Saintly Donor Returns with Signature Kettle Gift

saintly donor
The following was originally posted on The Salvation Army Northern Division’s blog.

St. Grand, the benevolent giver who began stuffing 10 crisp $100 bills in Salvation Army kettles in 2011, has struck again. For the first time this season, a bundle of 10 $100 bills were stuffed into a Twin Cities red kettle at the Byerly’s in Roseville on Friday, Nov. 29.

“How appropriate,” said Major Jeff Strickler, Twin Cities Salvation Army Commander. “We just got the word out that kettles were 25 percent behind from last year and the next day we discover this amazing blessing.”

Strickler was quick to add that it takes those coins and $1 bills on a grand scale to really make this red kettle season successful.

“But it is so exciting for our bell ringers and those counting the money to discover these little bundles of joy,” he said.

St. Grand first broke onto the scene in 2011 and gave a total of 22 gifts in the Twin Cities and one outside the metro area. Last year in 2012 St. Grand was credited with 22 $1,000 gifts, including four in greater Minnesota.

“It really doesn’t matter if this is one person or multiple people,” said Strickler. “It has become legendary for us – an example of selfless giving without recognition.”

 

Posted by Jackie on Thursday, December 5, 2013 ·

Day One Down & Four Remain For World Record!

We are just past  the 24 hour mark of our World Record Bell Ringing contest and four bell ringers are still ringing strong!

This contest raises awareness for The Salvation Army’s 123rd annual Red Kettle Campaign while posing an exciting opportunity to set a new world record.

World Record Bell RingingContestant Andre Thompson of Tyler. TX is still up and going outside in front of Walgreens. He’s very motivated and physically still feels great!

Sprits are looking good so far, “I love this! My body is really holding up well”, says contestant Andre Thompson of Tyler, TX.  “I think the record is mine. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! In the end it’s mind over matter!”

 

 

 

World Record Bell RingingLt. Rob Lawler in Helena, MT is still smiling while ringing in NINE degree whether. Brr!

 

 

 

 

Captain Emily Jones of Compton, CA was the first to hang up her bell around 9:00 p.m  PT. She was ringing outside Walgreens.  The next contestant to lay down his bell was Quinton Green at 4:15 a.m PT. He was ringing outside of Walmart in Hanford, CA.

 

World Record Bell Ringing

We thank Captain Jones and Quinton for their valiant effort raising awareness for The Salvation Army!
Captain James Brickson is bringing joy at Northbridge Mall in Albert Lea. MN.

We are grateful for each of our participants. Their incredible effort will help The Salvation Army provide assistance to millions in need this Christmas and all year round.  So thank you!

 

 

Join in the conversation and support these volunteers with #Ringiton on Twitter.
And don’t’ forget to check back here for updates! Visit: www.Facebook.com/SalvationArmyUSA and www.Twitter.com/SalvationArmyUS for all updates.
Keep up the great work!

Posted by Jackie on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 ·

How Your Kettle Donations Help Families Like “Jack’s”

Akron_Child_holding_Mom_s_hand-2

The following was contributed by Major Mark Brown, Area Commander for The Salvation Army Coastal Alabama Area Command and featured as part of AL.com’s “Neediest Families” Campaign. Visit http://www.al.com/neediest-families/ to read more. 

Surely I had been given the wrong address. Cracked windows, broken blinds and a feeling of abandonment had overtaken the small dwelling. Then the curtain moved. As I got out of my car, the front door scraped open and an elderly man (let’s call him Jack), leaning heavily on his walking cane, beckoned me inside.

I was visiting one of Coastal Alabama’s Neediest Families, a privilege that is mine as commander for area Salvation Army services. I say privilege because I get to meet people at some of the toughest times in their lives and then, through the ministry of The Salvation Army and the generosity of our donors, provide food, clothes, furniture and financial assistance that can make the difference between hopelessness and seeing light at the end of what is often a long, dark tunnel.

I found out later that Jack, a former education department employee, doesn’t invite people inside his home often. I could see why. The only furniture in the house apart from some old beds was a small round coffee table, one adult garden chair and three children’s garden chairs. Jack sat, I stood. Also, Jack was a lot younger than I originally thought. He was taking care of his three young children, three of the brightest, most polite and well-mannered children I have ever met.

Jack’s story is not uncommon. The causes may differ, but the outcomes are similar: A challenging marriage, a low-paying job, fewer hours at work, then disaster. In Jack’s case, his house and all his belongings were destroyed in a fire five years ago. Shortly afterward, he had to quit his job following leg surgery which left him unable to walk or stand except for short periods. Jack receives some money for his disability and he uses this to pay bills and buy food, clothes and the essentials for his children. Replacing the sofa, dining table, chairs and other furnishings destroyed in the fire is simply unaffordable, and so the family eats either sitting on the floor or on their beds. Homework is typically done on the bed.

