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More NC children living in poverty than in 2008

 

center for hopeThe number of children in North Carolina living in poverty has increased by 25 percent since 2008, according to a report to be released Tuesday, even as the nation recovered from the recession.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation report, which studies factors related to children’s well-being, noted several worsening financial conditions in the state since the recession, but also saw improvements in healthcare and education. The foundation is a private philanthropy that makes grants to nonprofits to respond to issues that negatively affect children.

About 566,000 children, or one in four in the state, live in poverty, according to the report. Two other measures of financial stability – children whose parents lack secure employment and teens who are not in school and not working – also worsened since 2008.

North Carolina ranked 35th overall in the report for child well-being. The state tied with Texas and Kentucky for the 11th highest child poverty rate in the country. The federal poverty level for a family of four is $24,250.

Laila Bell, the director of research and data for the non-profit NC Child, said that the recession was a trigger for some of the changes, but state legislation contributed to the problems.

As an example, she cited the state allowing the earned income tax credit to expire in 2014. Republican lawmakers at the time said eliminating the tax credit, along with other changes, was meant to simplify the system and to spread the tax burden equally.

Bell said the challenges are even larger than the report indicates because it takes the income of twice the federal poverty level to adequately provide for children.

Measuring by that standard, about half the children in North Carolina live in poverty, or more than a million children, Bell said. Children of color are twice as likely to live in poverty, she said.

Nola Davis, 37, is staying in the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope shelter near uptown with her three children, ages 2, 3 and almost 11. She said her family moved there in October after losing its home and living in a hotel for about a year.

Davis recently found a job with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and her children’s father works at the airport.

She said she has continually been rejected by landlords for housing despite being able to pay the rent.

“Once they find out you’re here, it’s such a stigma coming from a homeless shelter that nobody wants to rent to you,” she said. Davis and her family recently found a landlord willing to rent to them, and they hope to move in next month.

‘A heavy burden’

Poverty impacts many areas in a child’s life, Bell said. Children in poor households have less access to fresh foods, high-quality schools and green space. Over time, these children may be less prepared for school, impacting their education.

“Coming to school with that on your shoulders is a heavy burden,” said Susan Hansell, executive director of A Child’s Place.

Children living in poverty also spend less time in school because they normally have to use school buses to get home, she said. “They’re not able to take advantage of after-school programs,” she said.

Homeless children can also experience a higher degree of anxiety and depression, Hansell said.

Though poverty affects children at any age, those in early stages of development are particularly susceptible, Bell said.

Davis said her oldest daughter can’t understand all of the circumstances that led to living at the shelter.

“How do you explain that to a child?” she said.

Bell said North Carolina lawmakers could improve conditions for kids in the state by supporting the health of mothers before and during their pregnancies. Better healthcare, possibly through expanded access to insurance for low-income women, can help prevent low birth weight babies.

The state government could also invest more in early childhood education, a key to children’s development and future success in school, Bell said.

Charlotte has a network of support groups and non-profits that can help children and families in poverty, Hansell said. A Child’s Place advocates for homeless children and their families, helping them find healthcare and educational support.

Not all the factors in the Kids Count report worsened. All health measures improved, and three out of four education measures improved. About 94 percent of the state’s children are insured, more than at any point in the state’s history, Bell said.

In education, the report found more fourth-graders are proficient in reading, more eighth-graders are proficient in math and more high school students are graduating on time.

 

Kroc Center

National Study Quantifies Impact of Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Centers

Kroc Center

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (May 18, 2015) – Eleven years after Joan Kroc’s historic $1.5 billion bequest to The Salvation Army, 26 Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers are now open across the country, providing a variety of cultural, educational, fitness and social programs in neighborhoods that historically have lacked them. In a study commissioned by The Salvation Army, researchers at Partners for Sacred Places and McClanahan Associates, Inc. quantified the annual positive social and economic impact these centers are creating for and in their communities, totaling $258,178,776 (based on 2014 data).

Today, President Obama will visit the newest Kroc Center, in Camden, N.J., highlighting the impact that investment in facilities and programs like Kroc Centers can have on the long-term health of local communities.

The Kroc Centers are state-of-the-art venues typically located in underserved communities, where children and families can be exposed to a variety of people, activities and arts that would otherwise be beyond their reach. The Centers enhance quality of life by providing a safe environment with an emphasis on fitness and health, the arts and opportunities to build social connections.

