“He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart.”
This verse from the Book of Isaiah is the foundation for The Salvation Army’s 2013 Online Annual Report’s theme, “Open Arms”, now available here. Commissioner David Jeffery, The Salvation Army’s National Commander, had this verse come to mind saying, “It’s a sweet image, a beautiful reminder of the Lord’s gentleness in caring for the vulnerable”.
The Salvation Army strives to follow the Lord’s example of caring and opening our arms and our hearts to anyone in need. And we’re proud to report that, guided by God’s love and your compassion and support, The Salvation Army served 30 million Americans in 2013!
Throughout this last year and with the help of 3.5 million volunteers, The Salvation Army:
Served nearly 60 million meals to the hungry
Provided over 10 million nights of lodging to the homeless
Sent almost 200,000 low income and disadvantaged kids to summer camp
Counseled 180,000 men and women with drug and alcohol rehabilitation
Also featured in the annual report is an inspiring video of The Salvation Army’ s Angel Tree Program which helps provide nearly 1 million disadvantaged children across the United States.
As it truly takes an army, our services would not be possible without your help and support and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for furthering our mission to Do The Most Good!
The Salvation Army is here for you. We welcome all with open doors, open hearts, and open arms.
Learn more through our annual report about The Salvation Army’s programs and services utilized by those in need in 2013.
Visit salvationarmyannualreport.org to read the 2013 Online Annual Report.
TWIN FALLS | Jim Taylor left Castleford hauling more than 20,000 pounds of potatoes. It wasn’t an uncommon Monday morning for the Blick Brothers Farms employee, but his payload was not for profit.
“We like to support the Salvation Army,” said Benny Blick. “They’re a good outfit.”
Taylor dumped his mountain of Blick Brothers spuds in the parking lot of the Twin Falls Salvation Army. The head-high pile of reds and russets came from a 2-acre field the brothers plant each year to feed themselves and to share with the public.
“There was probably 18 to 20,000 pounds,” Blick said, of the load.
On the last day of the harvest, the company let the community pick potatoes out of a re-loader, Blick said. They trucked the rest to Twin Falls.
“It’s an annual deal,” said Nicki Kroese, Salvation Army business manager. “The Blicks are very, very good to us.”
Blick said he likes helping out the organization because of it’s low overhead.
“The end result gets to where it needs to instead of ending up in the pockets of administration,” he said.
On Monday, the end result ended up in wire baskets, milk crates, cardboard boxes and plastic shopping bags as dozens gleaned the dusty pile.
“Taters, taters everywhere, taters, taters in your underwear,” Joe Arias chanted, as he and his wife, Donna, filled a box.
“We drove by and seen them out here,” she said.
Joe said the couple likes to prepare potatoes many ways. “Fried, baked, you name it.”
But they also planned to share their starchy bounty with family.
“We’re gonna take some to the brother in-law,” Joe said. “He’s got a small herd.”
On the other side of the mound, Ileen Adams and her daughter Eleanor Rainey, of Filer, carried wire baskets, heavy with russets to the trunk of a car. They’re familiar with local farmers sharing crops, but preferred picking from the pile.
“This is nice,” Ileen said, “we usually go out in the field to pick potatoes.”
The pair picked mostly russets, as the reds are thin skinned and don’t store as well, they said.
Kroese said the load hit the lot at about 10:30 a.m. She promoted the donation on Facebook with a photograph, and the gleaners soon appeared. By noon, the pile noticeably eroded.
“They’ll be gone by the end of the week,” she said.
The organization saw 76 people walk through its lunch line Monday, so the donation is always needed and welcomed. Some of the spuds will be stored in the basement of the building, Kroese said, and used by Salvation Army cooks.
“Cooking in large quantities is intense,” said cook Chris Newbry. “It’s literally like feeding an army.”
Newbry has been cooking in restaurants for more than 15 years and began working with the organization in February. He and his cohorts will use the donated spuds in many dishes, including his own Tater Chowder.
