red kettle

Salvation Army ‘Secret Santa’ Strikes Again With $50K Donation

'Secret Santa' Strikes Again

By Katie Kindelan | ABC News Blogs

As harried shoppers were filing in and out of a Joplin, Mo., Walmart on Black Friday, at least one shopper stopped long enough to deliver a major surprise to the two Salvation Army kettle bell ringers standing guard outside.

As they counted their totals on Friday night, Salvation Army officials discovered that wrapped inside dollar bills were five checks of $10,000 each, adding up to a $50,000 donation for the local Joplin chapter.

Salvation Army Bell Ringers Compete for Record

“For us to have that kind of a bonus, a surprise sort of thing that you always hope for but can never count on is really exciting,” said Lt. Jamie Curry of the Salvation Army. “It puts us that much closer to reaching our goal and putting on more services for the community.”

The person or persons behind the $50,000 donation remain anonymous, as she or he (or they) has been for the past decade. Salvation Army officials have nicknamed the anonymous donor(s) “Secret Santa” for the tradition of donating large sums in the kettle each Christmas season.

“It’s never the same person and our bell ringers can’t ever tell you who it was who put the money in because it’s usually wrapped in bills,” Curry said. “It’s always wrapped in a way that we would know it was from ‘Secret Santa.'”

Mystery ‘Santa’ Drops $50,000 in Salvation Army Kettle

Curry estimates the anonymous donor(s) has given at least $500,000 over the past approximately 10 years.

“You can imagine how many people we’ve been able to help with all that,” she said.

This year’s donation, which was the same amount as last year’s, put the Salvation Army $50,000 closer to reaching its Christmas goal of $415,000 in donations. The money will be used to support the organization’s clothing and housing initiatives, including a meal program that feeds 200 to 400 people per day, according to Curry.

“We have some members and longtime staff who have always tried to figure out who it is and who have their theories on who it could be,” she said. “For others, it’s kind of fun to just have the mystery. We like the idea of the anonymity and giving them the opportunity to be anonymous.”

Next year the Joplin Salvation Army will celebrate its 125 th anniversary, which would lead one to imagine what kind of donation the “Secret Santa” might make.

“That would be great. We would love it,” Curry said. “We’re just grateful that that person cares enough about the community to give us that kind of money to work with.”

You can raise money with your own kettle online by clicking here.

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

Austin Mahone to Headline Fourth Annual Rock the Red Kettle Concert Benefiting The Salvation Army!

Ready for it….
Austin Mahone
We are thrilled to announce that The Salvation Army will host the fourth annual Rock the Red Kettle Concert at Universal City Walk’s “5 Towers” concert venue in Los Angeles on December 7, with performances by musical artists Austin Mahone, Kelly Rowland, Bean, and Coco Jones!

Hosted and produced by Ned Specktor of Specktor Media, the free show helps raise awareness of The Salvation Army’s 123rd annual Red Kettle Campaign, the oldest charitable fundraiser of its kind in the United States. Money raised during the campaign helps the Army serve 30 million of America’s most vulnerable through an array of programs including food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless and toys for children.

This year, the free concert will be streamed live on The Salvation Army’s Tumblr page at SalvationArmyUSA.tumblr.com, so you don’t have to miss out if you’re not in the area!

Similar to years past, fans can host their own Online Red Kettles by visiting OnlineRedKettle.org. But this year, the Army is saying thanks in a big way by launching the Rock the Online Red Kettle Team sweepstakes and enlisting the help of the artists to raise funds for a chance to hang out with them in person or via a Google Hangout.

By joining the Online Red Kettle Teams of Mahone, Jones or Bean, three lucky fans will win the chance to fly to Los Angeles with a guest to attend the concert and meet the performers. Eight more participants will win the opportunity to virtually connect with the artists through a Google Hangout before the show.

You can support the Red Kettle Campaign through the artist of your choosing by clicking on the names below: Austin Mahone: www.OnlineRedKettle.org/AustinMahone Coco Jones: www.OnlineRedKettle.org/CocoJones Bean: www.OnlineRedKettle.org/NoelleBean

In addition to giving online or to the more than 25,000 bell ringers found on street corners and retail entrances across the country, supporters can donate through the Army’s text-to-give program. By texting the word “KETTLE” to 80888, donors can send $10 to the Red Kettle Campaign through December 24.

