Do You Know About The ARC’s?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

You may have seen the Today Show Tag Sale Auction that we promoted over the weekend. Thanks to risky bidders, generous supporters, and big-spenders, The Salvation Army raised almost $10,000 which will help fund The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARC).

Most people don’t think of rehab when they think of Salvation Army. In fact, it’s safe to say that most people only associate red kettles and thrift stores to The Salvation Army. When I talk with folks about the plethora of Salvation Army programs available, listeners are always pleasantly surprised.

They’re amazed to hear that The Salvation Army has been helping those afflicted with drug and alcohol addictions for over 100 years. In fact, The Salvation Army thrift stores exist solely to fund The ARC’s! With 119 locations across the country, the centers provide spiritual, social and emotional assistance, without discrimination, to adults who have lost their ability to cope with life and provide for themselves.

What makes The Salvation Army ARC’s stand out from other rehabilitation centers is that ARC program participants are cured in the only lasting way – through spiritual awakening. They discover a personal relationship with God, a deeper meaning to their existence, and a foundation of values. They leave treatment with a deeper understanding of their fallible nature but also surety and trust in God’s promise of salvation. Participants graduate with an understanding that God is the only true source for lasting change and happiness.

The inspiration behind this blog post came from an ARC success story that was posted on www.SouthernSpiritOnline.org.

Addicted to drugs, Justin was given one more chance to turn his life around through treatment. By means of his probation officer, Justin was admitted to The Salvation Army ARC of Jacksonville, Florida. While undergoing treatment and counseling with over 100 other men, he was inspired to be like them – grateful, happy, and full of joy and love for God. Through the positive six-month experience, Justin found his faith. Although his life has been at times tumultuous, he feels that God led him to his current career – Christian Counseling – through all of his life experiences, particularly that of his placement at the ARC. Read Justin’s inspiring full story here.

Your donations and purchases at Salvation Army thrift stores could potentially safe someone’s life. For ways that you can support The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers, please visit www.satruck.org.

Click here to read more success stories from graduates of The Salvation Army ARC’s.

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Amazing Support Made “The MOST Amazing Race” a Hit – Again!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Last weekend, the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota were transformed into one giant race course for several dozen brave adventurers.

The Salvation Army Northern Division hosted their sixth annual “MOST Amazing Race,” patterned after the CBS hit show “The Amazing Race.” 24 teams of two hussled from checkpoint to checkpoint where they faced mental and physical challenges that ranged from fun to silly to difficult to tasty! See the photo captions for more details – there’s one challenge in particular that would make even the bravest of the brave think twice…

Congrats to Grant Dietrich and Jesse Struve of the team “Two Guys,” first-time winners of The MOST Amazing Race and the $5,000 grand prize provided by the race’s corporate sponsors! They crossed the finish line with an impressive time of 4 hours, 8 minutes, followed closely by teams “Let’s Winning” and “Super Karate Monkey Death Car.”

While the race is a ton of fun, it also supports an important cause as teams fundraise in order to compete. The earnings benefits The Salvation Army’s Bed and Bread Club, which helps alleviate hunger and homelessness in the Twin Cities. Over $214,000 has been raised since the event started in 2006. This year competitors and donors helped raise more than $22,000!

We also want to shout the praises of our teams who did an amazing job with fundraising: congratulations to our top fundraising team “Adventure Guy and Gal,” along with “House of Luu’s” and “Two Guys.”

Find more info about the race, plus awesome photos, at www.thesalarmy.org/race. We already can’t wait for next year!

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TODAY: Salvation Army of Omaha to Turn Sandbags into Moneybags

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tom Becka of KFAB will broadcast his 4-7pm (CST) radio show live from Loft 610 in Midtown Crossing on Monday (June 27) as a fundraiser for Salvation Army flood relief. The restaurant is located at 220 S. 31st Ave, Omaha, Nebraska.

The public is invited to stop by and help fill sandbags with donations for The Salvation Army’s work to help flood victims in the metro Omaha/Council Bluffs area or to listen to KFAB for details on how to donate. The goal is to fill 200 sandbags or “moneybags” with money that day. Of every dollar donated to the fund, 100% goes to the flood relief operation.

Becka’s live on-location show will feature calls from listeners as well as interviews with Salvation Army emergency disaster services representatives and Divisional Commander Major Paul Smith.

