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The Salvation Army in Central Kentucky: LemonAiD


Salvation Army Central Kentucky’s LemonAiD program empowers young people to make a positive difference in their community by operating a lemonade stand during the month of July and donating the proceeds to help homeless children residing in The Salvation Army’s Emergency Homeless Shelter.

The Central Kentucky Salvation Army has a 152 bed shelter for the homeless trying to make ends meet, a day care for little ones that is Head Start approved, a clinic run by a physician and University of Kentucky student volunteers, and a Boys & Girls Club that serves 600 children each year, replete with a basketball court, a computer room, and a couple of very popular fooz tables.
But the Central Kentucky Salvation Army is about more than programs. It’s about people.
Last Friday morning, 30 board members showed up for a retreat to brainstorm on attracting younger supporters to the work and ministry of The Salvation Army.
30 board members. On a weekday. Early. Pre-donuts.

Marcia Larson, Salvation Army National Advisory Board member presenting to board members of The Salvation Army – Lexington, KY.

This committed board is galvanizing Lexington & Georgetown volunteers like the 1,593 who raised $48,000 this year running Lemon Aid stands to support homeless children in Lexington.  Or the volunteers getting ready to run in the Scott County 5K walk later this month.

Salvation Army officers like Majors Debra & Steve Ashcraft who give of their time, talent, and treasure as they pour their lives into their community. As they took my mom and me around the Salvation Army campus last week, Debra told us about a young boy in their music camp. A camp where 250 children learn to play music each year.

This little guy was shy. Afraid. Lacked self-confidence.

Over time, as Salvation Army officers mentored this little guy on the trumpet, he started coming out of his shell. He felt less afraid. He found a talent to share with the world. He gained confidence.
And then, one day, he got up in front of an audience at the Corps and played that trumpet for everyone. He started looking up.
The work of The Salvation Army is about our Lord lifting up heads. It’s about building skills and developing God-given talents in people so that they see themselves as God sees them. Worthy. Redeemed. Valuable – whether they’re homeless, unemployed, hungry or spiritually impoverished.

But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. – Psalm 3:3
For more on Central Kentucky’s work lifting heads, click here.
***Marcia Larson is a Board Member of The Salvation Army & The Micah Global Foundation. She received her B.A. from Vanderbilt and M.A. in French / Art History (NYU) and Public Policy (Texas A&M). She enjoys being a Twitter coach at Dow Jones / The Wall Street Journal. She currently resides in New York City. Her favorite verse is Micah 6:8.

FlatRate Moving’s Upcycling Program Makes Moving More Meaningful with Salvation Army

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Moving homes can be a painful, yet motivating process of cleaning, organizing and simplifying your life. Attics are cleared, closets are cleaned and those weddings gifts you meant to return in 2007 are packed away for another dusty shelf at the new digs.

Sure, one may have every intention of donating unwanted items to someone who wants or needs them, but the actual process of doing so – especially in the middle of a huge life transition like moving – can be cumbersome.

That’s why we’re thrilled about a new partnership between The Salvation Army Eastern Territory and FlatRate Moving®, the innovative, nationwide leader in moving and storage.

The company is making moves mean more through a new Upcycling Program where customers will be offered two “upcycling” boxes, which can be ordered in advance of the big move, to be filled with unwanted toys, books, clothing and other small home goods. The boxes are then transported free of charge to Salvation Army Family Stores across New York City.

“Through this partnership, FlatRate Moving® will connect our clients to this respected organization and facilitate a culture of upcycling items from those who no longer want them to those who may need them,” said Sharone Ben-Harosh, Founder, FlatRate Moving.

FlatRate’s thoughtful partnership has the potential of delivering 36,000 boxes of gently used goods to The Salvation Army, a great benefit to our Adult Rehabilitation Centers which are funded by the Family Stores, and help provide drug and alcohol counseling to over 300,000 men and women each year.

To contact FlatRate Moving®, visit www.FlatRate.com.

Raley’s Store Customers & Employees Donate $37,110.22 for Oklahoma Tornado Relief.

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Jennie Teel-Wolter, Community Relations Manager for Raley’s Family of Fine Stores presents the check to Major Lisa Dickinson, Salvation Army Divisional leader.

Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, a Sacramento-based grocer, announced Tuesday that $74,220.44 was raised by store customers and employees thanks to the Food for Families collection boxes that were designated for the Oklahoma Tornado Relief efforts during the month of June.
The donation, collected in only four weeks, has been split between The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross with each organization receiving a check for $37,110.22 to be used for Oklahoma relief efforts. Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) teams of The Salvation Army have been providing disaster relief to Oklahomans in need since the EF5 tornado swept through the region on May 20.

