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Grocery Shopping This Week? Throw a Few More Items in Your Cart for Families in Need

It’s Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, a week dedicated to awareness, education, homelessness, food insecurity, and poverty as it affects those in our community and world.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, this week provides an excellent opportunity to donate a box of canned goods and other nonperishable items to your local Salvation Army to ensure a Thanksgiving meal for a family in need. Visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org for a list of locations near you.

And check out how The Salvation Army will serve communities this Thanksgiving and beyond, thanks to this video provided by The Salvation Army Vision Network (SAVN).

Posted by Megan

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Austin Mahone to Headline Fourth Annual Rock the Red Kettle Concert Benefiting The Salvation Army!

Ready for it…. Austin Mahone We are thrilled to announce that The Salvation Army will host the fourth annual Rock the Red Kettle Concert at Universal City Walk’s “5 Towers” concert venue in Los Angeles on December 7, with performances by musical artists Austin Mahone, Kelly Rowland, Bean, and Coco Jones!

Hosted and produced by Ned Specktor of Specktor Media, the free show helps raise awareness of The Salvation Army’s 123rd annual Red Kettle Campaign, the oldest charitable fundraiser of its kind in the United States. Money raised during the campaign helps the Army serve 30 million of America’s most vulnerable through an array of programs including food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless and toys for children.

This year, the free concert will be streamed live on The Salvation Army’s Tumblr page at SalvationArmyUSA.tumblr.com, so you don’t have to miss out if you’re not in the area!

Similar to years past, fans can host their own Online Red Kettles by visiting OnlineRedKettle.org. But this year, the Army is saying thanks in a big way by launching the Rock the Online Red Kettle Team sweepstakes and enlisting the help of the artists to raise funds for a chance to hang out with them in person or via a Google Hangout.

By joining the Online Red Kettle Teams of Mahone, Jones or Bean, three lucky fans will win the chance to fly to Los Angeles with a guest to attend the concert and meet the performers. Eight more participants will win the opportunity to virtually connect with the artists through a Google Hangout before the show.

You can support the Red Kettle Campaign through the artist of your choosing by clicking on the names below: Austin Mahone: www.OnlineRedKettle.org/AustinMahone Coco Jones: www.OnlineRedKettle.org/CocoJones Bean: www.OnlineRedKettle.org/NoelleBean

In addition to giving online or to the more than 25,000 bell ringers found on street corners and retail entrances across the country, supporters can donate through the Army’s text-to-give program. By texting the word “KETTLE” to 80888, donors can send $10 to the Red Kettle Campaign through December 24. Posted by Megan on Thursday, November 14, 2013 ·

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Study reveals Millennials are Charitable, Influential, & Eager to Connect Over a Cause

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Millennials – all 80 million of us – get a bad rap.

If you’re currently between the ages of 18-34, you’re a part of ‘Generation ME’ and collectively called lazy, narcissistic, and impatient. But other characteristics contradict these accusations to some degree: we’re also said to be open-minded, more supportive of equal rights, confident, upbeat, self-expressive, receptive to new ideas, and best of all – giving.

A study called The Millennial Impact reveals the “Me Generation” is actually extremely philanthropic. And this doesn’t include the “slacktivism” that exists on Facebook. But let’s be honest – it felt darn good to Like that dog photo and donate someone else’s money to rescue efforts.

Rather, we look outward rather than inward, relying on the influence of our peers when it comes to taking action. And once we’re inspired, the study reveals that we’ll go to great lengths to get family, friends and loved ones involved in our causes. Lazy? Selfish? Hardly!

In fact, millennials are compassionate and eager to commit their time, money and skills toward causes and organizations. The study revealed that 75% of millennials donated to charitable causes last year, while 63% gave time to volunteer. While millennials are more likely to donate in smaller amounts across several organizations, they are also apt to fundraise on behalf of nonprofits by soliciting support from friends and family. And when organizations offer volunteer opportunities with limited barriers to entry (remember, we’re impatient), millennials are most likely to give back through events or by freely offering their knowledge and expertise to their charity of choice.

Take The Salvation Army Twin Cities MOST Amazing Race for example, a fundraiser based off of the popular CBS show “Amazing Race,” where teams of two people run around the city making pit stops to complete various challenges. The goal of the race is to raise awareness and funds for The Salvation Army, and commitment and fundraising are prerequisites for competing.

In the end, 30 teams raised $72,921 for food and shelter programs of The Salvation Army through activities such as planking, Bollywood dancing, and plunging off a 25-foot-high platform. And you can be darn sure these events were well documented on participants’ Facebook and Instagram pages.

