“He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart.”
This verse from the Book of Isaiah is the foundation for The Salvation Army’s 2013 Online Annual Report’s theme, “Open Arms”, now available here. Commissioner David Jeffery, The Salvation Army’s National Commander, had this verse come to mind saying, “It’s a sweet image, a beautiful reminder of the Lord’s gentleness in caring for the vulnerable”.
The Salvation Army strives to follow the Lord’s example of caring and opening our arms and our hearts to anyone in need. And we’re proud to report that, guided by God’s love and your compassion and support, The Salvation Army served 30 million Americans in 2013!
Throughout this last year and with the help of 3.5 million volunteers, The Salvation Army:
Served nearly 60 million meals to the hungry
Provided over 10 million nights of lodging to the homeless
Sent almost 200,000 low income and disadvantaged kids to summer camp
Counseled 180,000 men and women with drug and alcohol rehabilitation
Also featured in the annual report is an inspiring video of The Salvation Army’ s Angel Tree Program which helps provide nearly 1 million disadvantaged children across the United States.
As it truly takes an army, our services would not be possible without your help and support and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for furthering our mission to Do The Most Good!
The Salvation Army is here for you. We welcome all with open doors, open hearts, and open arms.
Learn more through our annual report about The Salvation Army’s programs and services utilized by those in need in 2013.
Visit salvationarmyannualreport.org to read the 2013 Online Annual Report.
As a cold front moves through North Central Florida, temperatures are expected to drop below 40 degrees next week, leaving the homeless out in the cold.
Members of the Ocala Fire Rescue and three other agencies have created a solution they are calling “Operation Cold Snap”. The initiative will provide new and gently used jackets, blankets and sleeping bags for needy residents in Marion County.
“Believe it or not, it was just some of the guys sitting around the station talking about cleaning out their closets and needing to get rid of some items around the house,” said Preston Bowlin, paramedic and fire equipment operator for Ocala Fire Rescue.
Bowlin and his colleagues contacted the Salvation Army about starting the project. The organization ran a clothing drive during the Christmas season, but did not have one planned for the recent cold weather.
“Ocala Fire Rescue came to one of our board meetings and said that they appreciate the Salvation Army and what they do,” Salvation Army Major George Patterson said. “And that if we were interested, that they’d like to partner and do this clothing drive.”
Clothes can be dropped off through Jan. 16 at 8 a.m. at any of the City of Ocala or Marion County fire stations.
By Richard Johnson on January 15th, 2014
This post was originally featured on The Salvation Army Western Territory’s blog, Expect Change and was contributed by Kathy Lovin of The Salvation Army Western Territory.
Ricky grew up in a family where there was love, but as a young gay man in the 80s he struggled with his identity. So he stole his parents’ credit cards to buy things he thought he needed to feel good.
When his parents reported the cards stolen, the police investigated the crime and arrested Ricky. His parents tried to drop the charges once they knew he was the guilty party but it was too late. He went to prison anyway.
While he was in prison his mom died. After he got out and began to reorder his life, his dad died. Then his boyfriend decided he couldn’t handle all the upset in Ricky’s life and the emotional baggage it created, so he left too.
Ricky’s answer to all of the despair in his life was to use the knot-tying skills he learned as a Boy Scout to hang himself. Thankfully, the knot broke and a well-timed “welfare check” by his parole officer moments later kept him from trying again.
His parole officer found drugs in the house, so he was off to prison again.
Find out the rest of Ricky’s amazing story about the healing power of Christ’s love and the outstretched hand of The Salvation Army. Click the white arrow to watch Ricky’s testimony video:
As you give this Christmas, you can be assured that The Salvation Army offers its love and service to anyone in need as long as we have the capacity to help.
Now Ricky is on the giving end of God’s love: he is the Assistant Resident Manager at our Adult Rehabilitation Center in Denver, Colorado.
