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Former homeless teen recieves free car for being a “Spark of Hope”

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Brittnie Pemberton was just nine years old when she and her mother were homeless and living at The Salvation Army’s Door of Hope. Her father, sought help for substance abuse through The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Program (ARC). Throughout this trying time, this young lady never lost hope that her dreams would come true.
And on Tuesday afternoon, one did.

While living at the shelter, Brittnie participated in a project called “Pictures of Hope,” where she was asked to take pictures of her hopes and dreams, one of which included a snap shot of San Diego State University. That dream became a reality a few years ago when a donor endowed a four year scholarship for Brittnie. Also included in this list was a wish to one day get a car.
Brittnie, now 16, was shocked when Chevrolet surprised the teen by unveiling a brand new car.

The 2014 Chevrolet Spark was given to Brittnie for being a “Spark of Hope” for America’s youth. She is an incredible example of hard work and great compassion as she splits her time between school and volunteering at the homeless shelter where she mentors children who are currently going through the same thing she did. Her proud parents are back on their feet and are serving as cadets in The Salvation Army.

At the presentation this week, she was led to believe she was there to be interviewed about her family’s past and their experience living in The Salvation Army’s homeless shelter. She had no idea what was in store for her.

see more here

Posted by Jackie on Friday, September 27, 2013 ·

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Collects 10,000 Back-to-School Items for Students in Need

School is in full gear, and so are thousands of kids thanks to Krispy Kreme’s “Stuff the Bus” campaign which provided backpacks and school supplies to hundreds of children from low-income families across the country.

Throughout the months of August and September, participating locations collected supplies donations from their communities in exchange for a free Original Glazed Doughnut; an alluring incentive, if you’ve ever tried one. The supplies were distributed via The Salvation Army.

Annual school shopping can be an expensive feat, so we’re thankful for the supporters who stepped up to donate approximately 10,000 items for American families in need.

A huge thanks to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts for their generous support of The Salvation Army’s back-to-school programs.

Krispy Kreme employees in Louisville, KY


Sorting through donations at The Salvation Army in Akron, OH


Krispy Kreme employees in Knoxville, KY

Posted by Megan on Thursday, September 26, 2013 ·

SA’s very own Mabee Babies shine in the NFL

For those of you who have bravely jumped into the world of Fantasy Football this year and endured the ever so stressful draft, I have something fun to share with you; you may have drafted an NFL star who was once part of The Salvation Army’s team.
Recognize anyone below?

The Salvation Army’s North Mabee Boys & Girls Club

Left: Robert Meachem- A Tulsa native and current wide receiver for the New Orlean Saints. Center: Chris Harris Oklahoma native and starting cornerback for the Denver Broncos. Right: Felix Jones- Tulsa native and Running Back for the Pittsburgh Steelers

Each one of these remarkable athletes once played football at The Salvation Army’s North Mabee Boys & Girls Club in Tulsa, OK where they first learned the sport, while also engaging in fellowship, character development, and other educational and recreational opportunities.

The North Mabee club is one of six Salvation Army safe havens in the city where underprivileged children find a sense of belonging and usefulness at the guidance of mentors and coaches.
But moreover, the North Mabee Boys & Girls Club is renowned for its recreation programs, which have proven to produce stars. Statistics recorded by the NFL and by The Salvation Army have revealed that athletes who play football as a member of the North Mabee club are 6.5 times more likely to make it to the NFL than a player from a Division 1 college team..
By the list of names above, I’d say it’s a pretty successful program.

After school programs of The Salvation Army are in full throttle. To volunteer with underprivileged children your area, or to find a center near you, please visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org.

The Salvation Army in Central Kentucky: LemonAiD


Salvation Army Central Kentucky’s LemonAiD program empowers young people to make a positive difference in their community by operating a lemonade stand during the month of July and donating the proceeds to help homeless children residing in The Salvation Army’s Emergency Homeless Shelter.

The Central Kentucky Salvation Army has a 152 bed shelter for the homeless trying to make ends meet, a day care for little ones that is Head Start approved, a clinic run by a physician and University of Kentucky student volunteers, and a Boys & Girls Club that serves 600 children each year, replete with a basketball court, a computer room, and a couple of very popular fooz tables.
But the Central Kentucky Salvation Army is about more than programs. It’s about people.
Last Friday morning, 30 board members showed up for a retreat to brainstorm on attracting younger supporters to the work and ministry of The Salvation Army.
30 board members. On a weekday. Early. Pre-donuts.

Marcia Larson, Salvation Army National Advisory Board member presenting to board members of The Salvation Army – Lexington, KY.

This committed board is galvanizing Lexington & Georgetown volunteers like the 1,593 who raised $48,000 this year running Lemon Aid stands to support homeless children in Lexington.  Or the volunteers getting ready to run in the Scott County 5K walk later this month.

Salvation Army officers like Majors Debra & Steve Ashcraft who give of their time, talent, and treasure as they pour their lives into their community. As they took my mom and me around the Salvation Army campus last week, Debra told us about a young boy in their music camp. A camp where 250 children learn to play music each year.

This little guy was shy. Afraid. Lacked self-confidence.

Over time, as Salvation Army officers mentored this little guy on the trumpet, he started coming out of his shell. He felt less afraid. He found a talent to share with the world. He gained confidence.
And then, one day, he got up in front of an audience at the Corps and played that trumpet for everyone. He started looking up.
The work of The Salvation Army is about our Lord lifting up heads. It’s about building skills and developing God-given talents in people so that they see themselves as God sees them. Worthy. Redeemed. Valuable – whether they’re homeless, unemployed, hungry or spiritually impoverished.

