Christmas Film, “Silver Bells” Highlights the Good Work of Salvation Army

Ready or not, Christmas is already in the air. Before you know it, you’ll be surrounded by a mound of Halloween candy and November will be on its way out.

But there’s plenty of time to get in the spirit and soak it all up!  Whip up some hot chocolate, snuggle up with the family and turn on Silver Bells, a Pure Flix Entertainment production that tells the touching story about a man and his journey to discover the true meaning of Christmas.

Bruce Boxleitner plays an ambitious businessman who gets in a scuffle that gets him sentenced to community service — manning a red kettle and ringing bells for The Salvation Army for the rest of the Christmas season.

At first he finds this humiliating, and in his self-pity determines to be the world’s worst bell ringer, but as he encounters the people behind the kettle, his life — and especially his relationship with his son — is changed by something as simple as ringing a bell.
We’re delighted The Salvation Army plays a pivotal role throughout the film as the family volunteers with the organization in various ways. With a great cast including Bruce Boxleitner, Kevin Downes , and Antonio Fargas , Silver Bells is a heartwarming reminder to reflect on the true message of Christmas and to celebrate love, faith and hope.

Catch the nationwide broadcast on UPTV on Saturday, November 30. Or, check it out on DVD and Blu-Ray today.
Is it too early to say “Merry Christmas”?
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Visit https://www.facebook.com/PureFlix to learn more. You can also join in the conversation with #SilverBells on Twitter and Facebook

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 ·

National Recovery Month: Trevor’s Story

This post was contributed by The Salvation Army Midland Division.

In honor of National Recovery Month, we invited Major Kendall Mathews (known to St. Louis as Major KK) of our Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) to share a story of one person who has come through the ARC program. The name has been changed to protect the subject’s identity. You visit the earth and water it, You greatly enrich it; The river of God is full of water; You provide their grain, For so You have prepared it.-Psalms 65:9

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Trevor grew up in Kansas City, Mo., in an upper-middle- class area.

His mother was married to a dentist, he lived in a good neighborhood and had several friends. But as the years went by his mother and stepfather decided to get a divorce, and in a split second, he went from upper-class circumstances to living in public housing with his grandmother. He had a tough time adjusting to his new environment. He was constantly reminded by the children in the neighborhood that he was different. Trevor wanted a better life for himself and decided to join the U.S. Navy. It was hard for him to leave his family, but a change was needed in his life. Trevor excelled in the Navy; he was doing things naturally that people were trained for weeks to do. He worked his way from a Sailor to Aviation Chief, served in the Navy for 20 years, and retired. Even though he was living his dreams, he was still presented with several obstacles in his life. The Navy caused him to be away from his wife and children for months at a time. He started to feel lonely and ended up giving into his temptations. He had no idea that his wife was feeling the same way and their marriage ended up suffering from their choices to be unfaithful. And even though he was qualified, he still struggled with being the only African-American in a leadership position in the Navy and with accepting recognition for his hard work.

Trevor always drank socially and used marijuana on occasion, and it never seemed to cause him any problems. He started using crack cocaine in his late 30’s and used it on and off for 25 years. He had a method to his madness: he used alcohol because it allowed him to be more social, marijuana because it enhanced his concentration, and crack because it allowed him to be more sexual. He attempted to live a sober lifestyle a few times during his addiction. He relapsed after being clean for four years. He still thought that he had control over his addiction until the Navy gave him an ultimatum. In order for him to receive his retirement benefits, he would have to check himself into a rehabilitation program. Another one of Trevor’s problems was being a people-pleaser, and in all of his pleasing he neglected himself, destroyed his marriages and the relationships with his children, and almost lost his retirement. His addiction controlled his life for more than 25 years.

Today, the most important thing is his life is the relationship he has with God. He has been sober since 1995 and has since stopped leaning on his own understanding and realized that the Lord is his provider. Trevor has committed his life to God and to living a Christian lifestyle. He is a Soldier of The Salvation Army and a veteran of the U.S. Navy.

The origin of the word “provide” is in the Latin providere, meaning “look forward, prepare, supply, act with foresight.” To be a provider, one has to be able to look ahead and anticipate the needs of those for whom one is providing. Part of being a good provider is having the wisdom to discern the best way in which to accommodate those needs.

The ministry of The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center is to Recycle goods, Reclaim lives, and Rebuild families through our work therapy program and a spiritual walk with Jesus Christ. The ability to dream of a better life, a better community and a better world is common to us all. Men who suffer from substance abuse need this better life in order to give back to our society in a sober and spiritual way. It is a long road to their recovery and as is true in this story, all things are possible through Christ and caring community. Our ARC becomes their safety net where we catch the drug-addicted man, then support in living a transformed life, free from the bondage of sin and shame.

Our program is designed to minister to the whole person, rather than just a specific problem. The majority of men who come to our center for assistance are having problems in many areas of their lives: social, medical, spiritual, personal, and employment. We make every effort to cover these tenants to bring about a total recovery with a positive, after-care support plan tailored for each individual. The goal is re-entry back into the community in a positive manner with sufficient support for maintenance of sobriety and growth in lifestyle. “For we are God’s Workmanship, recreated in Christ Jesus, that we may do those good works which God predestined for us, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

Posted by Jackie on Friday, October 4, 2013 ·

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 ·

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).

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?

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.

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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