With 5 Years to Go, Can We Meet the UN Millennium Development Goals?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Today is the final day of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) summit in New York where world leaders have gathered to track the progress of their objectives and stir up a renewed sense of urgency and commitment to assist developing nations as only five years remain before their 2015 deadline.

The Salvation Army has signed on to a letter with several Christian organizations that urges the US, the EU, and the African Union to show a “clear and strong commitment” to the MDGs . For 145 years The Salvation Army has worked to meet human needs by addressing poverty, hunger, education and other issues, but it will take a clear vision and strong partnership from multiple global entities including governments, NGO’s, the private sector, and the public to make a dramatic worldwide impact as outlined in the MDGs.

A simple, colored pictorial chart lays out the 8 ambitious goals, which are broken down into 21 targets. If only implementing these solutions to the complex global issues of poverty, hunger, and education were as straightforward as the diagram seems to portray!

However, while these goals are aggressive, the UN reports that significant progress has been made. Their report shows that before the global economic crisis, “the depth of poverty had diminished in almost every region,” and while the world’s sluggish markets have slowed this progress we are “still on track to meet the poverty reduction target.”

Other areas need vast improvement, such as achieving universal education and reducing child mortality rates (MDG #4) which are on the decline, but not quickly enough to meet the 2015 target. The Salvation Army World Services Office (SAWSO) signed on to a pledge to participate in reducing malnutrition during children’s first 1,000 days – from the time of pregnancy to the age of 2 years – when they are most susceptible to the harmful effects of malnutrition. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton applauded the 1,000 days initiative in an address during an MDG summit side event.

Do you have ideas on how to meet the 8 development goals by 2015? Leave a comment on the UN’s Ideas for Development blog, where anyone from experts to the regular Joe can post their two cents.

If you’d rather listen to discussion than spark it, you can tune in below the live webcast of the UN General Assembly’s debate.

Read More

Help a Child, Donate a Coat

Friday, September 17, 2010

You probably haven’t switched out the warm weather clothes in your closets yet to make room for fall and winter attire, but many local Salvation Army’s are trying to stay ahead of the game so that children in need aren’t left in the cold when the temperatures drop.

That’s why several Salvation Army ‘Coats for Kids’ collection drives are starting to pop up in communities across the country, and in the next few weeks some national football teams are teaming up with us for these events!

Check out the lineup:

Green Bay Packers

* Bring your gently used or new coats to the Packers/Bills game on Sunday, Sept. 19 between 8:30am and kick-off. Your donation will help The Salvation Army reach their goal of providing 11,000 coats for needy children in Wisconsin. If you can’t make it to the game, don’t stress – you can donate to Coats for Kids through Nov 7. Find more donation and volunteer info on the local Salvation Army’s website www.sagreenbay.org.

Indianapolis Colts

* Head to Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday, Oct. 10 where The Salvation Army will be doing their big drive event as the Colts take on the Kansas City Chiefs. Last year generous donors helped the Army collect more than 10,000 coats, and we’d love to see even more this year! You can donate up until Saturday, Oct. 30. Visit www.salvationarmyindiana.org for more info and find partner drop off locations here .

Chicago Bears

* For the 22nd year The Chicago Bears are lending The Salvation Army their efforts to help kids in the Windy City. Donate your coats between now and Dec . 4 at local Salvation Army units, or click here for partners’ drop off locations. Visit www.salarmychicago.org/events for more info.

This is not an exhaustive list of Salvation Army ‘Coats for Kids’ drives, so keep an eye out in your community. Otherwise, you can always take gently used or new coats to your nearby Salvation Army Family Thrift Store. Thanks for your support!

Read More

NY Youth Embark on a ‘Journey for Change’

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

CNN followed 2009′s Journey for Change ambassadors on their trip to South Africa.

This summer the world got a whole lot bigger for 30 inner-city youth from several New York City Salvation Army Community Centers.

The teens and pre-teens spent 2 weeks in South Africa serving in impoverished shanty towns, working with orphaned children, visiting HIV/AIDS clinics and more – a once in a life-time experience, but also a sobering one as they confronted difficult, real-life global issues.

The opportunity was made possible by Journey for Change, an organization started by Malaak Rock (wife of comedian Chris Rock) aimed at educating and empowering at-risk youth to rise above the negative temptations in their communities and stand out as leaders.

For anyone trading the comfort of home for third world conditions, it would be impossible not to have your priorities and perspectives shaken up. These kids seem to be no exception. Their frequent blog entries during their trip document their personal insights into appreciating the South African people and culture, wrestling with the communities’ struggles, and reevaluating their own lives in the US. Check out their original blogs here.

But two weeks in Africa is only the beginning. Having just arrived back in NY this month, the students are now starting a yearlong role as “Global Ambassadors” to promote local and international advocacy, service and education initiatives.

As these Salvation Army youths settle back into their own neighborhoods, they will still have to face negative influences from extremely high school drop-out rates to drugs and gangs. But everything they have seen, done and learned during their time in Africa and yearlong Ambassador program will serve as a lynch pin to helping them make positive, long term decisions and hopefully inspire others to do so as well.

Learn more about how Journey for Change is raising up student leaders HERE, or visit Malaak’s Angel Rock Project website at www.angelrockproject.com.

As a bonus, we’ve added a short video below of Malaak discussing how Chris Rock’s many childhood experiences Salvation Army Community Center in Brooklyn caused her to realize that The Salvation Army was an organization she wanted to partner with – and send her own kids to!