He’s helping men who’ve struggled to get clean of drugs – and the criminal activity that often comes with it – to heal their bodies and minds, learn good work habits, and prepare themselves for what God has planned for the rest of their lives.
Remember that everything you give to or buy from a Salvation Army Family Store helps us care for people who need comprehensive, no-fee, residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
Click on satruck.com for a Family Store location, Adult Rehabilitation Center or donation drop-off site.
Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/hanes
Socks are easy to take for granted. If you’re like me, you have a drawer dedicated to single socks missing their pair, or loud printed pairs meant for only Christmas or Halloween.
Most people are surprised to learn that basic socks are the number one requested item at our homeless shelters. They are the most needed, but least donated article of clothing. And even though folks served by The Salvation Army may have greater needs such as shelter or food, they consistently get excited when offered a new pair of socks. Because honestly, nothing feels as good as a new pair, especially for someone used to wearing damaged, dirty or no socks at all.
This is why we’re thrilled that our generous friends at Hanes, America’s #1 sock brand, are once again warming the hearts and feet of our shelter residents by donating 225,000 pairs of socks to benefit The Salvation Army’s residential facilities. (Learn how donating this simple item can make a real difference!)
For Hanes’ continued support of Americans in need this holiday season, please help us show them some love by liking Hanes’ Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/Hanes! You can also find them on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/Hanes using #HanesforGood.
A huge thank you to Hanes for their incredible partnership which benefits so many in need.
Posted by Megan on Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Volunteers manning Salvation Army kettles in Naperville found a valuable gold coin amid the pocket change.
A 1-ounce South African Krugerrand worth about $1,300 was dropped into a kettle at Casey’s Foods on Dec. 6, according to the group. Casey’s was the site of a Krugerrand donation last year and also had a donor match contributions.
“We are so grateful for the generosity of our wonderful donors,” Salvation Army Aurora Corps Capt. Antonio Romero said in a news release. “The money raised from these red kettles goes directly to help fund the programs and services right here in our communities, so this coin will go a long way toward helping our friends and neighbors in need.”
Over the course of more than 25 years, the Salvation Army has received more than 400 gold coins, according to the group. Money donated in the kettles stay assists people in need with food, shelter, after-school programs and disaster relief.
So far this season, the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign has brought in more than $3.3 million, down about 8 percent compared to this time last year, which officials are attributing to the shorter holiday season. The group’s goal is to raise $13 million and it will have kettles on the streets until Dec. 24. Donations can also be made online through Jan. 31 at http://www.salarmychicago.org.
By Melissa Jenco, Chicago Tribune reporter
COLTON, Calif.—Salvation Army Maj. Marcelino “Butch” Soriano got a jump on ringing in the New Year this holiday season by ringing a bell for a record 105 consecutive hours outside a Wal-Mart in Colton this week.
The San Diego man’s reward: An estimated $2,700 he raised for charity and his name in the Salvation Army’s bell-ringing record book alongside those of fellow ringers James Brickson of Albert Lea, Minn., and Andre Thompson of Tyler, Texas, who matched him hour-for-hour.
“I feel a little bit tired, not as tired as I thought I would be,” he told UT San Diego ( http://bit.ly/1dZ4MYk) after putting down his ringer at 6 p.m. Saturday. “I’m excited the other people all agreed to stop at the same time, so now we have a three-way tie.”
He had originally planned to go for 100 hours, which would have shattered the old mark of 80 that was set last year. After reaching that mark, he considered ringing on until midnight before reaching agreement with his fellow ringers to stop at 6.
There were six contestants when the competition began Tuesday morning.
The rules allowed each ringer a five-minute break every hour that could be rolled over if they chose. Soriano, 46, would save his up so that he could take a 20-minute nap each day.
He said he never considered stopping, not even after someone stole his laptop before dawn Saturday.
“I’m doing great!” he said later Saturday. “People are coming up to me saying, ‘I saw you on the news, go for it, we know you can do it.'”
see the full article here
Salvation Army General André Cox pays tribute to Nelson Mandela in a letter to the family of the former South African President. He explained that his years spent in Africa had given him ‘a sense of the measure of Madiba’s life and influence’.
