Homeless karaoke lovers find a home at the Salvation Army

Karaoke

From left, Terrance Bostic, Shaun Carroll and Miesha McLeod sing karaoke at the Chattanooga Salvation Army on McCallie Avenue recently. The Salvation Army offers karaoke every Wednesday to give area homeless people something to look forward to. Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

A sleeping woman embraced her belongings in a corner booth, seemingly deaf to her surroundings as fellow homeless Chattanoogans took their turns belting out karaoke songs at the Chattanooga Salvation Army on Wednesday.

But she was the only one asleep — the rest of Chattanooga’s homeless karaoke lovers danced vigorously between the coffee tables at the small cafe.

Standing out of the way of the dancers, Jessica Owens, a 52-year-old who has been homeless on and off for the past eight years, waited to take the stage.

“I’m kind of shy but I used to sing when I was younger so this makes me feel good and brings back memories,” Owens said. “[Karaoke] gives me some peace, kinda gives me a little excitement, since the majority of the time I’m by myself.”

When she took the stage, she sang Whitney Houston, her favorite artist. Despite the eruption of applause when she finished, she kept her eyes low and offered only a hidden a smile.

Karaoke isn’t a hot shower, isn’t a free meal, isn’t a bed to sleep in — but it is a chance to feel human.

“Where else can homeless go to perform, be applauded and loved on in the Tennessee Valley?” asked Kimberly George, the director of marketing and development for the Salvation Army 614 Corps.

The weekly event offers people who love karaoke an alternative to going to a bar to sing, and brings people into the building who may otherwise not request help.

Sometimes karaoke can even change lives, said George. Since the karaoke events began three years ago, one man devoted his life to the seminary, and many others are now off the streets, some even returning to volunteer on a regular basis. George said she thinks karaoke day is unique to the Chattanooga location — no other programs like it are anywhere in the United States.

“It just touches my heart, seeing people trying to get off of the street,” said volunteer Fred Holland. “If they have a bad day or sad day or something on their mind, it allows them to sing it out instead of going out and doing drugs or getting in trouble.”

empty bowls

Salvation Army’s ‘Empty Bowls’ feed the hungry

empty bowlsSometimes it’s easy to forget, so some people tie a string around their fingers to remind them of something they are supposed to do or somewhere they are supposed to go.

If Kim May, director of the Pike County Salvation Army Service Center, could tie a string around 32,000 fingers to remind people of the Salvation Army’s Empty Bowls Luncheon on April 17 she would.

The annual Empty Bowls Luncheon is the Salvation Army’s second largest fundraiser behind the Red Kettle Campaign.

“The Empty Bowls Luncheon is an important fundraiser because the funds raised benefit our food bank,” May said. “Every day, we serve those who are in need of food for different reasons. Many of our requests for food come from elderly people who are living on fixed incomes. They often have to choose between buying food and having their prescriptions filled or refilled. They usually choose their medicines.”

May said when the weather is unusually cold or hot and utility bills skyrocket, requests for food increases.

“There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t have requests for assistance with food,’ she said. “We always need money to purchase items that are not readily donated, especially proteins and dry milk.”

May said the Empty Bowls Luncheon, not only supports the Salvation Army Food Bank; it’s also an art project and a social gathering.

“The funds from the Empty Bowls Luncheon feed the hungry in our community,” May said. “The luncheon is a gathering place for the community and there’s a wide selection of homemade soups, chilies and stews. Retired chef Ron Case always makes his famous Tortellini soup and Donna McLaney makes her award-winning chili. Local restaurants bring their specialty soups. You won’t find a better or wider selection of ‘bowl meals’ anywhere.”

Tickets for the Empty Bowls Luncheon are $20 and each ticket holder gets to take home a handmade bowl from a selection of about 150.

“This year, we’ll have bowls made by Larry Percy’s ceramics classes at Troy University and art students at Pike County High School and Pike Liberal Arts School,” May said. “The Global Studies class made bowls also.”

Leadership Pike participants and employees at First National Bank and Army Aviation made bowls for the Empty Bowls Luncheon.

“We have some beautiful bowls and some very unique bowls. They are all one of a kind,” May said. “The earlier you come to the luncheon, the greater your choice of bowls. So, we encourage everyone to come early and select a bowl and then enjoy a soup lunch and the fellowship of friends.”

The Empty Bowls Luncheon will be from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Bush Memorial Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. Bush Memorial is located on George Wallace Drive in Troy.

 

By: Jaine Treadwell

Tim Tebow to help Salvation Army raise funds to aide the homeless

tim-tebowFormer NFL quarterback Tim Tebow will be helping the Salvation Army of Manatee County, Florida raise funds for the homeless people in their community.

He will be going to Florida in time for the “2015 Evening of Hope” event on May 15, which will be held at the Bayside Community Church.

According to the Bradenton Herald, Tebow will be the event’s guest of honour and speaker, and the well-known Christian athlete will be talking about his faith and the importance of supporting the homeless community.