“The research demonstrates in a quantifiable way the social and economic impact the Kroc Centers are having on people from the local community. They come, they get healthy, and they make important social connections. That’s the hallmark of what a Kroc Center is, and it creates a bona fide ‘Economic Halo Effect’ of positive benefits,” said Commissioner David Jeffrey, National Commander of The Salvation Army.

The study included the 25 Kroc Centers that had been open for at least six months by the end of 2014 (the Camden Kroc Center was not included because it opened in October 2014). The report is based on more than 100 interviews with staff, officers, participants, volunteers and community leaders; surveys of a representative sample of 1,580 patrons; and a review of operations-related documentation. Researchers looked at six areas:

  • $99,195,478 – Direct spending by the centers to hire a total of 797 full-time and 2,288 part-time staff, and to buy local goods and services
  • $70,601,194 – Invisible safety net: various catalyzing or leveraging economic values for center users including membership subsidies, scholarships, space and in-kind support to individuals and community-serving programs
  • $48,738,141 – The value of people getting and staying healthier
  • $30,986,249 – Magnet effect of induced spending in the local community by center visitors
  • $7,914,702 – The value of daycare programs that allow parents to work
  • $743,312 – Outdoor recreation space

“Anecdotally, we have understood from the outset that the Kroc Centers are fulfilling Joan Kroc’s vision of enriching lives,” said Commissioner Jeffrey. “We are blessed to have the scale and expertise to successfully implement her vision, and we are pleased that the ‘Economic Halo Effect’ report confirms and quantifies this real and ongoing benefit to the people and communities we serve.”

Separately, the study measures the one-time impact of construction-related spending for the 25 Kroc Centers studied, which exceeded $1.7 billion, with nearly 15,000 jobs created.

The study does not include quantitative measures of individual impact related to individual counseling that helped keep families together, taught social values and skills, helped people find jobs, and more. While real and effective in their impact, insufficient economic valuation models led the researchers to exclude these activities from the overall total.

“Between the one-time impact of construction and the ongoing impact of the centers’ operations, we are extremely pleased to confirm that our Kroc Centers have already in effect surpassed the value of this amazing gift and will keep on giving through annual impact in those communities,” continued Commissioner Jeffrey.

“We thank our donors, volunteers and community partners for the critical role they play in ensuring that these community benefits continue and grow year after year.”

About the Kroc Centers
In January 2004, The Salvation Army announced that Mrs. Kroc, widow of the McDonald’s franchise founder Ray Kroc, had bequeathed $1.5 billion to be separated equally among the organization’s four U.S. territories. The gift remains the second largest gift from an individual to a third party charity in American history.

Mrs. Kroc specifically directed The Salvation Army to use part of the money for endowments to help support the centers she envisioned across the United States, similar to the first Kroc Center she helped build in her hometown of San Diego with a gift of $90 million. That center continues to thrive, 13 years after its opening in a neighborhood that serves more than two dozen distinct ethnic groups.

Today, 26 Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers operate in communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.

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 a range of social services: 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 salvationarmyusa.org.

salvation army

Gov’t of Liberia Gives $140K to The Salvation Army’s William Booth High School for Facelift

liberia salvation army

Monrovia — The Government of Liberia on April 8, 2015 presented a check in the amount of one hundred forty thousand, one hundred and fifty-five United States dollars (140,155), to the administration and officer in-Charge of the Salvation Army’s William Booth Junior & Senior High School that was gutted by fire on March 4th 2015.

Presenting the check on behalf of the Government, Liberia’s Assistant minister for Budget and Development planning Hon. Augustin K. Blama said restoring the burnt structure and providing furniture to enable the 983 students get back to classes are the result of the government commitment to providing education to all regardless of the sector.

He said, that the project is expected to be completed within 3o-days and believes upon completion it will change the narratives of warehouses and computer rooms and library been used for classrooms “it is imperative for our student at William Booth continues to learn in a conducive and healthy atmosphere free from fear of fire and crime” he added.

Minister Blama also encouraged students of the William Booth School to always seek to strive for the top and to report any suspicious activity that might affect their institution. He said the government remains steadfast in its continual commitment to educating the future generation of this country.