So many have already spoken eloquently or written lucidly,’ wrote the General. ‘I would simply wish to salute a great man – one whose character was nourished by hope, expressed through forgiveness, and testified to through reconciliation.’
He concluded: ‘I pray that you would each know the Father of compassion and God of all comfort drawing so very near to you. During this Advent season, may you each experience fully the peace of the Christ child.’
The General and Commissioner Silvia Cox spent four years as leaders of The Salvation Army’s Southern Africa Territory. As The Salvation Army’s first Africa-born world leader it is appropriate that he should pay tribute to the man who has been called the greatest-ever African.
Commissioner William Langa (Territorial Commander, Southern Africa Territory) said in a statement: ‘Mr Mandela’s immeasurable contribution to South Africa cannot be overstated. His commitment to helping the poor and vulnerable, and his pursuit of reconciliation in our divided society was a shining example to those of us who serve the Lord Jesus Christ through The Salvation Army. Salvationists throughout the world have recognised his statesmanship and moral leadership. May his soul rest in peace in the everlasting arms of Christ.’
The General’s letter can be seen in full at flic.kr/p/i7Qmzd
The following was originally posted on The Salvation Army Northern Division’s blog.
St. Grand, the benevolent giver who began stuffing 10 crisp $100 bills in Salvation Army kettles in 2011, has struck again. For the first time this season, a bundle of 10 $100 bills were stuffed into a Twin Cities red kettle at the Byerly’s in Roseville on Friday, Nov. 29.
“How appropriate,” said Major Jeff Strickler, Twin Cities Salvation Army Commander. “We just got the word out that kettles were 25 percent behind from last year and the next day we discover this amazing blessing.”
Strickler was quick to add that it takes those coins and $1 bills on a grand scale to really make this red kettle season successful.
“But it is so exciting for our bell ringers and those counting the money to discover these little bundles of joy,” he said.
St. Grand first broke onto the scene in 2011 and gave a total of 22 gifts in the Twin Cities and one outside the metro area. Last year in 2012 St. Grand was credited with 22 $1,000 gifts, including four in greater Minnesota.
“It really doesn’t matter if this is one person or multiple people,” said Strickler. “It has become legendary for us – an example of selfless giving without recognition.”
Posted by Jackie on Thursday, December 5, 2013 ·
We are just past the 24 hour mark of our World Record Bell Ringing contest and four bell ringers are still ringing strong!
This contest raises awareness for The Salvation Army’s 123rd annual Red Kettle Campaign while posing an exciting opportunity to set a new world record.
Contestant Andre Thompson of Tyler. TX is still up and going outside in front of Walgreens. He’s very motivated and physically still feels great!
Sprits are looking good so far, “I love this! My body is really holding up well”, says contestant Andre Thompson of Tyler, TX. “I think the record is mine. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! In the end it’s mind over matter!”
Lt. Rob Lawler in Helena, MT is still smiling while ringing in NINE degree whether. Brr!
Captain Emily Jones of Compton, CA was the first to hang up her bell around 9:00 p.m PT. She was ringing outside Walgreens. The next contestant to lay down his bell was Quinton Green at 4:15 a.m PT. He was ringing outside of Walmart in Hanford, CA.
We thank Captain Jones and Quinton for their valiant effort raising awareness for The Salvation Army!
Captain James Brickson is bringing joy at Northbridge Mall in Albert Lea. MN.
We are grateful for each of our participants. Their incredible effort will help The Salvation Army provide assistance to millions in need this Christmas and all year round. So thank you!
Join in the conversation and support these volunteers with #Ringiton on Twitter.
And don’t’ forget to check back here for updates! Visit: www.Facebook.com/SalvationArmyUSA and www.Twitter.com/SalvationArmyUS for all updates.
Keep up the great work!
Posted by Jackie on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 ·