You often hear that good deeds are rooted in selfishness, and there may be a bit of truth to that, but that’s because giving back feels really, really good. And if you can brag about your good work on Instagram, filter and all, and maybe even inspire your friends to do the same, then what’s the problem?

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How to Choose the Right Organization for Your Charitable Donation

David Bakke is an author and personal finance enthusiast residing in Atlanta. He shares his best tips for money management and giving back to the community on the blog, Money Crashers.

As of 2011, there were well over one million tax exempt charitable organizations operating in the U.S. The prospect of combing through that list to find the one charity that best sums up your beliefs – and where your money can do the most good – is a daunting task. It’s important to conduct the appropriate research to ensure your charitable dollars are going to the right place, but there are easier ways to find the right match than looking for that needle in a haystack. If you’re currently struggling to find the proper charity for your dollars, here are five things to consider:

1. Use Reputable Online Resources
When conducting research online, always stick with unbiased and reputable websites. If you want to learn more about a specific organization, that organization’s website may not be the best place to get it, as it’s more than likely going to present only positive information.

In addition to finding unbiased information, another challenge is finding accurate information. Many of the websites that aggregate lists and manage databases may be out-of-date or just plain sloppy. Instead, research your favored charitable organizations at the Better Business Bureau’s website or at the website CharityNavigator. Both are great resources for finding the right organization for you.

2. Make Sure the Organization is IRS-Approved
When you give money to a charitable organization, you do it to help people in need. However, you don’t want to get left out in the cold when tax time rolls around. Make sure the charity you donate to is approved by the IRS as tax-deductible. You can obtain a full list of all approved organizations from the IRS website.

3. Investigate Administrative Costs
Another thing to look at when choosing the right charity is its administrative budget. According to the American Institute of Philanthropy, administrative costs should be 40% or less to ensure a healthy charity, but you can certainly find lower than that. For example, according to the BBB, the administrative costs of The Salvation Army as a percentage of total revenue in 2010 were just slightly over 10%.

4. Contact the Organization
It’s perfectly acceptable to contact the organization in person to find out more about where your dollars are actually going. You can learn the details of how funds are dispersed, the specifics of who is helped and in what time frame, and you can also try to suss out if the organization is actually a charity or more of an advocacy group. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with donating to an advocacy group, but if the organization in question is one, your money may not go directly to those in need.

5. Review the Privacy Policy
Be sure to review the privacy policy of any charitable organization that makes your shortlist. If they sell or provide your personal information to third-party organizations, and that’s a problem for you, stay away. Also see if they have a general policy of releasing donation information to the public, and make sure that’s something you’re comfortable with before signing that check.

Final Thoughts
Once you’ve decided on an organization, remember to follow the letter of the law regarding your tax deductions for charitable donations. Anything over $250 requires a receipt, and make sure your documentation is bullet-proof. If your donation is non-cash, such as old household items or clothes, clearly list every item in detail and be sure to value them accurately. For a complete list of the rules and regulations concerning charitable contributions, check out the IRS Publication 526. Donating is a great way to both give back to the community and lessen your tax burden, but only if you do it by the rules.

The Salvation Army is a responsible steward of generosity in your community. According to The New York Times, the organization is “widely considered exemplary among nonprofits in handling cash collections.” You can be sure that 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends goes directly to support community service programs – far exceeding the Better Business Bureau’s guideline of 65 percent. Consider choosing The Salvation Army for your next charitable donation, especially as Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) crews of The Salvation Army continue to meet the needs of natural disaster survivors from coast to coast. Visit https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/ to make a donation online. You can also call 1-800-SAL-ARMY to make a donation over the phone or text “STORM” to 80888 to make a quick $10 donation via your mobile phone.

How do you choose where to make your charitable donations?

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The Salvation Army responding at large explosion in West, Texas

txcanteenDallas, TX (April 18, 2013) – The Salvation Army is responding after a large explosion at a fertilizer plant devastated the small city of West, Texas, just before 8:00 PM, Wednesday evening. The Salvation Army quickly mobilized support teams and by midnight had deployed five Emergency Disaster Canteens (mobile kitchens) to the area.

The massive blast, that measured 2.1 on the Richter scale, was felt as far as 80 miles away in Dallas. It is estimated that between 50-75 homes have been damaged or destroyed including a 50 unit apartment complex. More than 170 people have been hospitalized with multiple fatalities at the scene.

The Salvation Army is providing refreshment and emotional and spiritual care to survivors and first responders at several locations in and around West. Disaster Canteens (mobile kitchens) from Waco, Corsicana, Waxahachie, Fort Worth and Williamson County are all serving at the scene. Major Dan Ford, Commanding Officer of the Waco Salvation Army, is the Incident Commander coordinating The Salvation Army response with city and state emergency personnel.

