She told us! Will you?

Friday, April 27, 2012

In celebration of National Salvation Army Week (NSAW), May 14-20, we’re highlighting the amazing individuals who volunteer their time to make this life a little better for those in need.

So, how do you “Do the Most Good” within your local community or around the world? We’d like to hear from our supporters, including volunteers, employees, and fans and followers on social media, how you volunteer and help your communities.

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Honoring Excellence in Social Service

Monday, April 16, 2012
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Ready for Mission, Equipped for Service That was the theme of The Salvation Army‘s National Social Services and Disaster Management Conference that was held last month in Phoenix. The…

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Inspiring Through Action

Thursday, March 29, 2012
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Whether she means to or not, Taylor Swift is sending an awesome message to her young followers: be charitable!

The young singer will be presented with the Big Help Award this weekend for her extensive philanthropic work and support of charities and nonprofits at the 25th Annual Nickelodeon’s Kid’s Choice Awards. And we’re excited because The Salvation Army is one of the few organizations that she actively supports!

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Newsboys Support The Salvation Army of Springfield, OH

Monday, March 26, 2012
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Traveling to various cities coast to coast on their latest 2012 tour, popular Christian band Newsboys are on a mission to tell listeners that ‘God’s Not Dead’.

And with their ticket sales for their April 21 show in Springfield, OH show benefiting the children’s program of the local Salvation Army, the band is certainly proving that God is alive in the spirits of those who are ‘Doing the Most Good’ for others in need.

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Remembering & Honoring 70 Years Later

Tuesday, March 13, 2012
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Did you know that 2012 marks the 70th anniversary of Executive Order 9066? This order, issued by President Franklin Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, forced all persons with Japanese ancestry to be removed from the West Coast leading to the internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans.

During this time, the greatest question for The Salvation Army was “what would happen to the orphans?”. You see, The Salvation Army’s Japanese Children’s Home was home to Japanese orphans of all ages, many of whom lived there for years.

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November: National Homeless Youth Awareness Month

Monday, October 31, 2011

November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month.

When you think of a homeless person, it’s difficult to imagine a child fending for themselves on the streets. But did you know that more than 1.5 million children are homeless at some point in their lives? The number is shocking – and apparently increasing – according to The National Center on Family Homelessness.

So…why do they leave their homes?

Many homeless youths are victims of trauma. They come from homes of significant abuse: either their parental figures are abusing substances and/or the child is being abused. Some escape because their families don’t accept them for a variety of reasons. There’s also a large number of youth who are the products of failed juvenile justice. They’ve aged out of the foster care system and are expected to be independent without resources or support.

Not surprisingly, homeless youth can have significant mental health problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, suicidal thoughts, and substance abuse problems. Because of this, they are more susceptible to lives of crime or early parenthood and the vicious cycle of abuse continues.

As Americans, do we trust the system too much? Are we overlooking this blatant need? In the book of Matthew, we are called by Christ to care for children:

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:1-6, 10-14

The Salvation Army has many programs in place that are helping to end the cycles of poverty, abuse and neglect of children. Many Salvation Army units have “Adopt a Child” or “Adopt a Family” programs that allow for donors to directly pay for a child or family in need. Salvation Army transitional housing centers are commonly available in communities for youths and single parent families. Even better, Salvation Army transitional programs often include relevant training. So not only are they meeting their basic needs, younger residents will receive counseling and training to increase cognitive, behavioral, and psychosocial skills to help develop their education and career.

We liked The Salvation Army of Lubbock, TX’s approach to helping youths. Their Red Shield Home Transitional Shelter program gives homeless youths computers and technology classes to help them get a head start at beating cyclical homelessness. The information divide between lower-income and higher-income populations has been directly linked to access to technology. By providing technology for the younger generation, The Salvation Army of Lubbock is actively participating in bettering not only this generation, but generations to follow.

In an effort to combat this end, The Salvation Army also offers youth camps and recreational centers to encourage low-income children to learn new skills and self-reliance. Counselors at these camps encourage spiritual, physical and emotional development.

Finally, many Salvation Army units offer after-school programs that help hinder poor decisions by encouraging children to engage in healthy activities in those unsupervised hours after school.

In summary – there are a variety of programs with which you can help us!

You can get involved in our efforts to support homeless youths and to combat cyclical poverty. Helping financially is often inexpensive. Please consider reaching out to your local unit to find out how you can help “Adopt” a child financially, donate your time or items, or simply lend an ear to a child as a volunteer.

If you’d like to donate online, please visit our Ways to Give page.

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Target Helps Salvation Army Youth Get Ready for Back-to-School

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It may be the middle of summer, but more than 12,000 students today are actually excited to start school again in the fall!