In July, The Salvation Army transitioned to long-term recovery operations for families and individuals who have been impacted by the storm, including everything from food and financial assistance to emotional care and rebuilding efforts. These efforts will continue for at least the next two years.

“This is another great example of the incredible generosity of this community,” said Major Bill Dickinson, Salvation Army Divisional Commander of the Del Oro Division. “The Salvation Army is truly grateful for efforts made by Raley’s and its customers and employees. This will go a long way to provide any assistance now and in the future for the families and individuals in Oklahoma.”

The Salvation Army gives thanks for the patrons and employees of Raley’s for making this contribution possible.

For the latest disaster services updates or ways to give, please visit: http://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org/

A Huge Thanks to Target from Students in Oklahoma & Arkansas

In partnership with The Salvation Army, Target is providing a memorable back-to-school shopping experience that equips children in need with all the essentials for a successful academic year. And the campaign, which awarded 12,000 children, affiliated with Salvation Army youth programs, with $80 gift cards to shop for clothing and supplies with the help of a designated chaperon, is doing more than filling backpacks.

Our back-to-school program with Target provides emotional encouragement for families in need. These kids are getting jazzed for the school year ahead while parents are relieved of the rising costs associated with the annual shopping tradition.

Want to support The Salvation Army’s back-to-school programs? Find your local Salvation Army here. 
With the help of volunteers, students from Norman, OK checked off their teacher’s lists by picking out supplies – and their favorite clothes – courtesy of Target’s generosity.

Check out this touching video from The Salvation Army Arkansas-Oklahoma Division, and help us say “Thank You” to Target by ‘Liking’ and commenting on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/target).

Study reveals Millennials are Charitable, Influential, & Eager to Connect Over a Cause

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Millennials – all 80 million of us – get a bad rap.

If you’re currently between the ages of 18-34, you’re a part of ‘Generation ME’ and collectively called lazy, narcissistic, and impatient. But other characteristics contradict these accusations to some degree: we’re also said to be open-minded, more supportive of equal rights, confident, upbeat, self-expressive, receptive to new ideas, and best of all – giving.

A study called The Millennial Impact reveals the “Me Generation” is actually extremely philanthropic. And this doesn’t include the “slacktivism” that exists on Facebook. But let’s be honest – it felt darn good to Like that dog photo and donate someone else’s money to rescue efforts.

Rather, we look outward rather than inward, relying on the influence of our peers when it comes to taking action. And once we’re inspired, the study reveals that we’ll go to great lengths to get family, friends and loved ones involved in our causes.
Lazy? Selfish? Hardly!

In fact, millennials are compassionate and eager to commit their time, money and skills toward causes and organizations. The study revealed that 75% of millennials donated to charitable causes last year, while 63% gave time to volunteer. While millennials are more likely to donate in smaller amounts across several organizations, they are also apt to fundraise on behalf of nonprofits by soliciting support from friends and family. And when organizations offer volunteer opportunities with limited barriers to entry (remember, we’re impatient), millennials are most likely to give back through events or by freely offering their knowledge and expertise to their charity of choice.

Take The Salvation Army Twin Cities MOST Amazing Race for example, a fundraiser based off of the popular CBS show “Amazing Race,” where teams of two people run around the city making pit stops to complete various challenges. The goal of the race is to raise awareness and funds for The Salvation Army, and commitment and fundraising are prerequisites for competing.

In the end, 30 teams raised $72,921 for food and shelter programs of The Salvation Army through activities such as planking, Bollywood dancing, and plunging off a 25-foot-high platform. And you can be darn sure these events were well documented on participants’ Facebook and Instagram pages.

You often hear that good deeds are rooted in selfishness, and there may be a bit of truth to that, but that’s because giving back feels really, really good. And if you can brag about your good work on Instagram, filter and all, and maybe even inspire your friends to do the same, then what’s the problem?

Transitional Living Program Equips Employed, Homeless Men With Tools for Self-Sufficiency

Unveiling the new Men’s Transitional Housing Center in Hickory, NC on July 12, which will serve 11 employed but homeless men in need. Photo: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Salvation-Army-of-Hickory/193314167414214

There can be so many reasons for becoming homeless, especially during these tough economic times. Whether you’ve been evicted, deal with substance abuse, face a domestic break-up or any other type of crisis, The Salvation Army is there to lend a helping hand.

The Salvation Army’s Transitional Housing Program is designed for homeless and low-income families and individuals who need help regaining their independence by the power of healing and learning the life skills they need to be successful.  Housing is provided on a temporary basis for varying amounts of time to help individuals get back on their feet.