Posted by Megan on Thursday, November 14, 2013 ·

Salvation Army Serving Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan

haiyan

The Salvation Army is serving survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in the aftermath of the deadliest natural disaster on record. Classified as a category 5 typhoon, the scale of devastation became clear Sunday as the death toll is estimated to be as high as 10,000 or more.

Emergency Disaster Service teams have been providing essentials to those affected by the typhoon since the storm hit Friday, including food, shelter, water, and emotional and spiritual care.

61-480x3303

“The Salvation Army is on the ground serving the immediate needs of survivors,” said Major Ron Busroe, The Salvation Army’s National Community Relations and Development Secretary. “Donations from the generous public will help provide basic necessities that survivors desperately need right now. But the effects of this tragedy will be felt for months – even years. We know that emotional and spiritual counseling is equally important for survivors to deal with the gravity of the situation.”

With more than 75 offices throughout the country, Salvation Army volunteers and staff are well prepared to service the immediate and long-term needs of those impacted by this disaster.

Monetary donations are the most critical need for survivors. To give, click on the donation button at the top of the page or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769). Donations of 10 dollars can also be made via mobile phone by texting “TYPHOON” to 80888 and replying “YES.”*

Check donations to Salvation Army World Service Office (designate “Typhoon Haiyan”) can be mailed to:

Salvation Army World Service Office International Relief Fund
P.O. Box 418558
Boston, MA 02241-8558

In-kind donations are not being accepted.

*A one-time donation of $10 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. Message and data rates may apply. All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. Service is available on Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. By participating, you certify that you are 18 years or older and/or have parental permission. Donations are collected for The Salvation Army and subject to the terms found at igfn.org/t. Privacy policy: igfn.org/p. **Text STOP to 80888 to stop; Text HELP to 80888 for help.

Selena Gomez Talks Online Red Kettle With Ryan Seacrest

24 hours after announcing her support of The Salvation Army’s 123rd Red Kettle Campaign with a performance at our Kick-Off show Thanksgiving Day, Selena Gomez went On-Air with Ryan Seacrest to promote her Online Red Kettle.

Click here to listen!

Selena Gomez

November 3: Selena Gomez with Salvation Army National Advisory Board Chairperson, Charlotte Jones Anderson (left) and Major Ron Busroe, National Community Relations and Development Secretary for The Salvation Army.

You can join Selena Gomez’s Red Kettle Team by visiting http://www.onlineredkettle.org/selenagomez. In doing so, you could win the chance to virtually connect with Selena on a Google Hangout later in the season.

The Salvation Army Red Kettles have been an American tradition since 1891, helping raise financial support for critical Salvation Army programs and services year round.  This campaign allows you to host your own Red Kettle – online.

Over the years, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable campaigns in the United States – providing toys for kids, coats for the homeless, food for the hungry and countless social service programs year-round. You become a vital part of our Christmas efforts when you help those in need by hosting an Online Red Kettle and filling it with donations from family, friends and colleagues.
Click here to get started today.

Selena Gomez to Kick Off 123rd Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign

Selena-Gomez

Arlington, TX (November 4, 2013) – Actress and multi-platinum recording artist Selena Gomez will perform LIVE at AT&T Stadium during halftime of the Dallas Cowboys game against the Oakland Raiders on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, which kicks off The Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle Campaign. The halftime performance marks the 17th year the Dallas Cowboys have partnered with The Salvation Army to launch the campaign, which raises millions of dollars throughout the holiday season. Last year, the Red Kettle Campaign collected $148.7 million. Donations help provide meals and shelter for families in need and Christmas toys for millions of children, among numerous other social services.

“Dallas is my hometown, and to be invited to perform on behalf of The Salvation Army is such a great honor,” said Selena Gomez. “Giving back is so important, and I am looking forward to kicking off the iconic Red Kettle Campaign and getting those bells ringing across the nation to help families and children in need.”

