This Valentine’s Day, Do Some Good

Posted by Jackie on Friday, February 13, 2015  

Photo: Craig Dirkes, The Salvation Army Northern Division (

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and while these while there are endless ways to show your affection to that someone special with gifts and chocolates- maybe this year make give a gift that not only shows how much you care, but that also gives back to those in need. Whether you are attached or single, make it a day to remember by making an impact in your community.
To help you get a start on your Valentine’s Day planning, here are a few ideas on how you can spread the love:
Volunteers are crucial to organizations like The Salvation Army. And we are always looking for helping hands and giving hearts. Please contact your local Salvation Army unit to find out how you can offer your time. For a list of other projects in your community, visit or type in your zip code at
Donate Food:
Got plans to cook a romantic meal? This year while you’re at store, grab a few extra canned goods or other nonperishables and donate to your local food bank. Maybe volunteer at a food bank with your loved one, help to package meals together, or help host a party for single moms and their kids or do a charity run.
Visit a Senior Citizen:
Be a sweetheart this year and visit a senior citizen at your local nursing home. Brighten their day with a care package, flowers, a hot meal, or plan an enjoyable activity.
Decluttler that closet:
Did you know that you’re donated goods fund our Adult Rehabilitation Centers, which helps save the lives of approximately 200,000 individuals each year? Get a jump start on spring by decluttering gently used items from your home. You can schedule a pickup or find a drop-off location by visiting
Donate in the name of love:
The average American will spend $142.31 celebrating Valentine’s Day this year. Consider skipping those fancy reservations and show someone how much you care by making a donation to your charity of choice in their honor. Now that is love!
Learn more about The Salvation Army here.

Category: Doing The Most Good · Tags: Donate, The Salvation Army, Valentines Day, Volunteer


Love is in the air: Salvation Army’s three Valentine’s Day heartwarmers

Love is in the air: Salvation Army’s three Valentine’s Day heartwarmers

Love is at the heart of everything the Salvation Army does, writes media officer Michael Tighe, whether it’s helping the homeless, reuniting missing family members or supporting those dealing with addiction. So on this special day, here are three heartwarming stories from within our own ranks ..

Courtship International – Commissioners Clive and Marianne Adams

Our first couple are none other than our Territorial Leaders, Commissioners Clive and Marianne Adams. Their story begins more than 24 years ago, when both of them were a long way from the office they hold now – not just in terms of time, but geography too.

Commissioner Clive Adams was based in South Africa, and Commissioner Marianne was based in Norway. It began with a simple picture in a paper when he saw a picture of Marianne and decided, with some needling from a friend, to write to her.

“The first letter was more of a joke,” says the now leader of The Salvation Army in the UK and Republic of Ireland. “It was a test to see whether she’d like my sense of humour, and luckily she did!”

One letter was replied to, and then, quickly, the two found they were corresponding with each other – in the days before email – across two continents, several times a day, writing at all times, in all frames of mind. But there was reluctance on the part of both of them to get involved romantically.

“I just didn’t want to get married,” says Commissioner Clive Adams. “Our work in The Salvation Army is all about people – I really valued my private time and didn’t want to have to spend it dealing with someone else! I needed it for myself.”

However, he was soon unable to fight the inevitable. “I found myself running on the beach in South Africa one day and it dawned on me that I was in love with this girl. When we’d written, we’d done so at all times – when we’d felt happy, sad, frustrated, and I realised that I was in love with Marianne. So I rang her up and told her so.”

Commissioner Marianne nearly burst out laughing; “I said to him ‘Don’t be ridiculous, we’ve never even met, how can you love someone you’ve never met?’That’s when he said to me, ‘Don’t you love God?”

Following this particular hurdle, the next obstacle that Commissioner Clive had to overcome was the rules of The Salvation Army at that time – the couple had to meet, figure out a way to serve the organisation whilst based on two different continents, and serve out a six month engagement notice period before getting married. They arranged an extended holiday, and Marianne flew to South Africa to meet Clive, with no idea what she was in for.

“I was standing in the airport, with a photograph of this girl, waiting to see if she would show up, when I felt a tap on my shoulder,” says Commissioner Clive. “I turned around and it was a magical moment. We spent some glorious time driving through South Africa, and she got to see the country I had been writing about.”

When the two met with Clive’s leaders in the South African Territory, they were advised to seek out a neutral territory, and to serve the six-month notice period before marrying. In this time they contacted the UK and Republic of Ireland Territory and prepared for their appointments hereIn the meantime, they continued to correspond to see out their engagement.

Commissioner Marianne recounts the impact this had on many things, including the proposal; “He had to post the ring, and then he rang me when he knew it was arriving so I could open it and he could ask me to marry him at the same time! It was very unusual, but we were used to it by then and it just seemed to work for us.”

They married and moved to the UK six months later, and progressed to become the leaders of the UK and Ireland Territory of The Salvation Army. Twenty-four years and two children later, they are still clearly as in love as ever, and let us in on their secret.

“It’s humour,” says Commissioner Clive. “You need to be appreciative, say I love you, give each other space and all those things, but at the end of the day, if it isn’t fun, what’s the point? Life is hard. If you find a partner you not only love but can laugh with, you can face any of the challenges it throws your way.”