For her part, the Minister of Education Hon. Etmonia Tarpel expressed her frustration and disappointment over the burning of the school infrastructure. She, however, encouraged the family of the institution to be strong and keep the good work on going. ‘Those that did the act thought they were reigning evil upon this school, but let it be known that God has turned the evil into blessing” she added. She said the government will support your effort to the fullest in ensuring that our students are free from this unacceptable encounter.

In a brief remark, the Officer-in Charge of the Salvation Army Col. Gabriel Kathuri extend his gratitude to the government for rapid intervention to solve the unexpected distraction that have reduced our classrooms to warehouse, library computer lab etc. He said, with God, they shall bounce back and even shine brighter than before. Col. Kathuri at the same time encouraged those that cause this disaster to come out and confess.

The Salvation Army’s William Booth Junior & senior High School was gutted by fire on March 4, 2015, thus posting a serious hindrance which to a greater extend has prevented the institution from carrying out its normal academic activities.

boys-and-girls-club-kicks-off-adopt-a-child-campaign

Boys and Girls Club kicks off Adopt-A-Child campaign

KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo –

LAWTON, Okla._The Salvation Army’s 5th annual Adopt-A-Child campaign is underway, and local officials have their sights set on beating last year’s goal of $38,000.

By adopting or sponsoring a child at the Lawton Boys and Girls Club, Salvation Army Lieutenant Israel Roseno says you help ensure their education, safety and success in life.

“The higher risk hours for kids are after school all the way until their parents get home, which is 6:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m., and that’s the time where we, the Salvation Army, step in and they receive quality education, activities, nutrition, access to our computer lab, we provide a safe environment where otherwise they would be at home unsupervised, which could escalate to problems, gang related, drug, pornography, poor nutrition, you name it the list goes on and on,” said Lt. Roseno.

Roseno says it costs the Salvation about $300 to sponsor a child. He says every dollar counts, and that for every one dollar donated, $0.84 goes directly toward their mission.

The Lawton Fort Sill Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club averages between 65 and 70 children each day. The extra money raised in this campaign will help provide those children with extra nutrition, after school programs, sports, character building programs and transportation to get them to the Salvation Army.

If you would like to make a donation, you can make a credit card payment over the phone by calling 580-355-1802.

Original Article: http://www.kswo.com/

Late Night Basketball Gives Young Men a Shot at Success

It’s 11:30 p.m. on a cold Saturday night in January. The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Chicago seems quiet, but then a swish, a whistle and a cheer erupts in the gym, bringing the facility to life.
This is the Kroc Center’s Late Nite Flight basketball league, and one of the players just made a lay-up while being fouled. The fans either cheered or groaned. It’s a playoff game and the players are giving it all they can.
Late night basketball leagues started in the 1980s to provide alternatives for young men at risk of becoming involved in, or a victim of, violence. President Bill Clinton advocated for late night basketball as part of his anti-crime legislation and the Chicago Housing Authority offered a similar program in the 1990s.
What makes The Salvation Army’s program unique is it’s about much more than providing a safe haven. It provides a host of wrap-around services including weekly classes that focus on anger management and coping strategies, identifying and maintaining healthy relationships, employment-searching skills and resume writing, goal setting and more. Each of the 70-75 players in the league can also access the Army’s social service programs, including food pantry, emergency rent/utility assistance, counseling and more.

Joseph Pearson, Eric Washington, Officer J. Nettles, Lavonte Smith, and Brian KentJoseph Pearson, Eric Washington, Officer J. Nettles, Lavonte Smith, and Brian Kent

Joseph Pearson, Eric Washington, Officer J. Nettles, Lavonte Smith, and Brian Kent

“Of course we want to provide these guys a safe place to play and hang out,” said Major David Harvey, Kroc Center Administrator. “But we also want to come alongside and provide them with the tools and opportunities to better their situations, so they’re less likely to turn to violence. We want to lift up these young men so they succeed in reaching their goals.”
Not attending school and with no job prospects, Lavonte Smith, 21, of Calumet Park spends most of his time at the Kroc Center playing basketball and keeping busy. He says the classes have helped him take steps to improve his future. “It is hard when you have a dream but don’t know what it takes to achieve it,” said Smith. “The goal-setting class really showed me how to create a plan to succeed.” With direction and support from Kroc Center staff, Smith is now applying to local colleges to pursue a career in sports management.
Lead sponsor Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois provided $40,000 to support the first basketball session. “Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is proud to be the sponsor of The Salvation Army’s late night basketball program at the Kroc Center,” said Donna Gerber, Vice President, Public Affairs and Community Investments. “Like the Salvation Army, we have a long history of serving the people of Illinois. Our focus is on keeping people healthy and Late Nite Flight promotes fitness while offering even more – it provides a safe environment and trains young men to be community leaders.”
At the end of the 15-week season, the Kroc Center and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois will host a banquet and awards ceremony and special guests from the Chicago Bulls
Read the original post here.

