Thursday, May 19, 2011
Earthquakes. Tornadoes. Floods. Unfortunately, there’s been no lack of natural disasters of late, and The Salvation Army is responding in the US and all over the world. At the same time, we’re very thankful to say there’s no shortage of public support either.
If you scroll through the comments on our blog’s disaster posts or Facebook updates, we get message after message from people wanting to help. While we tell supporters that financial contributions are best, many ask about donating gifts-in-kind, meaning items other than money, such as clothes, furniture, toys, food, etc.
People have asked why we don’t always accept gift-in-kind donations for disasters. Shouldn’t we donate as much as possible to people in need? The aforementioned items are great, but they’re not always what’s needed the most by disaster survivors. Sometimes, they can actually be more harmful than helpful…even when they’re donated with the best intentions.
And that’s what many tornado relief workers are grappling with right now in the southern US, as reported by the Daily Mail: A 3 ft Santa Claus and used underwear: Bizarre donations swamp tornado disaster workers
So how do donors still give generously while making sure their donations go the furthest in serving those in need? Be informed. Reach out to a charity/relief agency to see what it is they need before you donate. And remember, financial donations are the most flexible and portable.
The Salvation Army’s Disaster website has an article on this subject that every donor should be aware of: Why Send Money When I Have All This Stuff I Could Send?
We hope this helps make sense of our donation policies during times of disaster.
P.S. Just because we don’t always accept clothes or in-kind donations for disaster relief, that doesn’t mean your items can’t be put to good use! Donate to our Salvation Army Family & Thrift Stores where they can benefit people in need from your local community.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
We’ve received tons of feedback from people across the US wanting to get involved with The Salvation Army’s tornado relief efforts. Thank you for your desire to help those in need! Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about getting involved with us.
1. How do I donate to The Salvation Army’s ongoing relief efforts?
The best way to help tornado survivors and rescue workers is to make a financial contribution. Monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors. You can donate several ways:
(In all cases, please designate your gift “April 2011 Tornado Outbreak.”)
* Visit www.salvationarmyusa.org and click on the red “Donate Now” button in the top right corner.
* Call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
* Text “GIVE” to 80888 to make a $10 donation. Please confirm when prompted with “Yes.”
* Send a check to:
The Salvation Army Disaster Relief
P.O. Box 100339
Atlanta, GA 30384-0339
2. Can I volunteer with The Salvation Army in tornado affected communities?
Volunteer opportunities and need vary by local community.
If you live within areas affected by the recent tornadoes, please contact your local Salvation Army to see if they are in need of volunteers to serve. You can find their contact information by typing in your zip code in the ‘Search’ bar in the upper right hand corner of our national website at www.salvationarmyusa.org.
Salvation Army units are currently not recruiting volunteers from outside the disaster area. However, you can register as a volunteer should future opportunities arise. You may do this at www.disaster.salvationarmy.org or click the direct link here. http://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org/give/?volunteer
3. Are you accepting gifts in-kind, like clothes or canned food, for tornado survivors?
If you live in disaster- devastated regions, before beginning an in-kind donation drive, contact your local Salvation Army to confirm the need (see answer #2 for finding contact information). Get precise information about what products are needed. Used clothing, furniture and motor vehicles are usually not needed during a disaster response. Shipping costs and arrangements, transportation logistics, and sorting/packing of goods can consume more time, manpower, and finances than are available to a local organization.
In addition, communities hit by a disaster can be quickly overwhelmed by well-intentioned but uncoordinated shipments of donated goods and often do not have the resources to dispose of unneeded product. For these reasons we request you speak with your local Salvation Army first or consider making a financial donation, which is efficient and immediate in serving disaster-stuck areas.
The Salvation Army is not at this time collecting in-kind gifts outside of the disaster area. However, your gifts are vitally important in supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider donating these items to support The Salvation Army within your local community.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Have you started your spring cleaning yet?
If you go by Martha Stewart’s checklist, the chore may be daunting for even us die-hard dusters. But she has at least one item on there that anyone can feel good about crossing off: donate items you no longer use.
This is where The Salvation Army wants to help you get spick and span for spring. Not only will you clear out clutter in your home, your donations to our Family Thrift Stores will help support our Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARC) and provide a low-cost retail option for the local community.
To make it easier, we have many convenient drop off locations, and in some areas of the country we even schedule donation pick-ups at your house!
Also, don’t limit yourself to just donating clothes. Did you know The Salvation Army accepts items such as microwaves, rugs, bakeware, bicycles, and even cars? Click here to see a list of commonly donated appliances, furniture, household goods, and more.
For information about donating and finding a Salvation Army near you, visit www.satruck.org.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Walmart Takes Leading Role in Fight Against Hunger
Walmart has been a great partner to The Salvation Army in addressing the needs of our local communities, especially in the fight against hunger. Earlier this year they donated $1 million for hunger relief to our organization. These funds were a significant help to our food service programs, which have seen a major growth in demand while many of their shelves were running bare.