We are thrilled to have Selena kick off the Red Kettle Campaign and be a part of this time-honored tradition. Her amazing performance, a national stage and a huge, enthusiastic fan base will be a powerful start to Red Kettle 2013,” said Charlotte Jones Anderson, executive vice president and Chief Brand Officer for the Dallas Cowboys and national advisory chairperson for The Salvation Army. “The Salvation Army touches so many lives and provides nourishment, shelter and support for children and families in need. Together with Selena, we celebrate the important impact of The Salvation Army’s work in doing the most good.”

The Red Kettle Campaign runs from Thanksgiving Day through Christmas Eve and is the largest and longest-running fundraiser of its kind. The campaign raised $148.7 million last year alone, with more than $1.75 billion raised since the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day partnership began in 1997. With the Thanksgiving holiday falling later in the month than usual, this year’s Red Kettle Campaign is more critical than ever.

Though the Red Kettle campaign is five days shorter this year, we are confident that the attention that partners like Selena Gomez and the Dallas Cowboys are bringing to the cause will more than make up that difference,” said Major Ron Busroe, national community relations and development secretary for The Salvation Army. “We strive to help America’s most vulnerable – children, and ensure that they have a warm, comfortable place to sleep and hot food to eat and toys to play with at Christmas.

In support of the Red Kettle Campaign, Selena will host her own Online Red Kettle and encourage fans to join her team and donate to The Salvation Army. Fans can join her team by visiting www.onlineredkettle.org/selenagomez. Eight lucky fundraisers will receive the chance to virtually connect with Selena through a Google Hangout.

Selena Gomez is the newest addition to a list of Red Kettle Kick-Off celebrity halftime performers including Kenny Chesney, Enrique Iglesias, Keith Urban, Daughtry, the Jonas Brothers, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Sheryl Crow, Destiny’s Child, Toby Keith, LeAnn Rimes, Creed, Jessica Simpson, Billy Gilman, Clint Black, Randy Travis and Reba McEntire.

In addition to giving online or to the more than 25,000 traditional bell ringers, supporters can donate through the Army’s text-to-give program. By texting the word “KETTLE” to 80888, donors can send $10 to the Red Kettle Campaign.

From its humble beginnings as a Salvation Army captain’s startup program in 1891 in San Francisco, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable campaigns in the United States. It provides toys for kids, coats for the homeless, food for the hungry and countless social service programs year-round. As part of the campaign, more than 25,000 Salvation Army volunteers throughout the country ring bells and solicit donations to the red kettles.

 

###

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: providing 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 www.salvationarmyusa.org.

About Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez has become one of the most accomplished actors and recording artists today and all by the age of twenty-one. 2013 has been a big year for Selena. In July, she released her fourth album “Stars Dance” which debuted at number one on the Billboard charts.  The lead single “Come and Get It” became her first number one single and won an MTV Video Music Award for “Best Pop Video.” On the heels of the release of her album, Gomez launched her very successful “Stars Dance World Tour” which is currently scheduled to conclude later this month. She has sold over 10 million singles in the US and has become a fixture on the dance scene garnering six singles that have landed at number one position on the Billboard Dance Club/Play charts. For more information, go to www.selenagomez.com

About Gene and Jerry Jones Family Charities

In the area of community service, Gene and Jerry Jones Family Charities’ mission is built on a philosophy of helping those who don’t have the strength, the resources or the means to help themselves. As a sports entity that has enjoyed unprecedented success and recognition for more than four decades, the Dallas Cowboys feel a strong obligation to transfer that championship tradition and the magic that it creates to the bigger purpose of making a difference in the community. More information about the Dallas Cowboys is available at www.dallascowboys.com.

For additional information about The Salvation Army and Red Kettle Kick-Off, please visit http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org,www.facebook.com/SalvationArmyUSA or
https://twitter.com/salvationarmyus.