“The Salvation Army is often the last to leave the scene of a disaster and becomes involved in long-term recovery even after the threat is past,” said Smith.

Salvation Army Red Kettles Not Just for the Holidays

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettles, usually associated with bell ringing and the holidays, are making their summer debut at more than 140 sites in Omaha and surrounding communities (including Bellevue, Carter Lake, Elkhorn, LaVista, Papillion and Ralston).

Among the many places where the countertop red kettles can be found are all locations for Hy-Vee, American National Bank, Blimpie’s, Fantasy’s, Little King, Security National Bank, Starbuck’s, Wheatfield’s and Cubby’s in the Old Market. For more locations where you can donate, go online to www.givesalvationarmy.org. Donations to the kettles will be used 100 percent for flood relief in Omaha‘s metro area.

Cleanup Kits Needed
Hy-Vee has joined with Action News 3, Journal Broadcast Radio and The Salvation Army in an on-going campaign to provide clean-up kit supplies to flood victims. The public is invited to donate new supplies for the kits. Supplies needed include buckets, rubber gloves, disinfectant, brushes, brooms, mops, bottled water and safety goggles.

Donations may be dropped off at any Omaha Fire Station, Action News 3, 10714 Mockingbird Drive; Journal Broadcast Radio, 5030 N 72 Street; or The Salvation Army, 3612 Cuming Street.

The kits are being given to flood victims by The Salvation Army for businesses and homes in Omaha’s metro area.

Volunteers Needed for Mobile Feeding Units
The Salvation Army’s Kroc Center has been active since Memorial Day deploying mobile feeding units to feed and hydrate emergency workers who are monitoring flood activities along the Missouri River daily. Since May 30, more than 21,000 people have been served.

Volunteers are needed. If you would like to help with the mobile feeding unit, contact Ginger Noel at the Kroc Center, 402.905.3519 or ginger_noel@usc.salvationarmy.org. For all other volunteer opportunities, contact Kay Weinstein at 402.898.6000 or kay_weinstein@usc.salvationarmy.org.

Monetary donations:
To donate to The Salvation Army’s flood response in South Dakota, Iowa or Nebraska visit givesalvationarmy.org, call 800-SAL-ARMY or mail a check to The Salvation Army, 3612 Cuming Street, Omaha NE 68131. Be sure to designate your donation to “Flood Relief.”

Donations of used Household Goods and Clothing:
Due to the high expense and time demands associated with delivering your gently-used household goods and clothing (gifts-in-kind), The Salvation cannot guarantee that any individual gifts-in-kind donated now will be sent to the disaster area. In time of disaster, our stores fill these needs from existing, pre-sorted stock. By continuing to donate gently-used household goods to your local Salvation Army store, you not only help your community, you help us prepare for future disaster relief needs. To find your nearest drop-off location, please go to www.satruck.org.

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It’s a Record: $142 Million in Giving!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thank you, America! The Salvation Army raised $142 million in Christmas Red Kettles during the 2010 season, setting a record for the sixth straight year!

This is great news considering how much more need we’ve seen across the country, and these funds will go to support our many programs year round.

Wow. It was a busy Red Kettle season, to say the least. We used many of our traditional efforts, from the volunteer bell ringers you probably saw on every corner, to our annual Thanksgiving Day Kickoff at Cowboys Stadium. Plus, we had a few new ideas up our sleeves, like our Rock the Red Kettle Concert and a new iPhone app.

When it all comes down to it, though, we couldn’t have done any of this without you. Thank you for your generosity. And thanks to our many corporate partners for your continued support. We’re very grateful for all of your help with assisting those in need!

If you’d like to know more about our record Red Kettle Season, check out our official press release here.

Or if you’re more of a visual person, you may prefer this cool fact sheet:

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Kindness Challenge

Friday, February 18, 2011

We need your help!

USA TODAY has launched the “#KindnessChallenge,” a Twitter campaign for charity. The top charity tweet-getters with the most creative ideas or goals from fans about how they’re supporting their favorite nonprofits will be featured in a story in USA TODAY.

Will you show your support for The Salvation Army? There’s only a few hours left – you have until 6pm ET tonight (Feb 18) – but here’s what you can do:

Finish the following sentence on Twitter:

“My #USATODAY #KindnessChallenge goal is to help (insert full name of charity or that charity’s twitter handle)….”