But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. – Psalm 3:3
For more on Central Kentucky’s work lifting heads, click here.
***Marcia Larson is a Board Member of The Salvation Army & The Micah Global Foundation. She received her B.A. from Vanderbilt and M.A. in French / Art History (NYU) and Public Policy (Texas A&M). She enjoys being a Twitter coach at Dow Jones / The Wall Street Journal. She currently resides in New York City. Her favorite verse is Micah 6:8.

A Huge Thanks to Target from Students in Oklahoma & Arkansas

In partnership with The Salvation Army, Target is providing a memorable back-to-school shopping experience that equips children in need with all the essentials for a successful academic year. And the campaign, which awarded 12,000 children, affiliated with Salvation Army youth programs, with $80 gift cards to shop for clothing and supplies with the help of a designated chaperon, is doing more than filling backpacks.

Our back-to-school program with Target provides emotional encouragement for families in need. These kids are getting jazzed for the school year ahead while parents are relieved of the rising costs associated with the annual shopping tradition.

Want to support The Salvation Army’s back-to-school programs? Find your local Salvation Army here. 
With the help of volunteers, students from Norman, OK checked off their teacher’s lists by picking out supplies – and their favorite clothes – courtesy of Target’s generosity.

Check out this touching video from The Salvation Army Arkansas-Oklahoma Division, and help us say “Thank You” to Target by ‘Liking’ and commenting on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/target).

Good news out of Camden! New Kroc Center

Posted by Jackie

kroc center
Photo Credit: Kroc Center – Camden

The Salvation Army Kroc Corps Community Center of Camden, NJ is set to open October 2014 in the most dangerous, poorest neighborhood in America, a place where 35% of families live below the poverty line.

This center (affordably priced at $200 annually for a family of 4) will provide a place to exercise (fight obesity), learn (after schools programs in arts & music education, hallmarks of The Salvation Army), and serve as a safe gathering place in the community, for the community.
The Camden Kroc will do more than create 160 jobs in a city defined by decay and brokenness.  It will create countless opportunities for healing, growth, and education.

Major Paul Cain took me around the 24 acres yesterday – acres anchored in hope for a neighborhood with the highest murder rate in the country. A place where “hatchet job” is not a metaphorical phrase.

On the ride from Philly to Camden and across town I didn’t see one gym. Instead, I saw lots of boarded up homes, lots of people sitting on the streets with nothing to do. Lots of hopelessness.
But where I see hopelessness, Major Cain sees hope.

As we drove around the former landfill, I saw dirt. Major Cain sees potential. I saw a dead end. Major Cain sees promise. I saw steel beams; Major Cain sees the baseball, basketball and soccer fields, swimming pool, client choice food pantry, day care center, pond, and solar panel field soon to come.

Pic-of-Camden-construction

Major Cain says “it’s hard to find good news in Camden.” This Kroc Center is indeed good news. Good news built with bricks and concrete – but also with love.

Thanks to the generosity of corporate sponsors, political leaders  like Mayor Dana Redd, who have championed this project, and countless individuals devoted to seeing this thing happen – such as founder and donor, Joan Kroc of McDonald’s – is now birthing the 27th Kroc Center in the United States.

As it opens, we’re reminded that we didn’t build it. Collective generosity did. Wells Fargo, Campbell’s, the city of Camden, individuals who care – helped make this center a reality. It’s not ours. It’s God’s. The community’s. It’s not just for programs, it’s for people.

What happens within the 120,000 square feet of the Camden Kroc remains to be seen. But it’s built with love and the Salvation Army staff & officers vision as they live out a love that “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
There is good news in Camden, good news founded on truly Good News. Something the Cain’s and Rivera’s can tell you about.

Elizabeth Smart: ‘I found something worth living for’

elizabeth smartBy Alex Branch

[email protected]

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

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.

Sweetheart deals on prom dresses at Salvation Army

TAMPA (FOX 13) – Yessiel Hernandez has a date, but no dress for her senior prom.

The Leto High School student has been too busy hitting the books to worry about searching sale racks for a dress that also fits her finances.

“I’m in a nursing program. So it’s going to clinicals and busy, busy, busy,” she said.

On Thursday, the honor student finally got a break: first dibs on picking through the fabrics of dozens of brand-new prom gowns. The tags are still on most of the dresses, but these aren’t from any boutique…they’re from the Salvation Army.

“We’ve been collecting prom dresses and bridal dresses and formal wear,” said Salvation Army Family Store manager Chris Pluchino.

More than 300 floor-length gowns were donated to the Salvation Army from bridal shops. They’re on sale to the anyone on the prom dress hunt, starting Friday.

“They’re extremely expensive, but we’re offering them at at least a 75 percent discount,” Pluchino said Thursday.

Yessiel got hers first, and for free. She was pampered from head to toe in prom-glitz as a reward for all her hard work.

“At first I was a little nervous. Everything was handed free to me, and I really don’t get that on a daily basis,” she smiled.

The Salvation Army hopes to have several more Cinderella stories when their sale officially starts Friday morning, offering the detailing of a dream dress at a fraction of the price.

“It’s hugely important. You only get to go to prom one time in your life. It would be a shame for someone to have to look back and say, ‘I couldn’t go because I didn’t have a dress.’ So for us to be able to offer that is fantastic,” Pluchino said.

The Salvation Army’s Prom & Bridal dress sale starts Friday morning at 8:30 am at their store located at 13910 N. Nebraska Avenue in Tampa.

Read more: http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/story/21647526/2013/03/14/brand-new-prom-dresses-on-sale#ixzz2NtqmOKi8
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