We applaud Walmart’s increased effort to support hunger relief, as they just announced they donated $799 million to the cause during their most recent fiscal year. Of this total, $732 million in cash and in-kind gifts went to programs within the United States.
According to their press release, Walmart has donated 256 million pounds of food to local food banks in the last year – the equivalent to 197 million meals! They have also given $62 million in grants to U.S. hunger nonprofits.
We hope you will help us express our sincere gratitude to Walmart for being a leader in the fight against hunger. The Salvation Army and organizations like ours are able to more effectively serve those in need thanks to the assistance of caring community partners like Walmart.
To read Walmart’s press release, visit http://walmartstores.com/pressroom/ or click the direct link here. http://walmartstores.com/pressroom/news/10572.aspx
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
This year the federal income tax filing deadline has been delayed by 3 days. Due to the Washington, DC holiday Emancipation Day being observed on April 15, filers have until Monday, April 18 to get their paperwork in order and submitted to the IRS.
For those of you still working on your taxes, we want to help. If you plan to write off Salvation Army in-kind donations, we have a helpful Donation Value Guide that offers the low and high estimated worth of a long list of appliances, clothing, furniture, household goods, and miscellaneous items.
(Bad joke warning!) Feel free to refer to this guide to make your taxes just a little less…taxing.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Since Japan was struck by disaster just over a week ago, the immediate reaction of so many Americans was, “What can I do to help?” I’ve been wonderfully overwhelmed by responses from blog readers like you, leaving comments and asking questions about how you can show your support.
When people work hard to use their talents and good ideas for the purpose of disaster fundraising, amazing things result. On The Salvation Army Western Territory’s Expect Change blog, they’ve shared some creative efforts going on right now in the San Francisco Bay Area of California!
One involves an 11 year-old piano and singing prodigy Shane Tuner. Another is a local radio station’s “Bid on Britney for Japan Relief” auction – and yes, they do mean Britney Spears.
Read the full story here how some compassionate, creative people are using every opportunity to support Japan.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Trust us, you won’t wear that again! Donate it to a good cause. Photo: 27 Dresses
I’m not as bad of a dress hoarder as Katherine Heigl in “27 Dresses,” but for awhile I did have several bridesmaid and formal gowns filling the dark recesses of my closet. Those dresses and I told ourselves it was just a matter of time before we went out, together again, to that next big party.
But we both knew it wasn’t really going to happen. Then there finally came the day when we (mutually) decided it was best to move on, and our last hurrah took place at The Salvation Army Thrift Store donation center. It was good closure to know that they would make some deserving young women very happy for just the right occasion.
In truth, most women probably have a handful of formal dresses collecting dust in their closets. The Ashland Salvation Army Kroc Center in Ohio is hosting an event that could provide that needed push to purge.
As a part of “The Princess Closet,” the Kroc is collecting gently used prom, homecoming, and bridesmaid gowns to make sure every young woman can be outfitted for prom night. Through generous public donations the event will help girls who cannot afford a new prom dress find something equally beautiful. Plus, the girls will get expert advice on hair styles and makeup.
Is there a better fate for your old dresses? I can’t think of any.
If you don’t live in the Ashland, OH area, just take your dresses to a nearby Salvation Army donation center. Plenty of young women will be searching our stores for that perfect prom dress. Yours may be just the one they’re looking for.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
What lengths would you go to to raise awareness for the homeless? Would you get *nearly* naked?
Stripping down has become an annual tradition for University of Iowa students and community members in the charitable walk/run called the Nearly Naked Mile, but at least the PG event is for a good cause! Instead of paying an entrance fee, participants take off their extra clothing before the race to be donated to The Salvation Army.
The third annual Nearly Naked Mile is being held this Saturday with a goal of raising more than 500 pounds of clothing.
It will be a chilly jog, but the goose bumps are worth it! To register or check out pictures of last year’s costumed participants, click here.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Christine Burton works at the headquarters of The Salvation Army’s Western Territory. Every morning she comes to work looking like she stepped out of the pages of a fashion magazine.
She’s always coordinated, accessorized and super stylish. Her look is totally creative and appropriately professional.
How does she do it, you ask? She shops for pieces at The Salvation Army Family Store near her home!
Click here to read more about Christine’s shopping strategy and to see more images of the first outfit featured in the West’s series called “Christine’s Closet.”
Thursday, February 3, 2011
One of the most well-known Salvation Army programs is our Thrift & Family Stores. You’ve probably found a new outfit on a budget there. More than likely you’ve even donated your stuff after finally giving in to that urge to clean out your closets.
But our Family Stores are about much more than just getting good deals. They’ve helped rehabilitate and restore thousands of lives – probably even that of an employee you met last time you stopped in.
An NBC news station in Tampa Bay, FL aired a great behind-the-scenes story about what our Thrift & Family Stores are really about, with testimonies from those whose lives have been changed. Check it out:
To learn more about Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARC) supported by our Thrift & Family Stores, visit www.satruck.org.