Tag Archives: charity

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. 

Where is Your Spirit?

CFD Flyer 2013

The Great Midwest Football League has started its 7th season and is coming to Mehlville High School. St. Louis Spirit will be playing against MO Valley Pitbulls on June 8 for Family Christian Weekend. Dedicating their 2013 Spring/Summer season to alleviate homelessness in the St. Louis area, St. Louis Spirit is partnering with The Salvation Army to help the community.

St. Louis Spirit is an adult amateur football team in the Great Midwest Football League. The team is invested in community support and devotes each season to a specific charitable effort. The team is unpaid for their time but playing for St. Louis Spirit allows the players to strengthen their skills to possibly advance to a college or professional football career while also helping the community.

In an effort to “Sack Homelessness,” St. Louis Spirit will hold six events this season: Armed Forces Day, Christian Family Day (6/8), Fatherhood Celebration (6/22), Youth Celebration Day (7/6), Sack Homelessness (8/3), and Ladies Night (7/20).

Christian Family Weekend will be on June 8 at Mehlville High School. This event will be full of fun with a live Gospel Concert and football game. The concert will begin at 1:30 PM and kickoff between St. Louis Spirit and MO Valley Pitbulls will be at 3:30 PM. St. Louis Spirit is partnering with The Salvation Army for this event. If you donate a canned good to The Salvation Army, you will get a free drink. Tickets and information can be found at spiritfootball.org.

Volunteers Needed – No, YOU are needed

By: Sheila R. Davis, Volunteer Coordinator

Have you ever read the volunteer opportunities listed by an organization and thought, “hmm, nothing here applies to my skills and/or interest?”  For various reasons (often monetary, time and or staff limitations, etc.,) non-profits post what can appear to be generic position descriptions.  Instead of being the end point, I believe these position descriptions can be a jumping off point to match talented, creative volunteers with meaningful projects. However, it will take effort for organizations and potential volunteers to make this happen. 

The next time you come across a volunteer opportunity that doesn’t seem to fit your interests or skills, don’t just move on.  Think about it; maybe the position can be tweaked to better match your skills or maybe the description can be a springboard to another opportunity tailor made for your skill set.  For example an organization has an opening for a food pantry volunteer. Maybe stocking shelves is not your cup of tea, but you have experience as a dietician.  You could offer your services to educate the pantry clients on cost effective ways to make healthy, nutritious meals on limited budget.  An organization lists a position as “youth activities aide”, you may not have experience working with children or teens, but you’re a computer programmer.  You could offer to teach a workshop on Programming 101. Who knows, you may end up inspiring the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.  Let’s say you have experience in Human Resources, you could offer to help the Volunteer Coordinator (hint, hint) update the current volunteer descriptions or create new ones.

Experts call this “skills-based volunteering”, which means leveraging the specialized skills and talents of individuals to strengthen the infrastructure of nonprofits, helping them build and sustain their capacity to successfully achieve their missions.

There are many benefits to skill based volunteering for both the organization and for the volunteer. The nonprofit is able to take advantage of the volunteer’s professional knowledge and business expertise and, at the same time, the volunteer receives cost-effective training and development. For volunteers, skills-based volunteering provides the opportunity to use their expertise to make a measurable impact on issues they care about.

To learn more about skills based volunteering, click here.

To learn more about volunteering with The Salvation Army in Missouri and Southern Illinois, click here.

Observations of a bell ringer

By: Pastor Mark Stehlin of Bethesda Evangelical Church in South County

Many “Merry Christmas” wishes… a couple of “Happy Holidays”… smiles… kids… and a few looks that screamed, “Bah, Humbug!”

Last week a group of teens and adults from my church spent a couple of hours as bell-ringers for the Salvation Army.  It was a little chilly, but not too cold.  It felt good to be helping others.  There is also a sense of joy which comes in wishing someone a “Merry Christmas.”

Most people smiled and returned the “Merry Christmas.”  A few others returned a “Happy Holidays.”  I was a little surprised at the number of people who didn’t look happy or merry at all.  I’m not sure if they were on a mission to get their shopping done or if the whole season brought them down.

One little girl caught my attention.  She walked out of the store bouncing happily along with her mom.  We wished them a Merry Christmas.  The mom replied the same, but the little girl shot back the generic “Happy Holidays.”  The two walked a few steps further and then stopped to talk.  A moment later the little girl raced back to us, dropped a dollar or two in the bucket, and chirped, “Merry Christmas!” with the biggest smile I have ever seen.