Learn more about how The Salvation Army is serving the Greater New York area by visiting their local website at www.salvationarmyny.org.

Read More

Back to School Drives Prepare Disadvantaged Kids for Academic Year

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

No child wants to have to think about going back to school after experiencing the freedom of summer vacation, but The Salvation Army is thinking ahead for them….

Read More

Wanna Help At-Risk Youth? Double Date with a Celebrity

Friday, July 16, 2010

Check our your chance to go on a double date with two of The Salvation Army’s biggest supporters! Chris and Malaak Rock are currently auctioning off the chance for a double date with courtside seats to an upcoming Knicks
Game! Proceeds from the auction will benefit Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service, a program that Malaak started, that takes youth from the Bushwick, Brownsville, and Bedford Salvation Army
Community Centers to Johannesburg, South Africa for 2 weeks of Global Service. Other auction items include VIP tickets to The Tonight Show (and meet w/ Jay Leno), four VIP tickets to the Today Show (and meet w/ Al
Roker), and a unique folding bicycle autographed by Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Kevin James, and David Space. Click here to show your support for the Salvation Army and Journey for Change: http://bit.ly/93eZk1

Read More

Kids Score Big as Sports Role Models Team Up With Salvation Army

Friday, June 11, 2010

If you’ve ever played on a sports team or been involved in athletic activities, you understand what a positive role sports play in healthy physical, emotional, and social development. Plus, being active is fun!

Recreational activities are an important part of The Salvation Army’s mission in serving others and provide wonderful opportunities to support and build up youth and communities as a whole. With summer just around the corner, The Salvation Army and several professional sports role models have been busy making sure kids have a chance to get active and play! Here are just a few examples taking place right now across the country:

Tomorrow (June 12) in Durham, NC, NFL quarterback David Garrard will host his second annual Air It Out Football & Cheer Camp. Garrard’s foundation has enabled children from The Salvation Army to attend at no charge! In addition to Garrard, several NFL players and college cheerleaders will be personally facilitating the camp.

Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones

Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones and The Salvation Army each pledged $25,000 to the North Mabee Boys & Girls Club in Tulsa, OK during an MVP Weekend camp for local children, which included a “Sound Mind, Sound Body” football camp for high school players. Participating campers even got personal playing tips from Jones, as well as New Orleans Saints wide receiver and Super Bowl champion Robert Meachem.

The United Football League (UFL) Nighthawks in Omaha, NE donated $25,000 to the Salvation Army Kroc Center to establish two mentoring programs for local children. Through the Mini-Hawk program, Nighthawk players will have the opportunity to mentor children ages 12 and under. Through a second program geared at older kids, teenagers will have the opportunity to meet and interact with members of the Nighthawks team.

[nba-cares-logo]

Also, players from the Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Commissioner David Stern kicked off the new NBA Cares Learn & Play Center at The Salvation Army Los Angeles Red Shield Youth & Community Center. The Lakers played with and encouraged the kids at the opening event. The Center, newly furnished with books and computers, will provide a great place youth to develop physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Read More

Children’s Choir of Salvation Army Harlem Center Sing with Hit Band Honor Society

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Here’s a video that will practically guarantee a smile on your face by the time you finish it.

Before heading to rehearsal for their concert at Nokia Theater, Honor Society visited The Salvation Army’s Harlem Corps Community Center in New York City where they met City Year volunteers and some very excited kids. When exploring the facility, the band admired (and even helped paint) the murals that decorate The Salvation Army Center’s school.

Honor Society spent most of their time with children’s choir and gave them tips on performing, including how to turn fear of being on stage into excitement! The band’s visit provided some awesome encouragement to the kids and everyone had a GREAT time!

Click here to find more information about The Harlem Community Center and youth programs offered by The Salvation Army’s Greater New York Division.

Read More

NBA Legends Join with Salvation Army to Offer Youth Fitness Programs

Friday, April 16, 2010

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) our nation’s childhood obesity rate has more than tripled in the last 30 years, yet many schools are eliminating or reducing recess, and it’s reported that almost 1 in 4 high schoolers (grades 9-12) do not engage in physical activity during their free time.

The Salvation Army of Atlanta is working to counter this problem by providing kids with exciting opportunities to get active! This past month they held the All Star Youth Basketball Workshop at The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center where children not only had the chance to hit the courts, but they also learned great skills and techniques from pro basketball legends!

Ikenna Ubaka, Program Manager for the Center, said they collaborated with the Atlanta Chapter of The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) and INNER GOOD HEALTH & FITNESS INC. to offer two weeks of fitness sessions and basketball skills clinics for 6 and 7 grade youth.

Local boys and girls were able to learn firsthand from INNER GOOD fitness instructors, The Atlanta Battlecats (Women’s Basketball Team), and NBA Legends from the Atlanta Chapter of NBRPA. The sessions concluded with the Center’s Annual Julius “Dr. J” Biddy Ball Tournament with NBA Hall of Famer Julius Erving.

Dr. J himself grew up playing basketball at The Salvation Army in Hempstead, New York and continues to support the Hempstead and Atlanta’s youth teams.

Other NBA legends involved with the event included Cory Blackwell, Vincent Askew, and Duane Causwell.

The Salvation Army Youth Recreational and Character Building Programs strive to meet the increasing challenges of Metro Atlanta youth by providing the essential recreational, social, educational, and social development tools they need to live happier and healthier lives. To find out more about The Salvation Army’s Atlanta youth programs visit www.salvationarmyatlanta.org.

Read More