Blind artist paints for others at Salvation Army “Let your Hands be the Eyes”

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

Changing the Coffee Culture

coffee culture

Salvos Coffee works to decrease labor exploitation and increase sustainability.

By Faye Michelson – 

Imagine coffee cherries grown without fertilizers or pesticides in the rich volcanic soil of Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) pristine Eastern Highlands and picked, pulped, washed and sorted by hand in remote villages, then dried in the sun for three days.

The Salvation Army works with coffee farmers and their families in this remote part of the world to ensure they receive a fair price for their harvest.

coffee culture 2“Coffee growers would walk for days with 30 kilograms [66 pounds] of coffee beans in bags on their backs to get to a roadside to sell, only to get ripped off,” said Luke Soper, business development manager for the PNG Territory. And so the Salvos Coffee program—initiated and developed in 2007 in PNG as a Community Advancement Reform Enhancement—assists 700 growers and their 3,500 family members in growing, harvesting and preparing beans for sale.

Soper’s job is to ensure the program is financially sustainable so that other aspects of The Salvation Army’s work with the farmers—such as health, hygiene, literacy, financial and agricultural education—can expand.

“Coffee growers who once would have had no other option but to sell their coffee for an unfair price at the roadside are now empowered,” Soper said. For instance, the program started a “passbook system” that releases profits to the growers when they want it until they have proper proof of identity or birth to open their first bank account.

Joseph Manase of the Kesawaka area wanted to become a pastor, but left school in fourth grade. When Salvos Coffee field officers went to his village they talked to him about resuming his education and showed him how to save money for school fees. He now attends high school with the money earned by his wife, who continues to work with Salvos Coffee in their village and also sends their children to school.

When the Ivoti people sold their coffee at a higher price than they expected they used the profit to buy roofing iron, coffee pulping machines and gardening tools. The Salvos Coffee team took them to a warehouse to buy the goods and helped arrange transportation of the equipment.

The program works through a cluster system centered around local Salvation Army churches in each participating village.

Community endorsement is vital for this project to succeed. We work to establish a rapport with the village headman and growers, because without that we can’t make headway.

“That’s very important; The Salvation Army is respected and trusted, and people understand we are there to help bring opportunity and fairness,” Soper said. “Community endorsement is vital for this project to succeed. We work to establish a rapport with the village headman and growers, because without that we can’t make headway.”

Salvos Coffee faces many community challenges, including domestic and family violence, so in addition to economics, the program also addresses resolving conflict and managing anger.

Soper divides his time between Sydney and PNG, a country that spans “tropical island to mountainous highlands.”

“One of the tough things, though, is living between a world of excess in Australia and extreme need in PNG,” he said. “We face many challenges—the ruggedness and the remoteness, and the cost of transportation.” Yet he said he finds reward in helping people in need. “It’s also important for me to be able to share with people in Australia—and my four young children—how well off we are and what we are doing in PNG to make a real and sustainable difference,” he said.

The Church Partnership Program provided funding to sustain Salvos Coffee for many years, and now the program must be self-sustaining. As Soper said, “Your purchase of our coffee helps fund a dedicated team in PNG to provide much-needed support services for remote, marginalized coffee growers and their families.”

See more at salvos.org.au/coffee

This post was originally featured in The New Frontier Chronicle.

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.

Senior Army Officials Meet with President Barack Obama

barack obama

President Barack Obama welcomed The Salvation Army’s national leaders to the White House for a brief visit on August 5.

Commissioners David and Barbara Jeffrey and Lt. Colonels Ron and Carol Busroe met with President Obama on a number of issues relating to the Army’s role as a faith-based organization working with the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Under the Domestic Policy Council, this office works to build bridges between the federal government and non-profit organizations to more effectively serve Americans in need.

Prior to meeting with Mr. Obama, the Jeffreys and Busroes spoke with Melissa Rogers, Executive Director of the White House Faith-Based Initiative, and Paulette Aniskoff, Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office for Public Engagements. The preliminary meeting with Rogers and Aniskoff focused on the following: “Pathway of Hope,” the Army’s national initiative to break the cycle of inter-generational poverty; Addiction & Recovery, including Adult Rehabilitation Centers, corps rehabilitation centers, and Harbor Lights; and youth programs such as the Kroc Centers, youth clubs and educational and character-building programs. Also on the agenda were disaster preparedness, religious exemptions and charitable deductions. The session with senior White House officials sought to discern how the Obama Administration’s priorities intersect with The Salvation Army’s mission and ministry.

“The Salvation Army has been committed to solving issues that mirror the President’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative,” Commissioner David Jeffrey said. Through this initiative, the Administration partners with cities, businesses and foundations to assist young people of color with mentoring, support networks and the skills they need to find a good job or attend college, and then work their way into the middle class.