This past week, just in time for Christmas, we took Jack and his three children a sofa, dining table and chairs. This is why I mentioned earlier what a privilege it is for me to visit with some of our area’s neediest families who are grateful, beyond words, for these unexpected gifts from caring, unknown neighbors in our Coastal Alabama community.

Advice I can recall being given regularly by my mother and grandmother was that there is always someone worse off than me. As a child, I didn’t really understand or benefit from these words of wisdom. As an adult, I see them lived out in our shelters and those seeking welfare assistance from The Salvation Army every day.

You can read their stories at AL.com:

The mother with terminal cancer whose husband left the family just a few weeks after the diagnosis was confirmed.

The young family struggling to get on their feet again following job loss and illness.

The mother of four with a debilitating disease that makes walking a difficulty, yet every day she cooks using a neighbor’s stove and brings the hot food across the busy road to her family.

The single father of two teenage boys working two jobs to make ends meet, who then must be hospitalized.

Or the recently widowed grandmother of an autistic child she is caring for who suddenly needs open-heart surgery following a heart attack just weeks after she spent her savings on her husband’s funeral.

For many reading this, these circumstances will be all too familiar in your own lives or those of family members. Others of us have been spared the distress, worry and uncertainty these circumstances create. We are the fortunate ones.

I’ve been a Salvation Army officer for 35 years. It is a God-given privilege to be the hands and feet of Jesus working with people going through these toughest times.

As I work with men, women and children experiencing crisis situations, I am always encouraged by the words in Matthew 25 where Jesus tells us that whenever we feed the hungry, provide clothing or shelter to a stranger, whenever we take care of someone who is sick or support the prisoner – we do all of this as if for Jesus himself.

To support The Salvation Army’s services for individuals like Jack, visit http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/.

#RingitOn! 6 Bell Ringers Competing for World Record

Celebrating Giving Tuesday, The Salvation Army kicked off the third annual World Record Bell Ringing Contest at 12:00 p.m. EST today.
Six individuals at kettle locations in California, Minnesota, Montana, and Texas are attempting to set a new world record for continuous hand bell ringing by an individual at a red kettle, to help raise awareness for The Salvation Army’s 123rd annual Red Kettle Campaign.

Contestants must brave the elements – such as weather, fatigue, and hunger – while ringing a bell continuously, and are allowed five minutes of rest for every hour of ringing. Last year, two-year reigning champ Darrell Tureskis of Springfield, IL tied the record at 80 hours along with Jason Perkins of Suisun City, CA and Ryan Gass of Roswell, NM.

Here are this year’s brave contestants:

Captain James Brickson: Albert Lea, MN

Ringing at: Northbridge Mall (2510 Bridge Ave. Albert Lea, Mn 56007)  

“For years now we have staffed our kettle locations with 100% volunteer participation, that allows for 100% giving to support the need and it allows for the opportunity to give when a person’s not able to even financially give, volunteer!” said Brickson. “This is not a community that is industrial or flooded with huge factories but we are HUGE with heart, I want to celebrate that.”

 

Captain Emily Jones: Compton, CA

Ringing at: Walgreens (1344 W. Redondo Beach Blvd. Gardena, CA)

Captain Jones wants everyone to know that she believes in the Army’s mission so much that she will stand as long as she can at a kettle in order to raise awareness for the immense need in her community, and to raise funds so the Army can continue to meet those needs!

 

Lt. Rob Lawler: Helena, MT

Ringing at: Walmart (2750 Prospect Ave, Helena, MT 59601)

As a Corps officer for the last 2 ½ years, Rob has been with The Salvation Army since he started volunteering in 1995.
“I feel kettles are one of the most important ways that The Salvation Army story can be told,” said Lawler.

 

Major Marcelino “Butch” Soriano: San Diego, CA

Ringing at: Walmart Supercenter (1120 S Mount Vernon Ave, Colton, CA)

As the Divisional Finance Secretary for the Sierra Del Mar Division of The Salvation Army in California, Soriano was a participant in the World Record Bell Ringing Contest in 2011 and rang for 51 hours at a location in San Francisco. His main purpose for competing is to raise awareness of the mission of The Salvation Army.
He is ringing at a location outside of a metropolitan area this year because The Salvation Army serves in communities that are sometimes forgotten. He loves the Lord and desires to bring honor and glory to His name in all he does.