The temperature has dropped dramatically overnight with heavy rain moving into the area. The Salvation Army has 50 cases of rain suits, jackets and blankets to distribute. This morning The Salvation Army is preparing to serve breakfast to 500 people and as the situation develops will remain ready to serve as long as needed.

The most effective way to support The Salvation Army response in West, Texas, is by making a financial contribution:
• MAIL – please send checks to The Salvation Army, PO Box 36607, Dallas, TX 75235
• PHONE at 1-800-SAL-ARMY
• ONLINE at www.salvationarmytexas.org

For more information about The Salvation Army’s disaster response effort, please go to www.Facebook.com/SalvationArmyTexas, www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org, or www.salvationarmytexas.org.

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About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

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The Salvation Army Continues Service Following Boston Marathon Tragedy

boston marathonThe Salvation Army is providing support to survivors and first responders in Boston, Massachusetts, following the explosions that occurred near the Boston Marathon finish line yesterday, which resulted in at least three deaths and left more than 140 people injured.

Four Salvation Army canteens (mobile feeding kitchens) were positioned at various sites throughout the city, including the Unified Command Post, the Family Assistance Center at the Park Plaza Castle, and Kenmore Square. The canteens were mobilized to Boston from nearby Salvation Army locations in Malden, Fitchburg, New Bedford, and Springfield. The Salvation Army will remain on-site at the Family Assistance Center as long as support is needed.

As of this afternoon, 2,229 meals, snacks and beverages were supplied to the survivors, families and first responders. The survivors and first responders also received emotional and spiritual care from 12 Salvation Army officers and 23 Salvation Army staff and volunteers. Eight Salvation Army officers were also deployed to each of the area hospitals where the injured were transported to be on-hand if pastoral care was needed.

The Salvation Army is in constant communication with city and state emergency personnel, and will continue to provide support as needed and requested. The Salvation Army is collaborating with the Office of Emergency Management, the Boston Fire Department, the Boston Police Department, Sparks, the American Red Cross, the Department of Child, Youth and Families (DCYF), Riverside Trauma, and the Boston Public Health Commission.

“The Salvation Army will be on-site for as long as needed to provide support. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston and all who were impacted by the explosions,” said Major Ron Busroe, National Community Relations & Development Secretary.

The Salvation Army is extremely gratified for the continued support of the public. At this time, the best way to be of assistance is to make a financial contribution at www.salvationarmyma.org/marathonrelief.

Personnel trained in crisis response are providing service. If you would like to volunteer for future needs or to be trained in disaster response, please visit www.salvationarmyusa.org.

Please continue to pray for those so dramatically impacted by this tragedy.

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About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

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Salvation Army benefits greatly from Empty Bowls Luncheon


TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) – Polly Smith with The Salvation Army in Tupelo cooks breakfast, lunch and dinner there daily to feed 150 people or so.

Smith said, “I serve chicken dressing, greens, cabbage, barbecue, and anything just about.”

Smith uses food that’s been both donated and bought using donations.

Major Sue Dorman says fund raisers like the recent Empty Bowls Luncheon help keep their kitchen and other services going.

Dorman said, “Fifteen dollars can feed our lodge and a person staying overnight for a day.”

The lodge that’s made for 19 currently houses about 25 people nightly.

The food pantry shelves also are able to stay stocked through the annual Empty Bowls donation.

Dorman said, “Our founder, William Booth, had a little slogan: Soup, Soap and Salvation. You feed them, clean them, and then you can talk to them about Christ. Someone hungry is not going to listen to you.”

Back to the kitchen, that’s exactly why Polly Smith says she tries to make the best meal she can for those who depend on it daily.

Smith said, “I try my best to be in a good mood so they can be in a good mood. There are a lot of people who come in who are in a situation. They’re still happy and that makes me happy.”

Because of the generosity of so many during events like Empty Bowls, The Salvation Army says it’s working to make sure no one has to face a day hungry.

Reported by: Robert Byers
Source: WTVA.com

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Elizabeth Smart: ‘I found something worth living for’

elizabeth smartBy Alex Branch

abranch@star-telegram.com

FORT WORTH — Inside a tent pitched on a Utah mountainside, moments after she was sexually assaulted by her kidnapper, Elizabeth Smart was overwhelmed by shame.

Just 14 and abducted hours earlier from her bedroom, she wondered if anyone would even search for her if they knew what had just happened.

Stories she had seen on the television news about kidnapped and murdered children flashed through her head and she wished she “was in heaven with them.”

