Last Christmas season, a mystery Minnesotan gave 23 kettle donations of $1,000. The person – affectionately known as Saint Grand – always gave the same way: a neat bundle of 10 crisp $100 bills. The anonymous donor is back this Christmas season, and so are the $1,000 surprises. To date, Saint Grand has struck 11 [...]
This statistic might surprise you: 1 out of every 3 homeless people are under the age of 18. This year, 1.6 to 1.7 million youths (under 18 years of age) will experience homelessness.
I know, a little heavy for Monday morning! Facts like these are the very reasons why The Salvation Army strives each day to battle cyclical youth homelessness.
With more Salvation Army disaster relief teams from Fargo and the Twin Cities en route, staff and volunteers are providing food, water and emotional support in Minot and nearby cities while flood crews scramble to raise levees. With parts of Minot already underwater, the Souris River is expected to crest this weekend.
“The Salvation Army’s feeding efforts will continue for weeks to come,” said Major Donald Kincaid, Minot Salvation Army administrator. “After the floodwaters recede, we will additionally offer clean-up kits and long-term support.”
Limited financial assistance is and will be available for qualifying households displaced by the flood. For assistance call 701-838-8925.
“The Salvation Army has served in Minot since 1896,” Kincaid said. “This is our town, too. We are committed to serving this community the best we can, for as long as we are needed.”
The Minot Salvation Army needs financial support now and in the months ahead to cover the costs of its disaster response. To make a $10 donation, text “MINOT” to 80888 and reply “yes” to the confirmation text. A one-time donation of $10 will be added to your mobile phone bill. Messaging and data rates may apply. For terms, see www.igfn.org/t.
Donations can also be made online at www.thesalarmy.org, by calling 800-SAL-ARMY or by mailing a check to The Salvation Army, 2445 Prior AVE N, Roseville MN 55113. Be sure to designate your donation “Minot Flood.”
Donations of used Household Goods and Clothing:
Financial donations are the best way to support disaster efforts. 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.
[Brett and Deana Favre pose with one of the families they sponsored through The Salvation Army.]
Brett and Deana Favre pose with one of the families they sponsored through The Salvation Army. (Photo: Craig Dirkes)
The Salvation Army’s Northern Division (serving Minnesota and North Dakota) shared this story of holiday generosity with us and we couldn’t pass up sharing it with you.
This Christmas the Salvation Army Northern Division wanted to give needy families and individuals in the Twin Cities food baskets with all the fixings for a proper Christmas dinner.
However, they knew it wouldn’t be easy. Their food pantries have seen a 30% – 150% increase in demand since 2008. Plus, they received assistance requests from 1,000 more families this year than they did last, but donations were down nearly half a million dollars.
So the Army launched a fundraising effort with a goal of $60,000 in order to provide food for 2,000 families…but they only raised $300.
Then they received a call from Minnesota Vikings QB Brett Favre’s and his wife Deanna’s community outreach rep. The couple wanted to adopt some families through The Salvation Army’s Adopt-a-Family Program and wanted to know what other ways they could help. After hearing about the Army’s food baskets plan, they donated the entire $60,000 out of their personal funds to cover the project. Thanks to their generosity, 2,000 families and individuals received two boxes stuffed full of food.
[Brett and Deana Favre hang out with families at a private meet and greet.]
Brett and Deana Favre hang out with families at a private meet and greet. (Photo: Craig Dirkes_
Plus, they adopted four families in need, all of whom were in some way battling cancer, an issue close to Deanna Favre’s heart.
Not only did Brett and Deanna purchase generous presents for each sponsored family, they set up a meet and greet at the Vikings practice facility where kids and parents got to hang out with the star couple.
When asked why he supported The Salvation Army programs, Favre said he strongly believed it’s much better to give than to receive.
The Salvation Army Northern Division posted photos here on their Flickr page.
We don’t know how to say thank you enough to the Favres for their kindness! The Salvation Army is blessed by their generosity and it helped bring a very happy close to the year for thousands of our clients.
Favre chats and signs an autograph for a young fan. (Photo: Craig Dirkes)
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!
More than 28 million kids have parents who work outside the home, and (Source: US Dept. of Labor) as many as 15 million kids have no place to go after school (Source: U.S. Census)
The hours between 3 and 6pm, when children generally get out of school and their parents get off of work, is when juvenile crime is most likely to occur. Law enforcement considers these hours a “danger zone.”
In the economically depressed Eastside community of St. Paul, Minnesota, The Salvation Army’s Eastside After-School program offers children a safe place to learn and play away from negative influence like drugs and gangs, while parents have peace of mind knowing their children are not on the streets when they’re still at work.
As a part of program’s homework help and tutoring sessions, local police officers serve as volunteers, helping provide positive influences and building relationships within the community.
Officer Robert Merrill has been a part of the program since 2008, spending a few hours every week helping young kids with their math, reading and writing assignments or whatever subject matter needs attention.
“The kids get to see police officers in an environment where they’re not dealing with a confrontational situation,” he said. “They see the more humane side of us. A lot of times their impression of law enforcement comes from them seeing us hauling people to jail and putting them into handcuffs. When kids and families see us [volunteering in their community], people might have a more positive view of our profession.”
For the officers, the learning process is reciprocal. Officer Merrill shared, “For me it’s allowed more insight into these kids’ lives than I’d normally have. They’re great kids, but they have a lot of struggles. We get to spend one-on-one time with them and they’ll tell you what’s going on in their lives outside of school. If we can offer them advice, steer them in the right direction, or help that stewarding of the theme of being able to helps and assist people, that the biggest reward I get out of it.”
The relationships and insight Officer Merrill’s gained has also translated outside of the classroom. Many officers unfortunately have had to deal with the same kids not only as students but also as crime victims. But, thanks to the foundation of trust that has begun to develop as a result of their interactions in the classroom, the children feel safer, more comfortable, and are more likely to cooperate with Merrill and other officers during times of crisis.
Regarding The Salvation Army’s Eastside After-School Program, Officer Merrill summed up, “There are not many programs like this around and certainly not in the neighborhoods of this city. It’s a program that will show [the kids] their education is important and that will hopefully lead to them being a proud member of society and keep them away from negative influences like gangs and crime. It’s a great program, and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
The Salvation Army thanks Officer Merrill and our other law enforcement volunteers for their invaluable investment of time into the youth of St. Paul and our Salvation Army programs.
How do after-school programs play a role in the life of you and your children? Visit www.salvationarmyusa.org to visit our poll question on this topic. Hurry, today is the last day to answer before a new question is featured tomorrow!