Hurricane Sandy: Signs of Recovery Continue One Year Later

One year ago, Hurricane Sandy pummeled the East Coast following a four-day northern trek, creating the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 season. Affecting 24 states, the storm’s force shattered communities, destroyed homes and businesses, shut down power for millions, and took over 100 lives.
A week before the strike, Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) crews of The Salvation Army were ramping up response efforts by feeding evacuees and developing search and rescue teams.
“We discovered then that our response needed to be more than the hot dog and a cup of coffee,” says Brenda Beavers, State Director of Human Resources for The Salvation Army’s New Jersey Division.
546856_10151255800086591_999099548_n
In the immediate aftermath of the storm, EDS canteens were dispatched to the hardest hit areas up and down the coast. With the help of staff and volunteers, meals, drinks, clothing, blankets and toiletries were distributed to victims and first responders. As part of a long-term recovery effort, the Army provided gift cards and in-kind products such as heaters, food, clothing, toys, diapers, linens, boots, and facemasks.
People had lost their homes, their memories, and things you simply can’t replace.

But one year later, signs of recovery remain as residents along the Coast work to rebuild their lives through service organizations like The Salvation Army.
“The goal of our Disaster Case Management process is to provide support, advocacy and connect residents with as many possible resources available to them without adding additional work and confusion to their already challenging process,” says Brenda Downing, Director of Social Services at The Salvation Army Southern New England.

These little helpers served with big smiles and brought joy to survivors in Connecticut.

Restoring normalcy in the lives of survivors is the Army’s primary objective.
With the support of donors and partnering organizations, affected individuals and families are being met with financial assistance, rebuilding and repair costs, and in-depth case management to address unmet needs.
Homeowners like Ellen Levitsky are grateful for the support of The Salvation Army, which helped clean up her storm-ravaged home in Freeport, New York.
“I never thought anyone would come to help,” Levitsky said. “I feel like I should be pinched. I’m so thankful for the help that The Salvation Army has provided, and how quickly.”

Kelly Osbourne assisting recovery efforts on Staten Island, NY.

But perhaps more importantly, survivors are finding comfort in the emotional and spiritual care offered through recovery centers and emotional support groups of The Salvation Army in New York and New Jersey.
“A lot of people have been hurting,” says Bram Applin, Community Relations Director for the New Jersey Division. “They are asking, ‘why did this happen?’ Being able to simply pray with someone, hug someone, to be able to show the love of Christ in the little things – it’s a privilege.”
***
The Salvation Army is the first to arrive and the last to leave. Americans showed an outpouring of love and support for their East Coast neighbors in need, and their financial contributions are being used to provide ongoing assistance in all communities impacted by this disaster.

971774_643738862320405_1735600392_n

“Slave sale” Raises Awareness About Salvation Army’s Efforts to Combat Trafficking

Slave-Sale-1

This post is being featured in recognition of White Ribbon Against Pornography Week (WRAP). This week is dedicated to raise public awareness about our culture’s pornography problem and it’s devastating affects to adults and children. The annual event creates a useful opportunity to also raise the issue of pornography within the Church, and to call all Christians to renewed lives of sexual purity and freedom. This year, the event will take place from October 27-November 3.

“Slave sale” in front of The Salvation Army to raise awareness of human trafficking.
Hundreds of commuters and tourists walking past The Salvation Army’s International Headquarters in central London on Friday were greeted with the sight of human ‘slaves’ being sold at a makeshift market stall.

It was, of course, not a real slave sale – it was an attempt to draw attention to the various ways in which people of all ages and backgrounds can be trafficked and forced to work for little or no pay, often under threat of violence.

The slave sale was organized by Salvation Army representatives from the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland to highlight Anti-Slavery Day, which is marked in various ways across Europe on the 18th of October.

The Salvation Army in the UK works with the Government to support victims of human trafficking, providing secure accommodation when needed and care and support to meet the needs of this very vulnerable group of people in England and Wales. This is just one of many Salvation Army projects worldwide that address the causes and outcome of trafficking.

A pamphlet handed out to passers-by included stories of people helped by The Salvation Army and revealed that ‘in less than two years more than 800 victims of human trafficking have been supported by The Salvation Army and its partners’.
:: To find out more about anti-trafficking efforts around the world, please click here.:: Click here to learn about what’s being done to help victims of trafficking in the US. This post was originally featured on The Salvation Army Western Territory’s blog, Expect Change and was contributed by Kathy Lovin of The Salvation Army Western Territory.