The four officials told President Obama that The Salvation Army values its partnership with Domestic Policy Council priorities—a coalition that is independent of the federal government.

The president thanked The Salvation Army for its “untiring efforts” to serve the public during times of both national and personal disaster.

Commissioner David Jeffrey asked President Obama to protect charitable tax deductions and to enhance Salvation Army visibility before the American public. He ended the meeting with a prayer for the president’s leadership as well as for his family (see prayer below).

“The Salvation Army has been serving the American public since 1880 through programs like Pathway Of Hope and My Brother’s Keeper,” said Lt. Colonel Carol Busroe, the Army’s National Director for White House Relations.”This is nothing new to us; we’ve been at it for a very long time.”

Gold coin found in Salvation Army kettle

gold coin salvation army

Volunteers manning Salvation Army kettles in Naperville found a valuable gold coin amid the pocket change.

A 1-ounce South African Krugerrand worth about $1,300 was dropped into a kettle at Casey’s Foods on Dec. 6, according to the group. Casey’s was the site of a Krugerrand donation last year and also had a donor match contributions.

“We are so grateful for the generosity of our wonderful donors,” Salvation Army Aurora Corps Capt. Antonio Romero said in a news release. “The money raised from these red kettles goes directly to help fund the programs and services right here in our communities, so this coin will go a long way toward helping our friends and neighbors in need.”

Over the course of more than 25 years, the Salvation Army has received more than 400 gold coins, according to the group. Money donated in the kettles stay assists people in need with food, shelter, after-school programs and disaster relief.

So far this season, the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign has brought in more than $3.3 million, down about 8 percent compared to this time last year, which officials are attributing to the shorter holiday season. The group’s goal is to raise $13 million and it will have kettles on the streets until Dec. 24. Donations can also be made online through Jan. 31 at http://www.salarmychicago.org.

By Melissa Jenco, Chicago Tribune reporter

Salvation Army ringer sets 105-hour ring record

world record bell ringing competition

COLTON, Calif.—Salvation Army Maj. Marcelino “Butch” Soriano got a jump on ringing in the New Year this holiday season by ringing a bell for a record 105 consecutive hours outside a Wal-Mart in Colton this week.
The San Diego man’s reward: An estimated $2,700 he raised for charity and his name in the Salvation Army’s bell-ringing record book alongside those of fellow ringers James Brickson of Albert Lea, Minn., and Andre Thompson of Tyler, Texas, who matched him hour-for-hour.

“I feel a little bit tired, not as tired as I thought I would be,” he told UT San Diego ( http://bit.ly/1dZ4MYk) after putting down his ringer at 6 p.m. Saturday. “I’m excited the other people all agreed to stop at the same time, so now we have a three-way tie.”

He had originally planned to go for 100 hours, which would have shattered the old mark of 80 that was set last year. After reaching that mark, he considered ringing on until midnight before reaching agreement with his fellow ringers to stop at 6.

There were six contestants when the competition began Tuesday morning.

The rules allowed each ringer a five-minute break every hour that could be rolled over if they chose. Soriano, 46, would save his up so that he could take a 20-minute nap each day.

He said he never considered stopping, not even after someone stole his laptop before dawn Saturday.

“I’m doing great!” he said later Saturday. “People are coming up to me saying, ‘I saw you on the news, go for it, we know you can do it.'”

see the full article here
Associated Press

The General of The Salvation Army Pays Tribute to Nelson Mandela

nelson mandela

Salvation Army General André Cox pays tribute to Nelson Mandela in a letter to the family of the former South African President. He explained that his years spent in Africa had given him ‘a sense of the measure of Madiba’s life and influence’.

So many have already spoken eloquently or written lucidly,’ wrote the General. ‘I would simply wish to salute a great man – one whose character was nourished by hope, expressed through forgiveness, and testified to through reconciliation.’

He concluded: ‘I pray that you would each know the Father of compassion and God of all comfort drawing so very near to you. During this Advent season, may you each experience fully the peace of the Christ child.’

The General and Commissioner Silvia Cox spent four years as leaders of The Salvation Army’s Southern Africa Territory. As The Salvation Army’s first Africa-born world leader it is appropriate that he should pay tribute to the man who has been called the greatest-ever African.

Commissioner William Langa (Territorial Commander, Southern Africa Territory) said in a statement: ‘Mr Mandela’s immeasurable contribution to South Africa cannot be overstated. His commitment to helping the poor and vulnerable, and his pursuit of reconciliation in our divided society was a shining example to those of us who serve the Lord Jesus Christ through The Salvation Army. Salvationists throughout the world have recognised his statesmanship and moral leadership. May his soul rest in peace in the everlasting arms of Christ.’

The General’s letter can be seen in full at flic.kr/p/i7Qmzd

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 ·