Volunteers Help Salvation Army Show Continuous Care for Haiti

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

News of Haiti’s ongoing recovery has slipped from the headlines, but the country’s need has not disappeared. Despite this drop in media attention, The Salvation Army and volunteers continue to devote countless man hours to serving earthquake survivors.

Just this past weekend hundreds of individuals from Kalamazoo, MI and the surrounding area gathered at an old Sam’s Club warehouse where they packaged 620,784 meals for Haiti over a period of two days. The event was hosted by hunger relief organization Numana, Inc. and The Salvation Army. A photo run by the Kalamazoo Gazette showed a grown man and a four year-old boy working together in the assembly-line style packing process. Though the picture may at first appear unremarkable, the sharp contrast of this seemingly mismatched pair captures the unique sense of unity and passion to help that bonds an otherwise diverse group of volunteers. Kalamazoo proved to have a great turn out of helping hands!

You would expect with it being more than five months following the earthquake, public interest would fade. But Numana hosts widely-attended meal packing events like the one in Kalamazoo every week across the country in order that The Salvation Army will have a continuous supply of food to distribute to Haitian survivors. Actually, three separate events will be taking place this weekend in Kansas, Wisconsin, and Arkansas, with Arkansas attempting to set a record of packing 2 million meals during a first-ever 24 consecutive hour event! It actually seems like the public’s desire to help is gaining steam.

Numana founder Rick McNary told the Kalamazoo Gazette that in the five months since the earthquake more than 18 million meals have been packaged for Haiti through Numana’s partnership with The Salvation Army and volunteers across the country!

The Salvation Army is incredibly thankful for the help of Numana and all the compassionate volunteers who continue to diligently give their time, efforts, and resources for those in need in Haiti, even after the overwhelming need no longer makes news headlines!

For more information about The Salvation Army in Kalamazoo, visit their website at www.tsakalamazoo.org or find them on Facebook.

You can also learn more about Numana, Inc. through their website www.numanainc.com.

Celebrate Summer with 10,000 Scoops of Ice Cream!

Monday, June 21, 2010

We’ve waited all year and it’s finally here – the first day of summer! The season is a veritable celebration of life’s simplest pleasures, such as shedding your shoes for a barefoot jaunt in the grass, lingering on the porch to enjoy a beautiful sunset, and savoring the smell of charcoal as the breeze carries with it the aromas of outdoor barbecues.

And of course, it can’t be summer without a cold scoop of ice cream! Thankfully, Denali Flavors, creators of Moose Tracks Ice Cream, has this covered.

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, Denali Flavors will give out 10,000 free scoops of Moose Tracks ice cream today in an event that not only celebrates the inauguration of summer, but also supports The Salvation Army. For every scoop of ice cream eaten, Denali Flavors will donate $1 to The Salvation Army’s Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Grand Rapids that is scheduled to open later this year. The money will help support the many programs that will be offered to local youth in the areas of education, fine arts, sports, health, and spiritual development. The multi-use facility will contain a gymnasium and performing arts, education, aquatic, fitness and worship centers.

You can read more information about the progress of The Salvation Army’s Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Grand Rapids by visiting their website HERE.

Helping Homeless Children Succeed

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Nearly 150 homeless individuals are housed in The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center in Detroit, and about 80 of those are children. Salvation Army Captain Barbara McCauley told The Detroit News that many mothers who come through their doors sought shelter there when they were kids.

Unfortunately, children of homeless adults face the risk of getting caught in the cycle of homelessness. In addition to the effects posed by the emotional stress and instability of their circumstance, moving from place to place and from school to school causes many children to fall behind in their education. These struggles kids face while they are young could pose a notable impact on their development into adults.

Organizations including The Salvation Army recognize the need to confront these issues in order to stop the trend. Through mentorship and tutoring, staff and volunteers are strengthening kids with vital educational and recreational opportunities the children might otherwise miss. This effort is even taking place now at our Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center in Detroit.

In addition, homeless parents are able to focus more effort on finding jobs and housing while their children are being intellectually and emotionally nurtured.

Check out an article featured in the Detroit News that discusses this life-changing endeavor and our efforts at The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center in Detroit: Tutoring Programs Try to Break Cycle for Homeless Children.

For more information about The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center in Detroit, click HERE.

2010 World Cup: The Salvation Army’s Work in South Africa

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Have you gotten caught up in the excitement of the 2010 World Cup? Are you soaking up each match as nations battle it out in the Group Stage, vying for a coveted spot to progress to the second round? Have you immersed yourself in World Cup trivia and player stats and even learned about South African culture (with your vuvuzela in hand)?

Whether you’re actively following the soccer games or just happen to catch headlines splashed across the news, almost everyone is at some degree aware of the global rivalry playing out across our TV screens.

At The Salvation Army, many of us have also enjoyed watching the games in our spare time – I was more than just a little happy to see the United States tie with England on Saturday! But The Salvation Army’s interest in the games extends beyond a mere competitive spirit.

The Salvation Army has been working in the communities of South Africa since 1883 to provide feeding programs, homes for babies and children with HIV/Aids, shelters for homeless people, community development projects, and much more.

But of more recent concern surrounding the 2010 World Cup is an increase in human trafficking. This, unfortunately, is many times an unintended consequence of major sporting events which draws a huge influx of tourists and an immense demand for sexual services. Additional factors specific to South Africa also contribute, including widespread poverty and relaxed visa requirements.

[Red Card]
The Salvation Army is passing out ‘Red Cards’ at the 2010 World Cup as a part of our anti-trafficking campaign.

Therefore, The Salvation Army Southern Africa Territory has been working tirelessly for more than a year to ramp up their anti-trafficking campaign in anticipation of the 2010 World Cup. Its focus is twofold: Prevention and Awareness.

* Prevention: The Salvation Army is hosting Holiday Clubs and soccer clinics to keep children off the streets, providing them a safe place where they will be less vulnerable to fall prey to traffickers. Safe houses for women and children are also available.

* Awareness: The Salvation Army has spent the past year and a half educating communities on the threat of trafficking through conversation and teaching. We also launched a toll free number 08000-RESCU (73728), which is a hotline for both victims of trafficking as well as a platform for community members with ‘tips’ about trafficking in their neighborhood.

During the World Cup we are handing out ‘Red Cards’ warning against trafficking, as well as advertising our message on soccer balls, vuvuzelas, and water bottles.

The Salvation Army Southern Africa Territory is also engaged in other outreach activities during the games, including street ministry, soccer clinics, Kids Clubs, and their usual community programs.

To learn more about how The Salvation Army is working to assist South Africans and make the 2010 World Cup safer for everyone, click HERE.

You can also visit The Salvation Army Southern Africa Territory’s website at http://www.salvationarmy.org.za/.