That’s because Target stores across the country treated them to an amazing Back-to-School-Spree with the help of The Salvation Army this morning. The kids were each given an $80 Target Gift Card to choose their favorite school supplies, clothes, and other necessities for the upcoming academic year.

For some children, this is the first time they’ve ever had brand new school materials. For many, they have a new confidence knowing they don’t have to worry about being picked on or falling behind due to a lack of supplies. For all, the shopping event was a lot of fun!

We want to wish a huge THANKS to our partner Target for their $1 million donation that is supporting the education and development of thousands of Salvation Army youth program participants. Also, to our many volunteer chaperones who helped today, you rock!

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NFL Pro Ruben Brown Supports Salvation Army with 7,000 Mile Motorcycle Ride

Monday, July 11, 2011

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Former Buffalo Bills and Chicago Bears All-Pro NFL guard Ruben Brown will kick off his cross country motorcycle run this Friday, July 15, to raise funds for and awareness of The Salvation Army.

As part of the 11th annual Ruben Brown Motorcycle Run, Ruben will travel from the East Coast to West Coast and back again while making pit stops at our community programs along the way.

Having grown up in Salvation Army programs, Brown understands that limited financial or material means does not have to limit someone’s opportunity to achieve something great. That’s why his Ruben Brown Foundation is committed to supporting youth development through athletics, cultural, and educational programs.

We’re excited that he’s using this creative opportunity to help support other kids who are benefitting from Salvation Army programs, just like he did!

You can support Ruben’s Motorcycle Run by donating online at www.RubensRun.com, or give a $10 gift via text message by texting the word “RUN” to 80888.* Ninety percent of all funds donated will go to support the work of The Salvation Army; the remainder will subsidize transportation expenses associated with the Run. Plus, donations will stay in the local community in which it was raised.

Be sure to follow Ruben’s progress at www.facebook.com/rubenbrownfoundation and www.twitter.com/rubenbrownFDFN.

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Ruben Brown, center, is using his motorcycle to make some noise for Salvation Army programs across the country. Photo: The Salvation Army Buffalo

And keep your eyes and ears open – if you hear a rumbling down the street, it may just be Ruben rumbling his way through your neighborhood. Check the schedule below to see if he’ll be visiting a Salvation Army center near you:

* Buffalo, NY (July 15): Ruben’s Run kick off with Salvation Army staff, city officials and local business supporters.
* Lynchburg, VA (July 16): Ruben provides food to Salvation Army clients at the Lynchburg Corps Gymnasium.
* Nashville, TN (July 18): Ruben visits the Madison Corps and takes a motorcycle tour of Madison with the Corps Officer.
* Little Rock, AR (July 22): Ruben rides with the local motorcycle group to The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light to serve breakfast to clients.
* Tulsa, OK (July 23): Ruben visits the Center of Hope in Tulsa, OK and helps serve lunch.
* Dallas – Fort Worth, TX (July 25): Ruben visits kids at The Salvation Army’s Summer Youth Day Camp and later serves lunch at the Mabee Center.
* El Paso, TX (July 26): Ruben visits The Salvation Army’s Emergency Shelter and later ride with local motorcycle groups to the Texas/New Mexico border.
* Los Angeles, CA (July 30): Ruben visits The Salvation Army Red Shield Youth and Community Center to play with the kids.
* Milwaukee, WI (August 11): Ruben has a Meet and Greet Autograph Session at the Harley Museum’s monthly Bike Night Meeting.

* A one-time donation of $10 will be billed to your mobile phone bill. Messaging and data rates may apply. Donations are collected for The Salvation Army by mobilecause.com. Reply STOP to 80888 to stop. Reply HELP to 80888 for help. For terms, see www.igfn.org/t

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Breaking Down the Racial Divide

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

In Charlotte, North Carolina, The Salvation Army set out to serve a large, underserved Hispanic community that had been the target of much tension and violence.

A single, two-bedroom unit in the community’s apartment complex looked like any other unit from the outside, but inside it became known as a safe place that offered afterschool tutoring, games, counseling, and much more for struggling Latino families.

The Salvation Army’s Hispanic Ministry has only been running for about a year, but there’s already a noticeable sense of stability and safety that’s resulted. However, there’s one effect of the outreach that neither the neighborhood nor The Salvation Army expected – a significant decline in racial tension.

The once troubled relationship between the African-American and Hispanic apartment residents has been transformed. Where suspicion and division once dominated, there’s now friendship and a sense of community.

It’s felt by the neighbors, their little children and their teenagers, and yes, even the complex’s landlord. They explain why in this inspiring story from the Charlotte Observer: Outreach Brings Latino and Black Youths Together

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All Dressed Up With Somewhere To Go

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.

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