The Long-Serving Couple – Majors Ernest and Lily Ablett

Major and Major Ernest and Lily Ablett have been married for 67 years. Both officers in The Salvation Army, Ernest, 96, has been preaching for 80 years and Lily, 95, still visits lonely members of their community.

Lily said: “I first saw Ernest when we were ploughing a field while I was out with a friend. I lived opposite a little chapel that I occasionally visited in Barnby, Suffolk, when I wasn’t attending the church in Beccles with my parents and brother. My friend noticed that Ernest was due to preach in the chapel the next week so I went along especially to see him.”

Both served in the Second World War – Ernest spent four years in the Royal Norfolk Regiment mainly stationed in India, and Lily spent three years in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the woman’s branch of the British Army. She was initially a switchboard operator but soon moved over to play in the Army (military) band which travelled around the UK and into war torn areas of France and Italy to raise morale of the troops there.

They married just after the war ended on 6 June 1946 and two years later signed up to train to be officers (ministers of religion) in The Salvation Army. They have served in Wales, North England, London and Essex, where they have now retired to.

Lily’s advice for a long and happy marriage is to give and take, and that arguments are normal. Ernest says simply: “Always keep to your marriage vows!” And their advice to Christians is: “Always trust in the Lord. If you are experiencing doubt, keep trying because the Lord will never let you down.”

The Television Couple – Captains Jo and Stephen Moir

Stephen and Jo Moir are captains in the Cumbernauld Salvation Army and have been together for 16 years. They met while working at Booth House in Whitechapel, London – Jo was a project worker while Stephen was the deputy manager.

The couple, who feature in a BBC Alba series called The Minister’s Wife, had been friends for a number of years before going on their first date.

She explained: “It wasn’t love at first sight, more like friendship at first sight. We went to the same Salvation Army (Regent Hall) together for years and worshipped together.”

When asked who made the first move, she replied: “Steve of course! He asked me to dinner and we ended up going to a little Italian restaurant in Dulwich. It was lovely.”

Three years later, in 2001, the young lovebirds tied the knot and now have two daughters, Grace (10) and Erin (7), with a baby due in the next few weeks.

Jo smiled: “It’s been 13 years of married bliss. Seriously though, we get on really well. I think what makes us good together is that the same things are important to us.

“Plus Steve makes me laugh till my face hurts and is always telling me how beautiful I am.”


Original Article:


Miami Dolphins Spread Some Valentine’s Day Love At Salvation Army

miami dolphinsMembers of the Miami Dolphins and the Miami Dolphins Women’s Organization (MDWO) visited the Miami Salvation Army on Thursday to spend time with some of the shelter’s residents.

After members of the MDWO helped put together a warm Valentine’s Day lunch, Dolphins players – including cornerbacks Richard Marshall and Kelcie McCray, tackle Nate Garner, running back Jonas Gray and wide receiver Brian Tyms – made sure that everyone had something to eat, with an assist from TD, the Dolphins mascot.

The 38th Street branch of the Miami Salvation Army, which is celebrating its 100-year anniversary serving the Miami-Dade community, houses 216 residents regularly – these are individuals and families that need a boost to get back on their feet, and The Salvation Army is there to lend a helping hand.

On Thursday afternoon, there was what Salvation Army Director of Development Judith Mori called a “full house,” a group of about 100 people, on hand to enjoy a warm meal and some Valentine’s Day fun.

“It’s very special and it’s very important for them to know that society hasn’t forgotten about them, and especially that the Dolphins are here to support,” Mori said. “Having them helps us set the mood, and also it creates the sense of community we always look for in this situation.”

Members of the Miami Dolphins Women’s Organization spent some time in the kitchen, helping put together a special Valentine’s Day lunch. When everything was hot and ready, residents lined up one by one, grabbed a tray and met with the players.

As the cafeteria filled up, Marshall, Garner, Gray and Tyms began to pass out some Valentine’s Day treats, spending one-on-one time with almost everyone.

Garner enjoyed the opportunity to put a smile on the faces of those he interacted with.

“It’s nice to spread love in the community here,” Garner said. “Just come out and try to make people safe on Valentine’s Day, make them have a good day – give them some candy and hopefully a little bit more joy in their life.”

The impact of what the Salvation Army residents receive extends beyond simply a steady meal or a place to stay; this is a safe haven where they are expected to dedicate themselves to whatever may be ailing them. Each man, woman or family is assigned a coach that makes sure they remain motivated to accomplish some sort of goal, whether that’s finishing up their education, securing a steady job or something of that nature.

For one day, the Dolphins were able to be part of this process. With their help, a normal Thursday afternoon turned into a festive one.

If it were an ordinary day, the residents may have been more reserved, less likely, perhaps, to interact with each other while they ate. But Thursday was different – laughter filled the cafeteria, bouncing from wall to wall, cameras flashed, nearly everyone had a smile on his face.

There was a tangible synergy that Mori said is key to raising spirits at the shelter.

“It creates a sense of community because they get together, they share things, they share a picture, they share a smile and they laugh together and therefore they create real friendships,” Mori said. “This is very important because this is a safe environment, so it’s good for them to be friends with people who are also going through the same situations and need to be motivated together.”

By Sean Logan