistance is needed.

We encourage everyone who may be in Earl’s path to prepare an emergency supply kit, make an evacuation plan and stay on top of all storm warnings. For help developing a preparedness plan, coastal residents can visit www.readync.org and www.mema.state.md.us.

Anyone who wants to help those affected by Hurricane Earl can visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Monetary donations will be used to meet immediate needs. We are currently not accepting donations of clothing and furniture for storm victims; however, please continue supporting your local Salvation Army thrift store and the much needed programs your in-kind gifts support.

Stay tune to The Salvation Army’s Hurricane Earl updates as they become available through our Facebook and Twitter pages.