Category Archives: Uncategorized

9 things to look forward to before Christmas

It’s our favorite time of year! The time when we celebrate the merriest of seasons while working to ensure a safety net and a hand up for our friends and neighbors who have fallen on tough times. So in the next few weeks, here are the things we are celebrating, and we hope you will too!

[Update 12/5/13] The ending time for Cans Film Festival was misstated as 6pm when it ends at 5pm. Our apologies for the confusion!

1. Giving Tuesday – December 3

This new, annual tradition is celebrated by charities all around the globe, and we would be honored to receive your support. Without your help, children all over Missouri and southern Illinois would not have Christmas and feel the love and security that all children deserve to feel. Make a donation December 3, and feel great that you have made a difference.

2. Cans Film Festival – December 7 from 9am – 5pm

Let’s check off the movies we want to see, shall we? The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Frozen. 12 Years a Slave. Last Vegas. The Book Thief. Or, if it’s your thing, Bad Grandpa. And you can see them for the great price of 5 CANNED GOODS at all Wehrenberg Theaters. That’s right. What would normally cost you $10-15 depending on the theater, will cost you the very reasonable price of 5 cans per person at all Wehrenberg locations. The goal is to raise 500,000 cans for families in need, so bring the family and enjoy the show.

3. Rams Ring Bells with Fox 2/KPLR 11 – December 10

The St. Louis Rams and Emerson have a challenge for everyone: as the Fox 2/KPLR 11 personalities and our favorite Rams players ring the bell at the Des Peres Schnucks, the goal is to raise $25,000. That includes a dollar for dollar match up to $10,000 thanks to Emerson. Shake some hands, snap a picture, and give hope to people in our community. Win-win-win.

4. Walmart Fill the Truck – December 13 4pm – 8pm, December 14 8am – 5pm

While you’re out shopping for the loved ones in your life, drop off an unwrapped toy in marked bins at Walmarts throughout the region, and we will distribute that toy to kids in need in partnership with Toys for Tots.

5. KCS Holiday Express – December 14 1:30pm – 7:30pm

After a few years of passing by St. Louis, the Kansas City Southern Holiday Express is BACK! As KCS generously donates gift cards to us from their employees to purchase toys and coats for kids in need, Union Station and KCS will host a Winter Wonderland including photos with Santa, face painting, balloon artists, interactive sports inflatables, cookies, hot chocolate, holiday music and movies! This is entirely free for all, so come down and get the kids rallied for Christmas!

6. Cardinals ring bells – December 17

Come grab a picture and hang out with your St. Louis Cardinals and drop some money in the kettle in the process! Come out to the Richmond Heights Schnucks from 10am – 6pm to hang with our NLCS champions.

7. Win a car from Bommarito Auto Group & Fox 2/KPLR 11 – Now until December 29

Drop some virtual change in your favorite personality’s kettle, and get a chance to win a brand new Mazda 3 courtesy of Bommarito Auto Group. $10 will get you one entry, and the number of entries are unlimited. Ever gotten a new car for $10? Now’s your chance. And all money goes to support The Salvation Army’s efforts to help people all across Missouri and southern Illinois.

8. Trans Siberian Orchestra – December 23

Our favorite Christmas group is back, and they are giving us $.25 of every ticket sold! So know that when you buy your tickets, they are going to a great cause!

9. Test drive a Fiat – now until December 31

Fiats are wonderful cars, and Lou Fusz is donating $25 for every car test driven at their Fiat Illinois and Creve Coeur locations as an extra incentive to fall in love with your new wheels!

Tell us which of these you are most looking forward to–and we’re excited to see you!


6 reasons why ringing the bell is the best

Ever since Captain Joseph McFee set up a crab pot and rang a bell in San Francisco in 1891 to raise money for the hungry, bell ringing has been a Christmas tradition all over the country.