To support us, tweet:

“My #USATODAY #KindnessChallenge goal is to help @SalvationArmyUS …” and then let the world know what you plan to do! Need a few ideas? How about:

“…feed the hungry by donating food from my community garden.”

“…raise funds be recruiting all my friends to ring at Christmas Red Kettles.”

“…by shopping only at their Thrift Stores for a month.”

Get creative, and you can even have your friends retweet your messages.

For the complete list of rules, visit USA Today’s Kindness Blog here.

Thanks for Tweeting!

Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS

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Mysterious Donations

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettles fill up with spare change and bills during the holiday season, but every year there’s a few unique and mysterious donations that appear. Here are a few that made our list in 2010:

South African Krugerrand

Krugerrands – A South African gold Krugerrand coin worth $1,100 was dropped into a Shreveport, LA Salvation Army red kettle. Two more Krugerrand coins were dropped into Salvation Army red kettles in Fort Collins, CO. Yet another was anonymously donated in Kauai, Hawaii. Who knew so many people have Krugerrands?

Wedding Band and Diamond Ring – This surprising donation was found wrapped around a $1 dollar bill in a kettle in Indiana.

In a similar incident in Minnesota, a woman donated her husband’s wedding band to a kettle, but it was on accident. Thankfully, she recovered it from The Salvation Army when she noticed it was gone from her coin purse. Whoops!

[Double Eagle Gold Coin]
Double Eagle Gold Coin

Gold coin, donated “In Loving Memory of Mimi.” For the past six years, an anonymous donor has dropped a $20 Double Eagle gold coin – wrapped in a note honoring Mimi – into one of South Florida’s Red Kettles. The coin, printed in 1928, is valued at $1,400.

Several other rare gold and silver coins have been donated to kettles all over the country!

Secret Santa donates $100,000

$100,000 from the North Pole – The Salvation Army received several extremely generous, anonymous donations in our kettles this year. One however, in Joplin, Missouri, came from “Santa Claus.” Five checks totaling $20,000 came from the jolly old elf, hidden in folded dollar bills.

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A Sudanese “Lost Boy” Finds New Family, Home with The Salvation Army

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Do you ever wonder, “Who are those people who so faithfully ring the bells alongside Salvation Army Red Kettles every holiday season? What is it that motivates each of them to serve?”

What makes many of these faithful servants unique is that many bell ringers have been on the other side of the social service system. They have first-hand experience at homelessness and going without – bell ringers like Peter Adup, one of the “lost boys” from Sudan who escaped to the U.S. as a teenager when his entire family perished due to political strife. He has no immediate family left, but The Salvation Army has become his family.

He currently resides at a Salvation Army homeless shelter, where he’s working to get back on his feet with gainful employment – perhaps even as a Salvation Army officer one day! In his free time, he volunteers every chance he gets, including as a bell ringer.

Peter Adup is recognized as Southern California’s “Bellringer of the Year.” (Photo from Salvation Army of Southern California’s Facebook album.)

For three years in a row now he’s been stationed at one of the highest trafficked kettles in Los Angeles.
Due to his contagious smile and amazing energy, his has one of the most successful kettles in town.

Despite all of the hardship Peter has faced in his home land – or perhaps because it – Peter’s desire is to pursue full-time ministry and return to Africa as a missionary.

His amazing attitude and contagious energy are evident to all, and those are just a few of the reasons the Southern California Division has named him “Bell Ringer of the Year.”

His is an inspiring story of triumphing despite all odds.

Information submitted by Dawn Wright from The Salvation Army USA’s Southern California Division. Thanks Dawn!

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Blizzard Forces Stop to Red Kettle Campaign for First Time in Minnesota History

Monday, December 13, 2010

Blizzard conditions have wreaked havoc across the Midwest since this weekend. By all indications, it’s BAD.

So bad that for the first time in history, The Salvation Army’s Northern Division has had to cancel bell ringing and pull Red Kettles from the streets and store fronts!

The unprecedented event even made the top headline on the national news website Drudge Report.

[Front page of Drudge Report]

The Northern Division, which covers Minnesota and North Dakota, is concerned the blizzard will put them significantly behind in fundraising, and they expect to be short $500,000 in the Twin Cities alone.