The “Evening of Hope” was established in 2014 to support the Salvation Army and its local homeless-prevention services.

“We feel blessed to be able to partner with such well know advocates like Tim Tebow,” said Manatee County regional salvation coordinator Major Dwayne Durham.

Tebow is a dedicated philantropist who has spent a lot of time caring for children who have been abandoned or who are battling illnesses.

Through his own non-profit organisation called the Tim Tebow Foundation, the quarterback builds playrooms in children’s hospitals, supports couples who want to adopt but are struggling financially, and even hosts special parties for sick children just to make them happy.

“From a very early age, my parents instilled in me the importance of God’s word, the salvation we have in His Son Jesus and the responsibility we have to give back to others,” said Tebow, as he explained their mission “to bring Faith, Hope and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need.”

One of the latest efforts of his foundation is the 5th Annual Celebrity Gala and Golf Classic, where they raised more than $1.5 million. The funds raised will go to Tebow’s initiatives – Orphan Care, Tebow CURE Hospital, Night to Shine Prom, and Timmy’s Playroom.

On their Facebook page, Tebow revealed that “3,000 fans, 330 volunteers, 84 golfers and 26 celebrity friends came together for 18 holes of excitement” to help benefit their cause.

Dillard’s Stores and The Salvation Army Drive to Do Good

coats-for-kids111

It’s no secret that it has become unseasonably cold for many parts of The United States. And with the temperatures continuing to drop, it’s time to bundle up.

This year, as you transition to your warmer wardrobe, consider freeing up some space in those cluttered closets and drawers by donating any jackets and coats you no longer wear to help support families who cannot afford proper winter attire.
Thanks to the generosity of Dillard’s Department Stores, The Salvation Army is helping to fill this need. This Saturday, November 22, select Dillard’s locations will host a one-day coat drive benefiting The Salvation Amy- and they need your help.

Visit one of the 86 participating stores this weekend and bring in any gently used coats and receive a token of appreciation from Dillard’s.
Just by clearing out your closet, you can make a huge difference in someone’s life.

If there is not a Dillard’s in your area, you can always donate gently used or new coats to your local Salvation Army Family Store. Just visit www.satruck.org and find the closet location near you.
A special thank you to Dillard’s for their generosity and support of The Salvation Army’s mission to Do The Most Good!
Dillard’s,The Salvation Amy, coat drive

Salvation Army begins Red Kettle campaign

red kettle

BENTONVILLE, Ark. —Volunteers, Bentonville city leaders and the Salvation Army will gather at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Harp’s Grocery Store in Bentonville to kick off the Red Kettle campaign.

The campaign will start the donation and fundraising season for the Salvation Army which receives most of its yearly budget during the months of November and December.

Most of the budget helps create a Christmas to remember for more than 2,000 less-fortunate children in Northwest Arkansas.

Donations will also help its programs that help the less-fortunate, those dealing with drug and alcohol problems and its shelters in Fayetteville and Bentonville.

In addition to donations, the Salvation Army is also looking for volunteers.

People can volunteer their time online or sponsor a kettle by going to the website redkettlevolunteer.org

Community Events

The Salvation Army Annual Report 2014

 

 

The Salvation Army Annual Report

“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.

Mountain of Taters

taters

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

Ingredients

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

Preparation

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.

 

Original Article can be seen here

Help fight food insecurity

food insecurity

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.

Spend tonight on couch and discover “hidden” issue facing young people!

Major Rod Ainsworth and Hannah Stead are supporting The Salvation Army’s appeal for people to sleep on a couch tonight to raise funds for youth homelessness

Hannah Stead knows better than most the hardships that face young people who have nowhere to go.

Hannah, 17, had her first taste of homelessness at 13 and has spent the past four years couch-surfing at friends’ houses or on the streets.

Hannah’s story isn’t unique, according to Darren McGee, manager of Youth Outreach Service (YOS), with youth homelessness an issue in Pine Rivers and greater Brisbane.

To raise awareness and funds, they are asking people to walk a mile in the shoes of young people such as Hannah and join the Salvation Army’s Couch Project.

“Youth homelessness is a hidden issue. When people think of homelessness they usually think of the old guys sleeping on the streets,” Mr McGee said.

“Well that’s not the facts, about 40 per cent of the homeless are young people sleeping on couches, so it is hidden homelessness.

“We are challenging people to sleep on the couch for a night on Saturday, do some fundraising and sleep like these young people who are couch-surfing.’’

It will help people going down the same route as Hannah.

“I stayed in about five or six different places over about two months and ran out of money and people started not wanting me on the couch anymore,” she said.

“My stuff was everywhere. I had nowhere to put it, I was eating their food, using their laundry and showering.

“They were getting over having me there.

“Sometimes I would just go spend a night on the streets because I felt guilty asking if I could just stay one more night.”

The Couch Project will raise funds and help the Salvation Army’s work helping young people.