But what makes bell ringing REALLY special (other than the money it raises to support the community) are the amazing volunteers who spice things up every day during Christmas at the kettle. Our favorites:

1. Sleeves are optional! (But clothing is required)

Roswell’s Salvation Army is working to break the record for longest continuous kettle bell ringing.Starting on December 11, Ryan Gass plans to ring a bell for 65 hours, breaking last year’s record of 60 hours and 10 minutes.
Source: NY Daily News

2. Choreographed dances are not only awesome, they are encouraged.

3. You can invite birds to join you Disney style… or you can just make the bird calls yourself.

4. You get to see different methods of donating.

5. You and your friends can surprise EVERYONE with music.

6. Even your three year old can bell ring 🙂













The majority of our funds collected throughout the year are collected by dedicated volunteers just like you to come and ring our bell. Grab some friends, spread some cheer, and be a part of the more than 4,000 volunteers we need this season to continue our efforts every day in this community. BONUS: every dollar collected here stays LOCAL. Like we said… bell ringing is the best (and so are you!) Please come and volunteer today to fill service hours, school requirements and more. And even become a virtual bell ringer and do some fundraising for your friends.

From the bottom of our hearts as we enter this Christmas season, thank you!

Semi-pro football team lends helping hands

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Members of the St. Louis Spirit football team recently traded the gridiron for a swatch of tilled earth to help The Salvation Army’s Family Haven develop a community garden.

The minor league football team – part of the Great Midwest Football League – is no stranger to volunteering.

“St. Louis Spirit has always had a special interest in reaching out to charitable organizations,” said head coach and owner Damon Cannon. “But since we’ve focused our efforts on The Salvation Army, I think we’ve been able to do some real good in the community.”

In the past, the team has conducted several food drives to benefit Salvation Army food pantries; moved furniture and set up resident rooms at the Family Haven shelter; conducted fundraisers; and collected much-needed personal care items at their football games. Most recently, they joined children from the shelter to build a community garden, which will eventually allow the residents to grow and eat their own food.

“It’s not just about providing a food source,” Cannon said. “Most of our children in urban St. Louis have never planted a garden or even been around one. They’ll now have the chance to learn how things grow, the work that goes into it, and enjoy the fruits of their labor. It’s a great life lesson.”

For quarterback Eric Bailey, volunteering should be a priority for everyone.

“We think that we don’t have time, that the little time we do have wouldn’t make an impact, but that’s the furthest thing from the truth,” Bailey said. “Reading one book to a child, move some heavy furniture, just sitting and listening to someone talk, or building a garden; it all makes an impact.”

According to Cannon, working with The Salvation Army was a perfect fit.

“Our football players are playing semi-pro because they missed the opportunity to advance their careers,” he said. “Maybe they didn’t get the test scores or scholarship they need. For them, we’re the second chance for those guys. We give them a place to realize their dreams and stay off the streets.

“For whatever reason, they slipped up, and there are so many people in St. Louis who need a second chance, too. The Salvation Army is there to ensure they get it.”

To see The Salvation Army’s perspective on the importance of food insecurity, take a look at what our Divisional Commander has to say in a St. Louis American Op-Ed.

How will you leave your mark?

How will you leave your mark?

We’re looking for the best and brightest of our city’s young professionals to join our Young Friends Board! Come out to Plush October 10th for free appetizers, networking, and to learn how you can leave your mark on this city with the world’s most trusted charity. 

Kujufu book discussion


The Salvation Army Urban Mission Center would like to invite you to join with us for a discussion on the book:

Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys
by Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu
Each Sunday night –Sept. 22 – Oct. 27, 2013
4:00 PM

At The Salvation Army Temple Corps
2740 Arsenal St.
St. Louis, MO 63118

Dr. Kunjufu asserts that
“There is a relationship between the excessive number of Black boys in special education and the 1.5 million African American males that are involved in the penal system. Our concern is that we can intervene as early as infancy if parents and teachers heed the suggestions offered…” and he goes on to relate seven barometers for parents, teachers and community people to use in monitoring development… “We don’t have to wait until boys are 18 years old to find out if they’re in trouble…”

Come Sunday night, September 22 to…

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This is what going hungry looks like–and we need your help

This is big, and this is serious.