The loss of these funds will directly affect the work of The Salvation Army’s feeding programs, food pantries, homeless shelters and the countless other services they provide in Minnesota and North Dakota.

If you’d like to help The Salvation Army beat this blizzard, go to http://www.thesalarmy.org/cont/donate.htm to learn how to donate to The Salvation Army’s efforts in the Twin Cities and all across the country.

Thanks for your help!

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Help Us Thank Our Amazing Partners!

Monday, December 13, 2010

If you’ve started to tackle your Christmas shopping, you’ve probably noticed our Salvation Army red kettles are out in full force. There’s going to be around 25,000 workers and volunteers this season collecting donations in front of your favorite stores.

This iconic tradition and vital fundraiser started in 1891 in San Francisco would not be the same without the generous support of the businesses who welcome Salvation Army bell ringers and kettles outside their doors.

Have you noticed that everyone you know recognizes a Salvation Army bell ringer and kettle? That’s because thanks to these businesses kindly sharing their space with us, we’ve been able to significantly raise awareness of need in your local community and our efforts to serve that need.

In fact, this broad visibility has contributed to The Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign being known as one of the most enduring and recognizable fundraising campaigns ever.

As if that weren’t enough, many of these stores even match kettle donations or contribute their own!

Here at The Salvation Army we want to offer a huge THANK YOU to all the stores who welcome our red kettles. Thank you for believing in our cause and giving us the opportunity. We’re proud to partner with you in serving our communities.

Next time you see a kettle outside a store, we encourage you to let the business know how much you appreciate their support of The Salvation Army. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without them!

Below is a list of our national store partners. This list is not exhaustive, as there are many more regional and local businesses who participate in our Red Kettle Campaign as well:

* Big Lots
* Bloomingdale’s
* Hobby Lobby
* JCPenney
* Kroger
* Macy’s
* Sam’s Club
* Simon Malls
* Walgreens
* WalMart

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Some Tips from the Reigning Online Kettle King

Thursday, December 9, 2010

We know. Salvation Army bell ringers are probably all over the place in your town! but there’s even more of them that you don’t see because their kettles are all online.

Yep. Virtual bell ringers.

And Jim Cummings from Denver, CO seems to be the virtual kettle king. So far this season his online kettle has raised a hefty $52,000, nearly 75% of his $70,000 goal. The guy’s good!

So good, in fact, that this is actually his 5th year in a row to raise the most money for an individual online kettle. As you recall, this Thanksgiving his efforts earned him a trip to our Red Kettle Kickoff in Dallas. In past years his outstanding kettle also won him another trip to Dallas to attend The Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board Conference. Jim is on the Salvation Army Advisory Board for Metro Denver where he is 1st vice chair.

[Jim Cummings]
Jim hands out and posts cards encouraging people to donate to his online kettle. This is one side…

How’s he do it? Jim does a great job of reaching out to friends, family, and coworkers through email to encourage them to help him fill his online red kettle. And even something as simple as an email pays off big.

“I am a retired partner of Deloitte and a large portion of my gifts come through present and past Deloitte personnel from all over the world,” he says. “I have received gifts this year from Hong Kong, UK and Germany.”

But as many contacts as Jim already has, he’s not afraid to enlist the help of acquaintances.

Jim regularly volunteers with a real bell and kettle at Walmart and the mall. When people pass by or donate their change, he hands them a card he pre-printed with information about how to donate to his online red kettle. They may forget Jim’s name and web address by the time they get home, but they’ve got the handout to remind them! He also posts the cards at various places like Starbucks and church.

[Jim Cummings ]
…and this is the other.

How does he feel after all that work?

“It was a lot of fun,” he admits. “A lot of people wanted to see me win.”

His impressive record has earned him a special nickname from his church pastor:
“#1 ding-a-ling.”

So what advice can Jim give someone who wants to support The Salvation Army but doesn’t think standing on street corners with a bell and kettle is their thing?

He recommends do it all online by hosting you own virtual red kettle. The website is easy to work with and raising support is as simple as sending an email to friends and family.

To start your own individual or team (yes, get others involved too!) kettle, visit www.onlineredkettle.org.

Who knows, maybe next year you’ll give Jim a run for his money for the 2011 title of #1 ding-a-ling.



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