Tuesday, March 13, 2012
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.
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.
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!
Monday, July 11, 2011
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.
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
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
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.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
We thought it was generous of NASCAR driver Morgan Shepherd to put a huge Salvation Army logo on the hood of his race car, but Shepherd didn’t stop there.
[Dijonae (left) and Kevante' (right) got the full NASCAR experience as VIP guests of driver Morgan Shepherd.]
Dijonae (left) and Kevante’ (right) got the full NASCAR experience as VIP guests of driver Morgan Shepherd.
He made sure siblings Kevante’ (10) and Dijonae (12) got VIP treatment this weekend when he invited them to watch the race as his special guests and get the full experience of the track.
Kevante’ and Dijonae are involved in several Salvation Army youth programs and local to Daytona. When they learned about the opportunity to meet Shepherd, they jumped at the chance. These kids have always been NASCAR enthusiasts, but this is the first race they’ve ever attended.
[Kevante's ready to take Shepherd's #89 Salvation Army car for a spin.]
Kevante’s ready to take Shepherd’s #89 Salvation Army car for a spin.
“He’s wanted to be a NASCAR driver since he first learned about stock car racing”, said his Kevante’s grandmother Renese.
Maybe he hasn’t quite grown into that driver’s seat yet, but he looks like he belongs behind the wheel!
“I’ve seen every race, I know all the drivers and their stats, and I can’t wait to go under the tunnel to experience it all,” Kevante said.
["The Salvation Army car" gets a check up under the hood alongside several others in the NASCAR garages.]
“The Salvation Army car” gets a check up under the hood alongside several other cars in the NASCAR garages.
And experience it they did! Besides getting behind the wheel of Morgan’s #89 Salvation Army car, the kids toured pit row and even met other NASCAR Champions and drivers.
[The kids, pictured with Morgan Shepherd (center) and local Salvation Army officers, tour the track before the race.]
The kids, pictured with Morgan Shepherd (center) and local Salvation Army officers, tour the track before the race.
Wow. There is no better way for fans to experience NASCAR! Thanks, Morgan, for giving these kids an experience they’ll remember the rest of their lives.
Shepherd loved providing this opportunity for Kevante’ and Dijonae. Though he may not have a major sponsor, making it difficult for him to compete, Shepherd knows millions of Americans are suffering from the slow economy. That’s why he and his team are doing the best they can to promote The Salvation Army and what we do to assist those in need.
[Decked out in their new NASCAR gear courtesy of Morgan Shepherd, Dijonae and Kevante' look like NASCAR pros!]
Decked out in their new NASCAR gear courtesy of Morgan Shepherd, Dijonae and Kevante’ look like NASCAR pros!
We think what Shepherd is doing is so great that we plan to partner with him in more races! We’ll keep you in the loop, and you keep an eye out for our Red Shield zooming around more tracks soon.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Nancy Lublin, CEO and “Chief Old Person” of DoSomething.org, has a hunch that age gives young people an advantage over their older counterparts in accomplishing social good.
Watch the video above to learn how Donald Trump and Milk Duds led to her epiphany.
It’s an interesting thought, considering that when it comes to ‘accomplishing stuff,’ juvenescence is generally viewed as something to be overcome based on the hindrances associated with it – the perceived lack of life experience, few funds, etc.
But not according to Nancy. Regarding being young, her mantra is embrace it and use it while you can. She knows from experience, and so does The Salvation Army.
We have many youth activists involved in our organization who are making big changes in their communities. Just look at examples from:
- Ryan, a 14 yr. old from Florida whose gleaning efforts have helped provide more than 1,600 nutritious meals for homeless men, women and children. http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/?p=4992
- Stephen, an 11 yr. old who has held Christmas parties to collect toys for needy families since he was a preschooler. http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/?paged=4
- Several young musical artists (Honor Society, Ashlyne Huff, and Emily Osment among them) who are raising awareness and getting involved in community service through Salvation Army programs. http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/?p=4473 http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/?s=here+comes+trouble+tour&x=0&y=0
- Connor, a 9 yr. old who was so moved by the need resulting from Haiti’s earthquake, he used a coffee can to start his own donations drive and garnered national attention for it. http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/?p=320
Just to be clear, we don’t promote stalking Donald Trump or other questionable strategies to test Nancy’s theory.
We do, however, encourage you to not use age as an excuse to prevent you from doing something great, especially when it comes to serving others. You’re never too young, too old, or too middle-aged to help do the most good.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
USA Today is running a ‘Holiday Heroes’ series from now thru Christmas about people who go to great lengths to serve others. It’s a great read that will make your heart swell during the season of giving.
Grab today’s front page, or visit their website at www.usatoday.com. The hero they’re featuring this week is Stephen Smith, and get this – he’s only 11 years old!
But for the past 7 years (yes, his philanthropic spirit was inspired at the age of 4) he and his family go all out to donate Christmas presents to The Salvation Army for children in need.
We won’t ruin the story for you, but it’s amazing to read how a preschooler’s sincere concern for others has snowballed into a wonderful annual community tradition of giving back.
It just goes to show that absolutely anyone can make a positive difference if their heart’s in it. To Stephen and the Smith family, thanks for helping The Salvation Army do the most good!
Check out the Holiday Heroes article here. It’s a truly amazing story!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
It used to be that bullies could only flex their muscle during school hours, and the ring of the school bell released would-be victims to the safety of their homes, removed from conflict.
But today, technology contributes to cyber bullies having the 24/7 ability to expose hateful, personal or humiliating attacks before a virtual public platform, making the threat nearly impossible to get away from.
Tragically, as mourned by recent news headlines, several bright and talented young victims of cyber bullying have felt that the only true escape was to take their own lives.
What resources are available to help protect kids and young adults from the dangers of cyber bullying?
Earlier this year The Salvation Army partnered with Enough is Enough (EIE), the nationally leading organization in making the internet safer for children and families, to launch the Internet Safety 101 Program. It offers educational materials and online tools at www.internetsafety101.org to help adults and kids guard themselves from online dangers.
EIE President Donna Rice Hughes stated in an op-ed that 42% of kids have been bullied while online. That’s 42% too many.
Join with The Salvation Army in saying, “Enough is enough!” Visit www.internetsafety101.org or EIE’s website www.enough.org today.