Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Bell Ringers slowed their bells and officially closed down their red kettles as The Salvation Army’s 120th annual Red Kettle Campaign wrapped up on Christmas Eve at stores nationwide. While most bell ringers closing up shop were volunteers, there were some who rang the bells for temporary income.
Among the paid bell ringers was Lynn and Rusty Smith of Ventura, California, first time ringers who are currently down on their luck due to tough economic times.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Any time a new Kroc Corps Community Center opens somewhere in the country, we get excited just thinking about all the great programs and services that the local area will soon experience. Whether it’s fitness classes, job training courses, or after school programs, it’s overwhelming just to think about all the opportunities available. We believe the late Mrs. Joan Kroc would be very proud to see how her vision and generous endowment has developed from one Kroc Center in San Diego, CA to a growing network of Kroc Centers across the country, each deeply invested in their local communities.
This week I came across a story from The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division’s blog about the Kroc Center under construction in Chicago. Though it’s not slated to open until 2012, the Kroc is already investing in the community, as well as allowing the community to invest in the Center.
Eight local residents have already completed a construction training program sponsored by the Kroc’s general contractor, and their first job very well may be helping build the Kroc Center itself! It’s a unique opportunity for these individuals to become invested in the Kroc on a whole different level.
According to Chicago’s blog, the Kroc Center will create 220 construction jobs for locals during its two-year construction phase and another 200+ permanent jobs once it’s open. Read more about how the Kroc is benefiting the Chicago area even before it’s open, here at The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division’s blog.
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.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Video from NBC 10 WBIR News
These days it’s a tough job market.
But The Salvation Army in Knoxville, TN is equipping the unemployed with the tools they need to find jobs despite the challenging climate through their Employment Assistance Program. This program recently hit an exciting milestone this month after placing its 100th client in a full-time position!
The program actually began in 2008 with a one-year grant from the Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness, but when the grant was not renewed, The Salvation Army’s Director of Programs Ola Blackmon-McBride, decided to continue it rather than let the program die. She has been running the program using Salvation Army resources and personnel since November.
The program averages about 24 new clients a month. More than half of those will stick with the program until they find a job. With limited resources – three computers and one telephone – Case Manager Angela Childers helps clients search for jobs, prepare resumes, write cover letters and prepare for interviews.
Childers deals with a variety of challenges that make it difficult for men seeking to turn their lives around. “Some of the men have a criminal history, most have never put together a resume and few have any experience with a computer or using the internet to find and apply for jobs,” she said. “In addition, the current economy has more qualified job seekers looking for lower level jobs.”
Childers said that the men who apply themselves are still finding work, in spite of the challenges. “If they are putting 100% into the program, it usually takes two to three weeks to find employment.”
The Salvation Army is excited for the new opportunities awaiting these 100 individuals who have persevered through our program and found new jobs, and we can’t wait for the next 100! And thank you to the staff in Knoxville for your efforts everyday in helping others turn their lives around for the better.
Members of the community who would like to support this valuable program and its effort to fight unemployment and homelessness can volunteer or provide in-kind donations, such as toiletries and bus passes as most of the men do not have transportation.
For more information about The Salvation Army Knoxville, visit their website at www.SalvationArmyKnoxville.org.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
You probably know The Salvation Army is behind the seemingly ubiquitous Christmas Red Kettles and holiday bell ringers, and more than likely you’ve passed by or even visited one of our Family Thrift Stores. But did you know that in addition to these initiatives, The Salvation Army has many more national programs serving those in need, as well as unique programs specific to local communities? One such example is a Salvation Army beauty shop in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Yes, I said beauty shop. Surprised? So was I!
In 1995 a Battle Creek community member came to the local Salvation Army with the suggestion of assisting job seekers and those entering the job market by helping make them presentable for the process. Thus, The Salvation Army Beauty Shop was born, offering free haircuts and shampoos to clients such as homeless, low income, and job seeking individuals who otherwise may not be able to afford these services.
The program has for several years run on the efforts of three amazing volunteers: retired beauticians Shirley Hoeksema and Barb Herr who have offered their salon skills for the past 14 years, and Judy Wessmer who joined the team in 2007. Together, these three women have devoted more than 5,000 hours of their time to the community through their work at the salon.
Words can’t express how thankful we are for their selfless commitment! They have no doubt made an invaluable impact in the lives of many and show how integral volunteers are to the betterment of our communities.
But, the Battle Creek Salvation Army Beauty Shop needs more help to serve their many clients as some difficulties have put significant strains on these ladies.
Find out more about the situation and how you can help by reading an article written by Marcie Gothard of The Battle Creek Salvation Army: Battle Creek Enquirer: Salvation Army Seeking Volunteers with Hair Salon Experience.
To become involved, contact Marcie Gothard at 269-963-3640 ext. 17 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find more information at The Battle Creek Salvation Army’s website at http://www.usc.salvationarmy.org/battlecreek.