Basketball as a ministry: Salvation Army in Pensacola sends basketball team to tournament

Dulcinea Cuellar is the Divisional Communications Director for The Salvation Army Florida Division.
Basketball as a ministry
Love Bettis, top row and third from the left, has dreams of walking in the footsteps of the athletes who have come before him at The Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army in Pensacola has a long, rich history of honing young athletes:
Dallas Cowboy great Emmitt Smith.World champion boxer Roy Jones, Jr.Super Bowl champion Doug Baldwin.Washington Redskin running back Alfred MorrisAnd now Love Bettis.
Wait? You haven’t heard of him?Of course not, he’s 12.

Love is part of The Salvation Army of Pensacola’s Emerald Coast Soldiers, an afterschool and summer basketball program.

Coach Dwayne Kelly helms the group of sixth and eighth grade boys. Since the program began four years ago, the teams have amassed dozens of trophies and championships. The eighth grade team plays 37 regular season games, while the sixth grade team plays 50.

Recently the team traveled to ESPN’S Wide World of Sports at the Walt Disney World complex to participate in the AAU National Championship. The eighth grade team competed against more than 30 teams from around the country and finished 11th place. The less experience sixth grade team participated in an international invitational.

Basketball as a ministryKelley said this was the first time many of them have left Pensacola.

“Many of our kids are from the neighborhood,” Kelley said. “For some of them, this is their first real time out of the Florida panhandle.”

Along with basketball, Kelley and several assistant coaches, also teach the boys about consequences – the coaches regularly check student’s report cards. A failing grade means a boy sits out a few games until his grades improve. Oftentimes, that means coaches sitting with the student and going over homework assignments.

Kelley also encourages the each boy to volunteer in the community. Most recently, several team members drove to Gulf Breeze, Fla. to help hand out supplies and meals to residents who were impacted by flooding in April.

“We are really more of a family, then a basketball team,” said 14-year-old D.J Kelley. “We run our program so that it’s more than basketball.”
And for Love, the sixth grader? He has dreams of walking in the footsteps of the athletes who have come before him at The Salvation Army.

“Who knows, maybe there are scouts in the bleachers,” he said with a smile. “And we have a better chance of going pro.”

See Love At Work!

By  Lt. Col. William Mockabee, National Secretary for The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO).
mockabee-smaller-150x150The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO) releases its annual report for 2013 today, with the theme of “Love Works”. Read the report to witness first-hand The Salvation Army’s work in local communities around the world. You will see how SAWSO programs encourage the growth of small income-generating activities for villagers in India’s Central Territory, and provide business skills, literacy training, a school and a safe places to stay to women in Mumbai’s red light district and their children. Discover how another program fights polio in Angola through education and supporting national immunization days. Watch traveling youth drama groups perform skits in villages while local pastors engaged the crowd, encouraging them to go for voluntary HIV screening and testing in Zambia. Celebrate the lives of fishermen in Japan as they are rebuilt with equipment and vehicles to replace those washed away by a tsunami.

You are invited to download and view the entire report here.

sawso annual reportDear Friends,
Love works!

At The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO), we believe this is true for three reasons.

Love is effective. I have personally witnessed the transformation that love can bring about in the lives of individuals and communities while travelling to several countries to support international work, and while serving for three years in Sri Lanka. From my perspective as leader of SAWSO, I’m given the daily gift of glimpsing the breadth and scope of the work The Salvation Army does on a global scale. There is no greater blessing than knowing that a loving God is using us as a tool, and that He gave us the power of love to transform lives of people living in poverty, women and children living in powerlessness, or people brought low by an unforeseen disaster.

Work done with love reflects God. We are acutely aware of how God has uplifted us, and given us hope and purpose. At SAWSO, we proactively seek out opportunities to help others experience these same blessings. We aspire to always be active catalysts for lasting change.

The fullest fruits of love, inspired by God, can only be brought about through maximum effort. From our most closely held internal processes to field work in the most distant and remote villages, SAWSO team members work diligently with, and in service to, all of our stakeholders, donors, partners and beneficiaries.