 

Andre Thompson: Tyler, TX

Ringing at: Walgreens (5415 South Broadway Ave. Tyler, TX 75703)

Andre Thompson, aka “Exalt”, promotes the gospel of Jesus Christ through Gospel Rap. After taking a tour of The Salvation Army’s facility in Tyler, TX, he was spurred to give back in a larger way by volunteering to participate for this contest. He hopes to help raise awareness and money for The Salvation Army in Tyler, and his only request for participation is that God gets all the glory!

The question is: will he rap during the contest? We hope so!

 

Quinton Green: Hanford, CA

Ringing at: Walmart Supercenter (250 S. 12 Ave Hanford, CA 93230)

Originally from Phoeniz, AZ, Quinton is a 19-year old student at the College of Sequoias with a passion for Jesus and people. He sees this challenge as an opportunity to learn and help others in need.

 

 

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You can join in the conversation on Twitter with #RingitOn. Stay tuned here for updates, and check out the conversation on Twitter: www.twitter.com/salvationarmyus. And if you live nearby, we hope you’ll show your support by visiting these contestants at their locations.

**May the best bell ringer win!**

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Emblem3 to Perform at Saturday’s Rock the Red Kettle Concert!

emblem3

We’re excited to announce that Emblem3 will be performing at The Salvation Army’s 4th annual Rock the Red Kettle concert this Saturday Comprised of brothers Keaton and Wesley Stromberg and friend Drew Chadwick, Emblem3’s ambitious trio will help raise awareness of The Salvation Army’s recently-launched Red Kettle Campaign with a performance at Universal CityWalk’s “5 Towers” venue in Los Angeles alongside Kelly Rowland, Coco Jones, Noelle Bean, and headliner Austin Mahone.

The band’s big break came by competing on reality talent show, X Factor before signing to Syco Records label, which released the trio’s debut, “Nothing to Lose,” in July. We’re excited to hear them perform hits off the new album and to get fans excited about giving back this Christmas and throughout the year!

The free concert will take place on December 7 at 5 p.m. PST and be streamed live on the Salvation Army Tumblr page. Get the latest concert info at www.SalvationArmyUSA.tumblr.com and use #RocktheRedKettle to join in! Only five days left…see you in LA!

Grocery Shopping This Week? Throw a Few More Items in Your Cart for Families in Need

It’s Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, a week dedicated to awareness, education, homelessness, food insecurity, and poverty as it affects those in our community and world.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, this week provides an excellent opportunity to donate a box of canned goods and other nonperishable items to your local Salvation Army to ensure a Thanksgiving meal for a family in need. Visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org for a list of locations near you.

And check out how The Salvation Army will serve communities this Thanksgiving and beyond, thanks to this video provided by The Salvation Army Vision Network (SAVN).

Posted by Megan

Cordon Bleu Chef Creates Cuisine From Food Pantry Staples

Chef-Jay-2-food-pantry

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.

The Las Vegas Review Journal did a public service this week in the pages of their paper.

They drew some much-deserved attention to the great work of Chef Jay Jones who does cooking demonstrations at our Family Service Center, and they shared some of his advice and recipes for those on a tight food budget.

Chef-Jay-1-food-pantryChef Jay Jones is a culinary heavyweight.

He had his own fine dining restaurant, has a background in Cordon Bleu, and teaches at the Las Vegas Culinary Academy.

And, as if that were not enough, he does cooking demonstrations on a regular basis for clients of The Salvation Army’s Food Pantry, located at 1581 N. Main Street in Las Vegas.

Chef Jay cooking with ramen noodles.

His recipes start with items that are part of the regular fare at the food pantry, then combines them with budget-friendly seasonings from the dollar store and foods that folks are likely to have at home already.

 

Here’s a great example:

Five spice ramen with sesame meatballs
½ pound ground beef
¼ cup breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons Chinese five-spice powder
2 packages ramen noodles
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, mix beef, breadcrumbs, onion powder, sesame oil and garlic powder until combined. Roll into ½-inch meatballs (larger if you like). Put on sheet pan and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven until brown and done (155 degrees internal temperature).

Bring 4 cups water to a boil add five-spice powder. Add ramen (do not add seasoning packets) and meatballs. Cook until ramen is done.

Click here to read the rest of the story on the Las Vegas Review Journal website.
Click here to connect with The Salvation Army in Southern Nevada on Facebook.
Click here to contact our Public Relations Director Leslee Rogers in Las Vegas if you’d like to support our food pantry!

Read original blog here.

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 ·

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.

 

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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.