Christmas brings out a variety of responses in people.  For some, it is a reason to party or spend lots of money on gifts.  Others take part in the celebration, but do so in open protest.  And then, there are those who embrace the season for all the right reasons.

I love Christmas!  I cherish the time with friends and family.  I get jazzed by the decorations.  I have even been known to sit under the Christmas tree with all the room lights out just staring in wonder.  I also enjoy standing in the front yard with our dogs looking at the lights on other people’s houses.  It is such a beautiful time of the year.  I still enjoy, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, “Miracle on 34th Street”, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, and “The Santa Clause.”  The thing is though, without Jesus it’s all meaningless.

Not only is Jesus’ birth the reason for the season,  His birth gives light to life.  He is the creator with the Father.  He is the author of salvation.  He is the King, the Redeemer, our sacrifice, Emmanuel, the Lamb who was slain, the Lion of Judah, the Covenant Mediator, the Prophet, the babe in the manger… and most importantly God who came in the flesh.    Jesus came because God loves us.  Jesus wants to have a personal relationship with each of us.  To think that the Creator of the universe is interested in a relationship with us is mind-boggling.  But, that is the message of Christmas – God come to earth to save us from our sins!  I never tire of hearing it!

My prayer is this Christmas finds you with family and friends celebrating the birth of our Savior!


A tip of the cap from Scrooge…

by Tom Kovach, Major Gifts Director

In the Sunday’s Business edition of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the headline reads: Worthy charities earn Scrooge’s nod. It was written by Jim Gallagher, a well respected columnist for the newspaper.  Mr. Gallagher starts the article off by saying the older he gets, the more like Scrooge he becomes. He takes this approach to charity for 11 months of the year. 

Then after Thanksgiving, a strange malady overcomes him and Mr. Gallagher writes: “A warm and giddy feeling (a fever, perhaps?) grips me, and before I regain my senses, I write a bunch of checks. The Salvation Army, the St. Louis Area Foodbank, a couple of homeless shelters……” He goes on to pen that “we sufferers from Seasonal Charity Disorder need professional help.”  Mr. Gallagher is open and humorous with how he feels about giving to charity but the most important point the article made was: “When that warm and giddy check-writing impulses grips you, be sure you’re giving to charities that really do what they promise.”

Our promise to you is to continue to be accountable and transparent.  Eighty two cents on the dollars is distributed to programs and services in the St. Louis area and The Salvation Army takes a tremendous amount of care with your investment.  For example, the area that I specialize is major gifts and they come in all sizes from corporations to individuals and the best way to describe the collage of our donors was at the recent Tree of Lights kickoff luncheon.  A potpourri of donors were present- Edward Jones, St. Louis Design Alliance, St. Louis Equity Fund, AT&T, Albert Arno Heating and Cooling just to name a few.  New and current Salvation Army Midland Division board members mingled with guests.   This event was a mixture of brand new investors to The Salvation Army and our dear friends who have supported The Salvation Army for many years.

Whether you are a first-time donor or you make your gift in December each year, I highly encourage you to open and read prior testimonies from our social media pages to actually see how we make a difference in people’s lives!  The Salvation Army is a charity that really does what we promise.  Read what we do from these moving stories written by our Contest Specialist Danni Eickenhorst, officers and staff members, then decide at what level you think we are worth—it can be $50, $100, a dollar a day ($365), $2,500, a gift of stock, IRA contribution or much more.

You will find and rest assured your donation to The Salvation Army – no matter at what level– to be a positive, uplifting return on investment for the St. Louis region.

Little Caesars Love Kitchen

By: Danni Eickenhorst, Midland Division

The Little Caesars Love Kitchen pulled up to our Granite City community center on November 10 carrying fresh dough and a crew ready to cook for those in need. The project born out of love, started more than 20 years ago. David Fox the Love Kitchen Driver says, “We drive all over the country, feeding those in need. We primarily cook for homeless shelters and soup kitchens – about 70% of which are Salvation Army kitchens.”

The Love Kitchen arrives at the Granite City community center.

Bab Njai owns seven Little Caesar's locations, which donate a total of 600 to 700 pizzas weekly to Salvation Army food pantries in Southern Illinois.

The Love Kitchen reached out to local franchise owner Bab Njai and asked if he would be willing to donate ingredients and staff so that they might feed the needy in Granite City and he didn’t hesitate to say yes. “We already donate 600 to 700 pizzas per week to local Salvation Army food pantries throughout southern Illinois,” says Njai, “I came from Africa with nothing and I know what it is to have very little. We just want to help those who need help.”

The Love Kitchen provided hot food for more than 220 individuals in the day’s event. Our continued gratitude goes out to Little Caesars and Njai for their support!