Chris Newbry’s Tater Chowder
For the White Sauce:
5 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
For the Stock:
3 cups diced potatoes
1 ½ cups diced carrots
1 medium onion, minced
1 ½ cup celery, chopped small
½ cup bacon, chopped
½ tablespoon garlic, minced
Fry the bacon in a pan, then drain fat. Add the vegetables to the pan and brown. Cover with boiling water. Cook until tender. Add the white sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 6 to 8.
Last week, schools across the country were once again filled with eager students- both fresh and familiar faces. It’s a bittersweet time for children as they say hello to old friends and goodbye to the freedom of summer and back to daily classroom and study routines. For most families, it’s a relief to know their kids are guaranteed at least one meal a day.
Nutrition is key for a child’s education. Students who live in food insecure households are at an a disadvantage both academically and physically compared to their food secured peers. This is true for everyone but is especially crucial for children and their development.
According to Feeding America, in 2012, 49.0 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 33.1 million adults and 15.9 million children.
The Salvation Army recognizes the severity of this issue and works to fights food insecurity and help families meet this basic need, and support healthy children in the classroom. One example of how we do this is our food pantries- which provide groceries for individuals and families in need and are essential to battling food insecurity.
But we need your help to fill our food banks!
If you’d like to donate a bag of nonperishable foods to your local Salvation Army food pantry, check out our main website for a list of locations near you: www.SalvationArmyUSA.org.
Can’t get to the store? For monetary donations and other ways to give, visit: www.donate.salvationarmyusa.org.
Learn more about The Salvation Army here.
The Salvation Army “hasn’t lost momentum” on replacing its decaying emergency housing shelter, new divisional commander Frank Pittman has vowed.
Major Pittman, who assumed his post a month ago, said he’d been taken aback by the decrepit state of the Salvation Army’s existing shelter in Hamilton.
The charity for the needy hopes later this week to announce the architectural firm that has been selected to design its new housing complex at The Glebe Road, Pembroke.
Conceding he’d been surprised by the level of social need prevalent in Bermuda, Major Pittman added: “Probably the most alarming thing was to see the condition of the emergency housing compound on North Street. “It’s a building that was meant to last ten years, and it’s been going for 30.”
The Salvation Army is already two months into its six-month Memorandum of Understanding with Government on renovating the disused Bishop Spencer building, abandoned years ago by the Department of Education.
The move came after a City of Hamilton task force condemned the existing shelter, which has been in use since 1982.
The charity has “already put out expressions of interest” to various firms asking for quotes on their services, Major Pittman said.
“We have an agreement with Government to explore the feasibility of that building to house the emergency shelter,” he added. “I had to hit the ground running because of the time that’s lapsed.”
On August 4, Major Pittman replaced former divisional commander Shawn Critch, after serving as the area commander for East Newfoundland, based in St John’s, Canada.
His wife, Major Rita Pittman, also directs the Salvation Army’s women’s ministries and community care ministries in Bermuda.
“We’ve been warmly received — we’re totally impressed with people’s hospitality and kindness,” Major Pittman said.
“Bermuda is a wonderful place from what we’ve seen thus far. If this is any indication of what our years will be like, we’re really looking forward to it.”
Photo: In 2004, Salvation Army Florida Divisional Commander Steven Hedgren greets President George W. Bush in the aftermath of Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne.
Tampa, FL (August 11, 2014) – For Floridians, Alabamans, and many others living in the southeastern United States, 2004 will always be remembered as the year of the “Big Four” hurricanes: Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne. The four storms caused billions of dollars in damages in the U.S. – at the time ranking the 2004 hurricane season as the costliest on record – the brunt of which was felt in Florida where all four storms made landfall. Within the Sunshine State and nearby Alabama, The Salvation Army met the storm’s fury with hope and comfort, mobilizing hundreds of mobile feeding units, tractor-trailer sized field kitchens, and thousands of disaster workers to provide food, water, emotional and spiritual care, and other forms of emergency aid to survivors and rescue workers.