In addition to food and shelter, most centers provide a variety of educational, health care, counseling, and vocational services to homeless and destitute individuals and families. All programs vary depending on the needs of the community.

One example of this program is our new transitional housing facility that recently opened in Hickory, N.C. This building will provide shelter and services for 11 men for up to two years, who are employed, yet homeless. This particular program is designed to fight the cycle of homelessness by providing these men with the necessary tools they need in order to become self –sufficient through shelter, education and spiritual healing. Skills classes include topics such as budget counseling, substance abuse education, job training, and GED courses. The ultimate goal is for each man to leave the center with enough money for a deposit a permanent residence or a financial cushion.

Each year, The Salvation Army provides more than 10 million nights of shelter to those in need thanks to our generous supporters. We are always seeking volunteers to share life experience skills and mentor clients. To lend your skills to The Salvation Army, click here or visit www.volunteermatch.org for a list of Salvation Army opportunities in your area.

Salvation Army programs vary with local needs. For information on specific programs and locations, contact your local Salvation Army Corps Community Center by doing a zip code search in our website’s Location field.

Good news out of Camden! New Kroc Center

Posted by Jackie

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Photo Credit: Kroc Center – Camden

The Salvation Army Kroc Corps Community Center of Camden, NJ is set to open October 2014 in the most dangerous, poorest neighborhood in America, a place where 35% of families live below the poverty line.

This center (affordably priced at $200 annually for a family of 4) will provide a place to exercise (fight obesity), learn (after schools programs in arts & music education, hallmarks of The Salvation Army), and serve as a safe gathering place in the community, for the community.
The Camden Kroc will do more than create 160 jobs in a city defined by decay and brokenness.  It will create countless opportunities for healing, growth, and education.

Major Paul Cain took me around the 24 acres yesterday – acres anchored in hope for a neighborhood with the highest murder rate in the country. A place where “hatchet job” is not a metaphorical phrase.

On the ride from Philly to Camden and across town I didn’t see one gym. Instead, I saw lots of boarded up homes, lots of people sitting on the streets with nothing to do. Lots of hopelessness.
But where I see hopelessness, Major Cain sees hope.

As we drove around the former landfill, I saw dirt. Major Cain sees potential. I saw a dead end. Major Cain sees promise. I saw steel beams; Major Cain sees the baseball, basketball and soccer fields, swimming pool, client choice food pantry, day care center, pond, and solar panel field soon to come.

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Major Cain says “it’s hard to find good news in Camden.” This Kroc Center is indeed good news. Good news built with bricks and concrete – but also with love.

Thanks to the generosity of corporate sponsors, political leaders  like Mayor Dana Redd, who have championed this project, and countless individuals devoted to seeing this thing happen – such as founder and donor, Joan Kroc of McDonald’s – is now birthing the 27th Kroc Center in the United States.

As it opens, we’re reminded that we didn’t build it. Collective generosity did. Wells Fargo, Campbell’s, the city of Camden, individuals who care – helped make this center a reality. It’s not ours. It’s God’s. The community’s. It’s not just for programs, it’s for people.

What happens within the 120,000 square feet of the Camden Kroc remains to be seen. But it’s built with love and the Salvation Army staff & officers vision as they live out a love that “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
There is good news in Camden, good news founded on truly Good News. Something the Cain’s and Rivera’s can tell you about.

Salvation Army keeps Phoenix hydrated during hot summer days

One of our Phoenix-area cooling stations

According to The Washington Post, the state of Arizona is in the top 10 fastest warming states since the 1970’s. Every summer, too many of Arizona’s homeless and elderly go without water and necessary items to keep them hydrated and protected from the extreme temperatures. As the temperatures rise, access to clean water and protection from the sun becomes an issue of life or death.

On average Arizona sees 109 days of 100-plus degree temperatures. For many, access to air conditioning, pools and fans is a constant comfort while others are not as fortunate.  Last year, officials estimate that about 100 elderly shut-ins and homeless people died of dehydration.

The Salvation Army’s Heat and Hydration Project Program, in partnership with local police and fire organizations, provides water and other helpful items to Arizona’s most vulnerable—our homeless and elderly.

Last week, 3TV and Safeway collected 92,307 bottles of water and $16,783 during a water drive for The Salvation Army. Currently, local Phoenix Ford dealerships are holding their own water drive continuing into next week.

Water donations are welcome. Every case of water you donate will be distributed through The Salvation Army on heat emergency days at one of our cooling stations.

Find the full article at The Salvation Army Western Territory’s blog, Expect Change, by clicking here.