We thank all of your for joining us in our commitment to achieving sustainable results, maximizing resources, and multiplying our effectiveness through collaboration.
Love, then work. That is the way to do the most good.

May you recognize God’s love in your lives and may you enjoy discovering ways to share it.

Walmart & Salvation Army To “Fill the Truck” with Toys for Children in Need

Fill the Truck

Starting this Saturday, November 29, select Walmart stores across the country will kick off the second annual Fill the Truck Toy Drive, which will collect hundreds of thousands of toys for children in need in partnership with The Salvation Army.
Shoppers visiting one of the 3,500 participating stores on November 29, December 7, and December 15 will have the opportunity to drop of new, unwrapped toys at the trucks or bins to be distributed to assist parents in providing joy to their children on Christmas morning.

“Walmart has been such a big supporter of The Salvation Army and we are so appreciative of all the hard work they put into Fill the Truck,” said Major Ron Busroe, National Community Relations and Development Secretary for The Salvation Army USA. “This year, Fill the Truck is reaching even more customers and our hope is to provide more children with a Christmas toy that they would not receive otherwise.”

In one day at last year’s inaugural event, generous shoppers donated an amazing 135,000 toys and 10,000 coats for American children in need.

For more than 40 years, Walmart has been an essential partner of The Salvation Army. In addition to these events, the Walmart Foundation – whose mission is to create opportunities so people can live better around the globe – is once again helping us combat hunger through a $1 million donation to support The Salvation Army’s feeding programs, which provide nearly 60 million meals each year to individuals in need.

This Thanksgiving and beyond, The Salvation Army give thanks for Walmart, our valued partner in Doing the Most Good.
See you Saturday!

Read the official press release at www.SalvationArmyUSA.org

The Newest Youth Education Town Opens in Arlington, TX

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After three years of hard work, The Gene and Jerry Jones Family North Texas Youth Education Town (YET) opened Monday morning in Arlington, Texas.

Under the operation of The Salvation Army, the facility is intended to provide a safe haven for children to improve their skills to live life to the best of their abilities. YET centers offer programs to enhance a child’s physical, social, psychological and spiritual well-being.
Since Super Bowl XXXVII in 1993, the National Football League has donated $1 million to establish Youth Education Centers in every city a Super Bowl is hosted. Arlington held the big game in 2011 and is recognized with the gift of this new center. Funds were also contributed to this project by The Gene and Jerry Jones Family Arlington Youth Foundation and the Super Bowl XLV Host Committee.

The ceremony included Cowboys owner and general manager, Jerry Jones and his family, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Arlington mayor Robert Cluck as well as The Salvation Army’s new National Commander, Commissioner David Jeffrey. Also included in the festivities was Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith and career Cowboy Daryl Johnston.

Appropriately, there was even a ceremonial touchdown run.

For information about becoming a member, volunteer, or to donate, please visit: http://www.salvationarmyyet.org/p/About/205

Posted by Jackie on Friday, October 18, 2013 ·

Help Keep a Child Warm this Winter, by Donating a Coat

coats-for-kids

Fall is now in full effect and with winter slowly creeping around the corner, many are starting to prepare to bundle up.

This year, as you transition to warmer clothing, consider decluttering   those bulky winter coats your children no longer wear, and help The Salvation Army keep underprivileged children warm as the temps continue to decline.  Just imagine that feeling of opening your coat closet and actually placing your swiffer in with ease rather than dealing with the daily battle for room with those space eating coats.  And the cherry on top-it’s for a great cause!

The Salvation Army’s annual Coats for Kids program is in full swing and locations nationwide are calling for donations of winter coats and jackets for families that cannot afford proper winter attire.
Just by clearing out your closet, you can make a huge difference in a child’s life.

All new or gently used coats can be taken to one of the many Salvation Army ‘Coats for Kids’ collection drives in various communities across the country. To find a participating Salvation Army near you, enter your zip code here.
If there is not a drive happening in your area, you can always donate gently used or new coats to your local Salvation Army Family Store. Just visit www.satruck.org and find the closet location near you or check out the easy-to-use Salvation Army Family Store App, available on the App Store and Google play, where you can schedule a pickup, find locations and get rewards.
As always, The Salvation Army is grateful for your donations and support!

Posted by Jackie on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 · Leave a Comment