Support BSA Food Drives in November

The Salvation Army has addressed unprecedented need in Missouri and Southern Illinois, both in response to natural disasters and the general economy.

The Greater St. Louis Boy Scouts of America will host their annual “Scouting for Food” event this month. On Saturday November 12, 1.4 million bags will be distributed to as to homes throughout the St. Louis area. On November 19, Scouts will pick up non-perishable donations and deliver them to the St. Louis Area Foodbank.

The Salvation Army and many other local food pantries will benefit from the bounty that you give to this very worthy youth organization. The initiative has the very lofty goal of collecting more than 2 million cans for 500 pantries, and it cannot achieve that goal without your support.

Please visit http://www.stlbsa.org/programs/sff/Pages/Scouting-for-Food.aspx for additional information on this event and how you can help.

Paper Angels

Jimmy Wayne and Travis Thrasher have co-authored a book Paper Angels, now available for purchase through Howard Books, a division of Simon. The book, based on Jimmy Wayne’s country song tells the story of two very different families whose paths cross through The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program. Paper Angels is a classic Christmas tale that demonstrates the value of faith and the meaning of Christmas through a single act of kindness.

Those interested in purchasing the book may do so here. The release coincides with the start of the 2011 Angel Tree Program. Those interested in participating may go to the JCPenney Angel Tree site to adopt a child now through December 9, 2011. The Salvation Army Angel Tree program, which provides new clothing and toys for hundreds of thousands of children in need every Christmas season, please visit www.salvationarmyusa.org.

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 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from 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 spent is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.



Paper Angels

by Jimmy Wayne & Travis Thrasher

Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster: November 1, 2011: hardcover, $19.99

In thanksgiving…

By: Valerie Murray, Estate Coordinator, Midland Division

As the Estate Coordinator for the Midland Division, I spend most of my day among the dead; dealing with gifts to The Salvation Army from wills and trusts.  Some might think that this would be a depressing job, but actually, it is a life and faith affirming experience.

Several times a week, I receive a notice that The Salvation Army was remembered in a will or trust of a someone who recently died.  The first thing I do is to try to find more information about him or her: date of death, where they lived, and a copy of their will or trust.  In looking for this information, other information of a more personal nature often comes to the fore.

One woman remembered the Army “in thanksgiving for their kindness to my father and his buddies during World War I on the front lines in France.”  Another woman donated almost her entire (and fairly large) estate to The Salvation Army because her family never forgot that when her father returned from World War I, permanently disabled by poison gas, the Army helped him find a job and continued to be a constant in his life.  Without that help, would he have been able to marry and have a family?

A nephew stated that his uncle remembered the Army in his trust because as a GI in Patton’s army, the Army was right there with them in the mud, giving away (not selling, he emphasized) candy, donuts and other treats, and last but not least words of hope and encouragement.

 A young Viet Nam veteran, recently discharged in the mid 1970s, traveled across the United States one on his trek home, staying in Salvation Army shelters receiving a hot meal, and a good word at each.

 These are just a few stories that I have come across.  Even though my clients are dead world, their stories are life affirming.  They recount just a few of good works of The Salvation Army worldwide.  So many more will never be known.  They make me wonder, have I done enough?

Salvation Army seeks vendors, donations for charity garage sale

Proceeds to benefit Salvation Army World Services

By: Danni Eickenhorst, Communications & Content Specialist, Midland Division

St. Louis – The Salvation Army’s Maplewood community center, located at 7702 Rannels Avenue in Maplewood is hosting a fundraiser garage sale on October 1, 2011 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The garage sale will be held in conjunction with the Brentwood/Richmond Heights/Maplewood Tri-City garage sale to be held the same day.

The Salvation Army will offer new merchandise and gift cards donated by area businesses to be sold at a fraction of their retail value. Additional donations are being accepted through the date of the event.

 Local vendors and residents may secure indoor vendor space to sell merchandise. Vendor space is available at $15 for one table and two chairs. Admission to the event is free. Concessions will be available during the event.

 All proceeds will go to benefit The Salvation Army’s World Services, which provides food, shelter, disaster relief, medicine and hope to the world’s suffering.

 Those interested in donating or securing vendor space may contact the Maplewood community center directly at (314) 781-5434.

 The Salvation Army, an international organization, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for 130 years in the St. Louis region. Nearly 350,000 people throughout Missouri and Southern Illinois receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from 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 spent is used to carry out those services throughout the region. For more information, go to www.stl-salvationarmy.org.

 # # http://www.stl-salvationarmy.org # #

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