Commissioner Steven Hedgren commanded The Salvation Army’s Florida Division during that very busy hurricane season. “We certainly prayed a good deal during those months,” he recalled, “For the people impacted by the storms, the rescue workers who responded, and our communities. But we also provided an enormous amount of practical aid: food, drinks, essential supplies, and emotional and spiritual support. We were mobilized on a scale we had not seen since Hurricane Andrew and privileged to have tremendous support from our friends in local, state, and federal government. I was very proud that The Salvation Army was part of that emergency management team.”
Kevin Smith, The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services director for Florida, recalled the challenges the Army faced, “If you live in Florida, you know you have to prepare for hurricanes. It’s something we take very seriously, and we have a very strong disaster services program. We always worry about the next big storm – the next Hurricane Andrew – but we prepare to handle that type of an event. 2004 – with four storms– that was something else altogether. During those two months, there wasn’t a single Salvation Army unit in Florida not doing disaster work.”
With each new storm making landfall roughly ten days after the last, the greatest challenge was logistical as The Salvation Army moved personnel and equipment from one side of the state to the other. “Keeping track of our people and equipment was very difficult,” Smith added, “Units might be serving in Fort Lauderdale or Stuart, FL. one day and need to be all the way to Pensacola or Mobile, AL, the next. We were constantly shifting resources, but even when a new storm threatened, our disaster workers did not want to stop serving. They knew there were people counting on us, and they served as long as they could, holed-up until the storm passed, and when it was safe, they were right back out there.”
Mobilizing hundreds of canteens (i.e. mobile kitchens) from across the country, field kitchens from Florida and Texas, warehouses, Salvation Army church facilities, and temporary service sites set-up in parking lots, The Salvation Army provided:
3,051,839 Meals Served
31,779 Food Boxes Distributed
19,439 Clean Up Kits Distributed
1,193,964 Gallons Water Distributed
796,229 Bags of Ice Distributed
223,398 Hours Served
Majors Gene and Debra Gesner, the Salvation Army leaders in Port Charlotte, FL, recalled the fury of Hurricane Charley as it made landfall. The pair provided refuge for members of their congregation within the local Salvation Army church as the storm struck.
Major Gene Gesner recalls:
Our family went through the hurricane in the back hallway of the chapel. My wife always recalls the lights that continued to flicker on our cross for a few minutes after the electricity went down. I remember hearing the crash as the front entryway window broke and half of the roof came off. God kept us safely behind the cross that day. We continued to hear debris hitting the Corps building for the remainder of the storm and emerged to see aluminum pieces from the trailer park on the other side of the road piled against the west side of our building. Although The Salvation Army properties suffered much from Charley, our people stood with us and continued to help our community in the aftermath of the storm. We thank God for keeping us safe and giving us the strength to see us through the long period of recovery and the reconstruction of the corps.
“Unfortunately 2004’s record-setting hurricane season statistics was quickly shattered the next year as Katrina, Rita, and Wilma hit,” Smith added, “But all these storms of the past should serve as reminders that the time to prepare for the next disaster is today. Don’t wait. Build a disaster supply kit and put in it the things you will need. Have a plan. If you have to evacuate, where will you go and how will you get there? And most importantly, take storms like these seriously. Follow the advice of local government officials. If they tell you to leave, do so. Don’t risk your life or the lives of those you love. It’s just not worth it.”
While hoping the next major disaster is a long way off, The Salvation Army of Florida continues to improve its preparedness capabilities, adding 13 new feeding units since 2004. The region has a fleet of 44 mobile kitchens, two tractor-trailer-sized field kitchens, one command unit, one communications trailer, and five shower units – all able to deploy within 24 hours. The Salvation Army also operates a 50,000 square foot warehouse in Tampa which houses more than 60 pieces of field support equipment and disaster supplies. This disaster center can also be transformed into a command post for The Salvation Army during a statewide emergency. The division offers regular disaster training to affiliated volunteers and has a roster of nearly 3,000 volunteers stationed throughout the Sunshine State.