What if your home pantry looked like this... and there was nowhere else to go?

What if your home pantry looked like this… and there was nowhere else to go?

Our O’Fallon Corps Community Center in Missouri sent us this picture. They feed 935 families per month–that’s over 400% increase over the last two years. But in June, all was well: they got 20,000 Ibs of food donated. And for those families who had nowhere else to turn, that was a good thing.

This month, they got 3,900 Ibs of food and that’s it. Now O’Fallon, and many other Salvation Army corps community centers in the St. Louis region, are at risk of turning those families away.

Whether it is a donation of food or of dollars, this is a critical need that we need your help to fill. We need your help right now to feed your neighbors throughout the region. We’re sending out an SOS: please Stock Our Shelves!

MOST NEEDED ITEMS: dry goods (pasta, rice, cereal, etc), canned meat and protein items.

If you would like to help or have questions, please email

Granite City Vacation Bible School

During the week of August 5, children learned as a group about heaven. The theme for Vacation Bible School was Heaven and How to Get There.


Smallest of the bunch


Playing together


Wordless book crafting


Having a great time


Getting ready for rehearsal


Snack time


“I Can Only Imagine” Musical


Reception cake


Enjoying cake


Light the fire!

Light the fire!

Cardinals Nation: It’s go time

This post is by Dana Biermann, employee of The Salvation Army Midland Division in St. Louis and a lover of the Redbirds.

Won a World Series two years ago... unlike some other teams we know.

Won a World Series two years ago… unlike some other teams we know.

Wouldn’t it be embarrassing if we got swept by the Cubs this late in the season?

Answer: Like, really embarrassing.

Because we have the highest win percentage in baseball right now. We have Yadi, Carpenter, Waino. Not to mention the greatest (and most supportive) fans in major league baseball.

So what if someone from Chicago were to throw out the first pitch at OUR GAME. What if a CUBS FAN got to showboat to the mound in front of 47,000 Cardinals devotees like he owned the place??

That is in danger of happening.

On August 10, it is The Salvation Army’s Night at the Ballpark, and The Salvation Army of Chicago is battling us head on for the rights to throw out the first pitch. And who gets that throw is determined by YOU–us, or them.

If you’re a Cubs fan (boo!) you text MYCUBS to 80888 to make a $10 donation to The Salvation Army in Chicago.

But if you’re a CARDINALS FAN (cue musical flourish) text MYCARDS to 80888 to make a $10 donation to The Salvation Army that will stay right here in St. Louis. The most money raised will determine who throws out the first pitch.

And since we’re at the height of hunger in our city and with our food pantries going bare, your text will give local, struggling families the support they need to survive, AND save our city from embarrassment. It’s a win-win, folks.

Texting starts NOW and we have until August 8th to show Chicago who’s boss.

Our thumbs are ready for a workout. Are yours?

reflections from a St Louis fire


This morning’s St Louis Post-Dispatch online has a two-sentence story of yesterday’s fire in the 3400 block of Arlington Avenue in north St Louis.

And looking at this photo of firemen in their full outfits perched above flames brought to mind Gary Busiek and a team from our St Louis Euclid Corps, busy Thursday aiding firefighters with cold water from a Salvation Army emergency canteen.

It’s been hot this week in St Louis. Firemen don’t need to be dressed head to toe in metal and heavy insulated suits, hovering over a fire in 100+ degree heat indexed weather.

I couldn’t help but also think of several houses ten miles to the south in the West Benton Park neighborhood. They are Salvation Army houses where about a dozen young adults live in a missional community.

Those houses could be empty and at risk just as was the house on the 3400…

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