With 5 Years to Go, Can We Meet the UN Millennium Development Goals?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Today is the final day of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) summit in New York where world leaders have gathered to track the progress of their objectives and stir up a renewed sense of urgency and commitment to assist developing nations as only five years remain before their 2015 deadline.

The Salvation Army has signed on to a letter with several Christian organizations that urges the US, the EU, and the African Union to show a “clear and strong commitment” to the MDGs . For 145 years The Salvation Army has worked to meet human needs by addressing poverty, hunger, education and other issues, but it will take a clear vision and strong partnership from multiple global entities including governments, NGO’s, the private sector, and the public to make a dramatic worldwide impact as outlined in the MDGs.

A simple, colored pictorial chart lays out the 8 ambitious goals, which are broken down into 21 targets. If only implementing these solutions to the complex global issues of poverty, hunger, and education were as straightforward as the diagram seems to portray!

However, while these goals are aggressive, the UN reports that significant progress has been made. Their report shows that before the global economic crisis, “the depth of poverty had diminished in almost every region,” and while the world’s sluggish markets have slowed this progress we are “still on track to meet the poverty reduction target.”

Other areas need vast improvement, such as achieving universal education and reducing child mortality rates (MDG #4) which are on the decline, but not quickly enough to meet the 2015 target. The Salvation Army World Services Office (SAWSO) signed on to a pledge to participate in reducing malnutrition during children’s first 1,000 days – from the time of pregnancy to the age of 2 years – when they are most susceptible to the harmful effects of malnutrition. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton applauded the 1,000 days initiative in an address during an MDG summit side event.

Do you have ideas on how to meet the 8 development goals by 2015? Leave a comment on the UN’s Ideas for Development blog, where anyone from experts to the regular Joe can post their two cents.

If you’d rather listen to discussion than spark it, you can tune in below the live webcast of the UN General Assembly’s debate.

Announcing our Next National Advisory Board Chairperson – Mrs. Charlotte Jones Anderson!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Salvation Army is proud to announce the new Chairman of our National Advisory Board (NAB) is Mrs. Charlotte Jones Anderson, the Executive Vice President of Brand Management/President of Charities for the Dallas Cowboys!

Mrs. Anderson will be the first-ever female chairperson of our NAB and will serve a three-year term beginning January 2011, following the term ending of our current chairman Rob Pace.

Pace told the Dallas Morning News, “[Anderson] had unanimous support – we all thought she was the exact right person for this responsibility.”

Read more of his thoughts, along with those of Salvation Army National Commander Israel Gaither, in the article here- Dallas Morning News: Cowboys exec Charlotte Jones Anderson will be new chairman of Salvation Army’s advisory board.

Serving as NAB Chairman is just the next chapter in Mrs. Anderson’s distinguished history of involvement with the Army. She has been a member of the NAB for the past 5 years, helped create a memorable kickoff to our annual Christmas Red Kettle campaigns for the last 13 years through her organization of the nationally televised Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game half-time show, and she also frequently participates in events at The Salvation Army’s Gene and Jerry Jones Family Center for Children which provides affordable childcare for low-income families.

Having worked with the Dallas Cowboys for 21 years, Mrs. Anderson is one of the NFL’s most innovative and versatile executives. She guides the team in everything from stadium design to entertainment, merchandising, uniforms design, and philanthropy. It’s no wonder they lay claim to one of the most popular brands in sports! She also supervises the fortunes and travels of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders – considered to be the most recognized and accomplished organization of its kind in the world.

The Salvation Army is confident that Mrs. Anderson’s support and experience with our organization, strong marketing background, and excellent vision displayed in guiding the Dallas Cowboys will help make her an excellent leader for our National Advisory Board!

Read our official press release HERE.

From Homeless to Successful CEO

Monday, September 20, 2010

If you’re ever discouraged by your circumstances, here’s a story to help encourage you to not give up hope:

Eight years ago Stephanie Tillman and her family were evicted from their house and were left with nothing. They ended up in a Salvation Army homeless shelter in Kansas where they received housing, food and support for the next four months.

Thanks to contacts made at The Salvation Army, the Tillman family was able to move out of the shelter and begin reestablishing their lives. Stephanie found a job in an engineering firm. Things were looking up.

Stephanie eventually branched out and opened her own graphic design company Crossover Graphics (now ikros.com), which has grown exponentially into a multi-million dollar company since its establishment in 2007. She serves as CEO and her husband works as the CIO, and they have hired ten employees to help support the burgeoning business. Their circumstances today stand in stark contrast to what they were several years ago.

This Thursday, Stephanie will host a ribbon cutting event to celebrate her company’s new headquarters. As a part of the festivities, she’s donating $25,000 to the local Salvation Army to help fund a new homeless shelter that will be built next year!

A media advisory explains the generous gift: “The Salvation Army provided shelter and love to Stephanie and her family, which helped turn her life around. This experience was instrumental in going from homeless to owner of a business established in 2007 that has experienced 555% growth within the last year.”

What an inspiring, real life example for everyone that just because circumstances can take a turn for the worse, all is not lost! And during those most difficult times, The Salvation Army aims to be that beacon of hope when things seem to be at their worst.

Thank you to Stephanie for her generous donation that will help The Salvation continue to provide families and individuals with the resources and opportunities they need to get back on their feet, just like the Tillman family. Best of luck to your entrepreneurial endeavors!

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Helping Things Look Up when the Economy’s Down

Friday, September 17, 2010

A newly released Census Bureau report found that the number of Americans living in poverty has increased to 1 in 7. The number of those without health insurance is also reportedly on the rise. It’s a startling thought when you put into those terms just how many Americans are in need of help.

The Salvation Army is working hard to meet these needs that are becoming ever more widely present in our communities.

In Grand Rapids, MI many people will have the opportunity for new work soon. The Salvation Army’s Kroc Community Center is expected to open in October, and they’re seeking to fill 120 positions. The Kroc Center held a widely-attended job fair yesterday. Pretty soon the Center will not only be offering recreational and educational opportunities, but economic ones as well for the community.

Plus, this week in Savannah, GA The Salvation Army held its 6th annual ‘Stand Down for Homelessness’ event, basically a one-stop shop of resources for the homeless. People in need were able to speak face to face with more than 50 vendors gathered at the Salvation Army to discuss information about jobs, housing and social programs, as well as receive services like flu shots and teeth cleaning.

The Salvation Army of Louisville also held their own event called ‘Standdown: Operation Homeless Connect.’ In a similar fashion, area homeless met directly with agencies and offices about jobs, housing and healthcare. Attendees received personal attention from housing providers and case managers and many walked away with free eyeglasses, HIV screenings, hospital referrals and new ID cards.

These events were great ways to directly connect homeless citizens with the resources they need to help them get back on their feet.

If you or someone you know is in need, contact your local Salvation Army to see how we can help you today.