For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit The Salvation Army’s disaster website at www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org. And, to commemorate the anniversary of the 2004 storms, The Salvation Army will release a special episode of SAToday on Thursday, August 14, 2014. To view, please visit https://www.youtube.com/user/SalvationArmyToday.
Finally, for the firsthand account of Majors Gene and Debra Gesners’ experience during Hurricane Charley and to see images of the damage the storm wrought on the Port Charlotte corps, watch the video below or visit http://youtu.be/tuwnl6DPPGE.
We have received many questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages about how to sign up for back-to-school assistance. Click Here to find out More!
Dulcinea Cuellar is the Divisional Communications Director for The Salvation Army Florida Division.
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.
Kelley 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.”
Posted by Megan on Monday, July 7, 2014 · Leave a Comment
Originally featured in the New Frontier Chronicle. Click here to read more.
The Salvation Army works to undercut country’s largest commercial sex industry.
By Tamara Stinson –
Atlanta is one of only eight U.S. cities classified as an “alpha-world city” by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network and ranks fourth in the number of Fortune 500 companies headquartered within city boundaries, yet it’s another economy in Atlanta that’s stealing the attention.
According to a 2014 study from the Urban Institute (UI), Atlanta ranks first among U.S. cities for commercial sexual exploitation. In 2007 alone, its underground sex economy netted an estimated $290 million.
It’s numbers like this that keep Hillary DeJarnett up at night. As co-founder and program director of Haven ATL, DeJarnett and her team, including Co-Founder Captain Sandra Pawar, work to help women transition from victims of sex trafficking to leaders in their communities.
“These girls are powerful,” DeJarnett said. “They’re smart. They’re intelligent. They just really need support and they need to be held accountable and have a place to grow, so that’s what we try to do.”
The idea for Haven ATL came to DeJarnett while working on her master’s thesis in nonprofit management at the University of Georgia. The assignment turned into a full-time job after DeJarnett presented the idea to Pawar. The pair then established Haven ATL as a Salvation Army program.
“We are located in a neighborhood in Atlanta where commercial sexual exploitation is very prevalent and visible,” Pawar explained. “Before Hillary presented the idea of Haven ATL, I spent a lot of time praying in front of strips clubs and brothels. I even began building relationships with women in that lifestyle and inviting them to the corps. I asked God to guide me on this mission and he sent Hillary and Haven ATL my way.”
The UI report states that the underground commercial sex economy in the Atlanta area is mainly comprised of three sex trafficking venues: street and online prostitution, Latino brothels, and massage parlors. There is also a significant amount of pimp-controlled prostitution on the street and online via websites such as Craigslist and Backpage.
Haven ATL works to reverse this damage out of The Salvation Army’s 53,000-square-foot Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in the Pittsburgh neighborhood. Later this year, Haven ATL will move into its own drop-in center and offices. The donated house, also in the Pittsburgh community, will provide a more intimate setting for the 20 women involved to access counseling, mentorship, job training, cooking classes, yoga and Bible study. In the backyard, there’s a community garden to teach the women about farming and landscaping.
“I think the house is truly going to be that haven for the women,” DeJarnett said. “A place they can come and know that they are safe and know that they are loved.”
Pam, a former madam who turned to the sex trade after her family was displaced by Hurricane Katrina, sought help at Haven ATL after being arrested. She is now one of the organization’s community leaders and helps get women, girls and transgendered individuals out of the industry rather than into it.
“I kept trying to do it by myself and I kept falling back into it,” Pam said. “If you’re already thinking about changing, Haven ATL is the place to actually make it happen.”
By Lt. Col. William Mockabee, National Secretary for The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO).
The 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.
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.