“I remember lying on the floor of that tent feeling so worthless, crushed,” Smart told an audience at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel during the Salvation Army annual luncheon Wednesday. “I just didn’t feel that I could ever be worth anything.”

But Smart, whose abduction and rescue a decade ago captivated the nation, said she overcame that feeling with memories of her family’s love. She became determined to see them again, a sense of purpose that she hoped Salvation Army clients would remember as they battle their adversities.

“Because I found something worth living for, I was able to decide that no matter what happened, I would survive,” said Smart, who is now 25. “No matter what I had to face, I would do it as long as it was within my power. Somehow, I would see my family again.”

Smart’s speech was the main feature at the Salvation’s Army’s Doing the Most Good luncheon. The event raises money for Salvation Army programs, such as homeless prevention, addiction treatment, food pantries and supportive housing.

Smart’s abduction June 5, 2002, is well-known. Brian David Mitchell, a homeless street preacher, broke into her family’s Utah home while everyone slept, took her into the nearby mountains, sexually assaulted her and held her captive for nine months.

Police rescued Smart nine months later. Mitchell was sentenced to life in prison.

His wife, who helped keep Smart captive, was sentenced to 15 years.

Smart, who married 14 months ago, has since helped promote legislation to prevent abductions. She also speaks to recovery organizations nationwide.

On Wednesday, she described growing up with strict but loving parents and brothers who teased her.

The night she was kidnapped she had fallen asleep as usual in the bedroom she shared with her sister.

She awoke to a knife pressed to her neck and the sounds of a man’s voice.

Smart said she had always been warned not to talk to strangers, never get into their cars or help them look for lost puppies.

“No one ever told me what to do if someone broke in and had me at knifepoint,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it was real.”

Moving forward

Smart recounted being forced to walk up the mountain behind her home, crawling through a narrow ravine and finally reaching a remote encampment where Mitchell’s wife waited. At one point she recalled telling Mitchell that, if his intent was to rape and murder her, to just do it now.

“I’m not going to do that. Yet …” he replied, smiling.

During the next nine months, Smart was forced to travel to California and eventually back to Utah with her captors. She recalled once getting a meal at a Salvation Army shelter when Mitchell’s group had no food. And she recounted the events of March 12, 2003, the day she was rescued by police and reunited with her parents.

“I remember thinking if anyone ever asks me how to describe this moment I can in one word: Heaven,” she said. “No one had ever looked so beautiful to me as my mom did.”

During her recovery, her mother gave her advice that she followed. She told Smart that her kidnapper was evil and what he did to her was wicked.

“Then she said ‘The best punishment you could give [Mitchell] is be happy, move forward with your life and to do exactly what you want to do,’” Smart said. “‘Because it would be very easy to live in the past, to dwell on what happened to you. But that would allow him to take more of your life.’

“She was so right. … You’re not helping yourself out by holding on to the pain and the misery. You have to move forward.”

Alex Branch, 817-390-7689

Twitter: @albranch1

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/04/03/4748469/elizabeth-smart-i-found-something.html#storylink=cpy

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Salvation Army To Host Event On Awareness Of Sexual Exploitation Of Children

sexual exploitationChattanooga, TN – The Salvation Army’s ReCreate Café, at 800 McCallie Ave., will host a free screening of “The Candy Shop,” a film which exposes the epidemic of the sexual exploitation of children, on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The screening is made possible by Second Life of Chattanooga and Street Grace.

There will be a question and answer panel discussion afterwards with leaders who are fighting human trafficking locally. The panel will also include Alesia Adams, the Salvation Army’s territorial services coordinator against human trafficking.

The Salvation Army is a leader around the globe against human trafficking and is involved with rescuing children and adults. The Salvation Army believes that abuse and exploitation of human beings through any form of human trafficking is an offense against humankind and against God, officials said.

For more information contact Tenika Dye at 756-1023 or visit www.csarmy.org.

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Volunteers staff Salvation Army Clinic at the University of Kentucky


LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2013) – It should come as no surprise that “service, caring, and sensitivity to others” are listed among the University of Kentucky College of Medicine’s (COM) mission statement and values. Although all UK medical students have dedicated their studies and their futures to helping others, one group is already showing their community the importance of putting service into action.

A group of 20 UK College of Medicine students make up a volunteer team that staffs the University of Kentucky Salvation Army Clinic (SAC), along with supervising physicians. The clinic, located in downtown Lexington at the Salvation Army Center on Main Street, is a free medical clinic and is the oldest community service project run through COM. The mission of the clinic since its founding in 1986 has been to help serve the uninsured population in Lexington by providing free medical services and raising awareness of local health care resources.

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