For more information about donating to this program click here.

To learn more about The Salvation Army visit: www.salvationarmyusa.org

As We Grow

In 2012, The Salvation Army and the Tallahassee Sustainability Group of Tallahassee, Florida joined forces to create a community garden in an effort to fight poverty and hunger. Their vision is to help families in need to grow their own food, help provide The Salvation Army with fresh produce for the food pantry boxes and to help families learn new skills to gain self-sufficiency.
The garden was originally located in a little corner of land behind a local Salvation Army Family Stores and has since expanded to create more opportunity for the public to get involved.
The Tallahassee Sustainability Group has become a tremendous partner in The Salvation Army’s fight against hunger and has taken strides in educating the public about food and agriculture, increasing accessibility to fresh, healthy, food, and strengthening communities by means of urban farming.
This wonderful program is in the process of expanding to other locations.
Please enjoy this incredible video, “As We Grow”, produced by the Florida State University Media Department.

To learn more about The Salvation Army visit: www.salvationarmyusa.org

Filed under Doing The Most Good · Tagged with FSU, hunger, poverty, Tallahassee, The Salvation Army

Matt Adolfson: A Veteran Story

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Craig Dirkes is a public relations writer and photographer for The Salvation Army Northern Division. Click here to learn more or find them on Facebook by visiting https://www.facebook.com/SalvationArmyNorth. Editor’s note: This story highlights The Salvation Army’s service to military men and women. It is being told in celebration of National Donut Day, which took place Friday, June 7.

Matt Adolfson was flying somewhere over Germany on March 17, 2003, when President George W. Bush gave Saddam Hussein an ultimatum: leave Iraq within 48 hours or face U.S. military action.

Matt, then a 25-year-old U.S. Army medic, heard the news when he landed in Kuwait. Two days later, he was at war.

Matt would spend the next eight months using every bit of his medical training.

“I was part of a mobile hospital – like what you see on the TV show M*A*S*H, only smaller,” he said. “I helped a lot of people who were in explosions; one guy had his leg blown off. My nerves were always going crazy. Everything was always happening fast, fast, fast.”

Back Home, New Battle

Matt’s tour ended that November. In August 2004, he completed his military career and moved to Michigan to live with his uncle; his parents had died years earlier and he has no siblings. Civilian life was difficult.

“I always felt hyper-vigilant, like I wasn’t doing enough,” Matt said. “In the military, I was doing more in one day than some people do all week.”

In 2007, Matt began suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Seemingly innocuous sounds, sights and smells triggered terrible memories.

“The smell of burning garbage, seeing a military vehicle – it all brought me right back,” said Matt, who is doing much better today after years of counseling. “At first I tried forcing myself to forget, but that didn’t work. I learned to embrace my past and not run from it. I learned to get used to things and adapt.”

Matt eventually moved to Minnesota to be near his other relatives and work his way through college. The war changed him, but he remains proud to have served his country.

Salvation Army support

In 2012, Matt had to adapt to another hardship: an empty bank account. While working that summer, several of his paychecks were delayed due to an administrative blunder. He fell behind on his bills and couldn’t recover. By November, he was facing eviction from his North St. Paul apartment.

Thankfully, a friend told him about The Salvation Army Veteran’s Homeless Prevention Program. Since 2011, the program has provided financial assistance, case management, referrals and much more to nearly 180 veterans or veteran families in Ramsey County.

“Veterans have risked their lives serving us – giving back to them is our duty,” said Lt. Col. Robert Thomson, Salvation Army Northern Division Commander.

Matt met with Salvation Army case manager Krystle Englund, who gave him financial assistance to catch up on his rent.

“She even called my landlord to advocate for me,” Matt said. “I’m not used to asking for help; I’m the kind of person who would rather bite the bullet. Krystle took away all my anxiety.”

Matt is no longer in danger of being evicted, and his life is looking pretty good. After completing his associate’s degree in 2011, he plans to study for a bachelor’s degree in social work – a field he’s been inspired to pursue because of the help Krystle gave him. The lifelong volunteer also wants to start donating his time to The Salvation Army – particularly at its food shelf in Maplewood.

“Matt is a very strong individual who served his country and still wants to give back by volunteering,” Krystle said. “He is always optimistic for the future. Working with veterans like Matt is the best part of my job, hands down.”

The Salvation Army operates a similar veterans program in North Dakota that covers the entire state. In addition, The Salvation Army operates a number of veteran housing programs throughout Minnesota, including a 10-unit apartment complex in South Minneapolis.

“The Salvation Army is committed to serving veterans – helping them is a privilege,” Thomson said.