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.

Source: http://chicquero.files.wordpress.com/

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.

Help us and Patch find who is Doing the Most Good

Attention volunteers and the people who love them! Nominate the person that is Doing the Most Good in STL and they get our thanks, recognition, and a night off–all on us. Nominations due Oct 15: http://bit.ly/Sy9WQ1

Corporate Sponsorships: Choosing to “Do the Most Good”

By: Andreea Cojocariu, @andreeac_t, Guest Blogger

Let’s take a break from discussing marketing strategy to discuss corporate sponsorships. I think it’s important for companies and their employees to be active in the community. But before I go any further, let me say this. You should want to be involved because you sincerely care about a cause or an organization, not because you have to. It’s important to care about your community, because your community supports you by shopping or utilizing your services. So by supporting your community in return, you’re helping yourself. It’s a nice little cycle. Now that I’ve said, let’s get down to business.

There are many reasons besides caring to get involved.

Builds brand awareness. The more you sponsor, the more your logo gets put in front of your ideal consumers, the more they’ll remember you. It plants a seed so whenever they need your service, they might just look you up and give you a call.

Builds your network. As professionals, networking is gold. You never know when you’re going to meet someone that will impact your business. Whether it’s now or down the road, it pays to be social. Although the people you meet may not be your consumers right away, they may know others who might and they’ll talk about you– good ol’ grassroots marketing.

Team Building. Sponsoring and participating in a nonprofit event builds your team. By working together to help another organization, you’re taking the focus off the grind of sales and increasing the bottom line. It shows your employees that care about other things besides making money, although that’s important too. It tells them you have heart and you in turn care about them as people. That’s a good feeling for an employee. Sponsorships and volunteer activities keeps talent. I know that I work best with companies who give back. On a side note, I’m usually the one organizing these things. Seeing my team work together and people smiling while doing something good for others makes it worth my efforts.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time discussing tax deductions. Yes, Uncle Sam will cut you a break if you choose to help a nonprofit. But that should not be the sole reason you decide to sponsor an event or make a monetary donation. Again, I’m going to tell you that you should choose to help because you care.

I care. I am big advocate for community involvement on all levels. I encourage my employers to get involved, and I personally am involved. In the past, I’ve worked with the Madison County Child Advocacy Center in Illinois, helping them raise money so they can stay open to help child abuse victims. I help promote their events, especially their annual trivia night and silent auction held in February. Helping an organization who helps abused children heal stay open to provide those services is something I’ll continue doing.

And now my focus is on helping the Salvation Army of St. Louis. They need help. I choose to help them because they help others on a massive scale. I say that we can save the world by smiling– one smile at a time, one good deed at a time. That’s unrealistic, but the idea is doing something simple to help others. The Salvation Army of St. Louis’ motto is doing the most good. That is precisely what they do (while smiling of course). They were in Joplin this week during the 1 year anniversary of the tornado that destroyed this town. But let me say this. The tornado destroyed buildings. It did not destroy the human spirit of love and kindness. The Salvation Army showed Joplin how much their neighbors care. It was because of partnerships and corporate giving that allowed the Salvation Army to do the most good in Joplin.

Now it’s time to help the Salvation Army of St. Louis again. The issue is homelessness. St. Louis homelessness is increasing yearly at alarming rates. More and more families are on the streets than ever before. It’s time to do something about it. It’s time to raise awareness and funds so the Salvation Army can do for the homeless what they did for Joplin.

The Garbage Bag Gala is July 27th at the Moonrise Hotel . Attendees will have a fabulous night. For $45, they get to eat, socialize, and watch a fashion show. Models will be showcasing the latest in garbage bag and duct tape designs. I, along with about 30 others I think, will be modeling these trend setting styles. Tickets for the Garbage Bag Gala are on sale.

As much fun as it will be, the Salvation Army of St. Louis still needs corporate sponsors. This is an easy and fun way to get involved and do the most good. All it requires is for your company to write a check. And honestly, the check amount isn’t that much when you think about how many lives, how many homeless people in St. Louis, the Salvation Army will help.

Here is how your company can help and do the most good.

$5,000.00 sponsor: Company logo to be featured on invitation, event signage, promotional flyers, website and social media. Letter from sponsor company in the gift bag (page – to be provided by sponsor). Company name will be listed in press releases, submitted to all media outlets. Company will be recognized from the podium at the awards ceremony. Opportunity to display multiple company banners at the event. Social media recognition. Opportunity to provide a give-away to all participants. First right of negotiation for GBG 2013.

$1,750.00 sponsor: Company logo to be featured on event signage, promotional flyers, website and social media. Company will be recognized form the podium at the awards ceremony. Opportunity to display a banner at the event. First right of regusal for GBG 2013. Social media recognition.

$500.00 sponsor: Strategic social media push before and during the event to showcase the partnership. Logo to be featured on website and eblast.

This is easy. It’s writing a check. What’s not easy is living on the streets of St. Louis, not having shelter when another devastating storm hits the area, not having food for your family. That’s the hard part. We’re lucky that we all we need to do is write a check and attend a gala. Do the most good today and talk to your company executives and become a sponsor for the Garbage Bag Gala.

If you are interested, you can reach out to me on Twitter @andreeac_t. But I’d prefer you reach out to the Salvation Army @salarmystl. I sincerely thank you in advance for choosing to help the Salvation Army of St. Louis raise awareness and funds for the fight against homelessness in St. Louis.

To read more about Andreea, visit her blog.

A cup of cold water in Jesus’ name


By: Tom Kovach, Major Gifts Director

And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.  Matthew 10:42

Energizer employees help build a playground at The Salvation Army's Temple Community Center.

The sounds of laughter and the look of raw emotions on faces is filling the rooms inside a Salvation Army Education and Community Center as children and adults rejoice in the Lord’s blessing and the fellowship of each other. Smiles abound for some, tears of sadness or even joy for others or the journey to a new beginning starts today.   Stories are shared.  Prayers are abundant and many turn to The Salvation Army for hope.  These God-filled activities are repeated daily at our centers from South County to North City, Midtown to Overland and Maplewood to South City.

The Salvation Army takes tremendous pride in serving clients because we stress the importance of our fiduciary role.  Eighty two cents of each dollar contributed is spent for programs and services. The cornerstone of The Salvation Army includes a quality staff ready to serve the needs of these clients yet our demands our growing.  Much like a play or a movie, there are numerous, important supporting roles that play a vital role to helping change lives.

And that’s why you and your colleagues inside your company can help.  Our promise to you is simple: you will make a difference. 

No matter where you work or live, between your commutes from one destination to another, we are looking for volunteers from companies in St. Louis at any of our Salvation Army Community Centers.  I encourage you to get involved as an individual, your family or gather up a group of volunteers from your company.   Donating your time can be range from serving Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners to the following:

  • Have numerous office supplies like pens, pencils, notepads, markers etc?  Donate them to The Salvation Army.  Our Temple and Euclid Corps have existing partnerships with the St. Louis Public Schools for instance.
  • At our Family Haven shelter, there are 20 rooms where women and children rest comfortably as they seek permanent housing. These clients stay in a room for several months. We are consistently looking for laundry detergent and cleaning supplies.
  • Clients come to us when they are seeking some form of counseling.  At times, these counseling sessions are designated for a parent(s) and because they can’t afford childcare, we are looking for volunteers to watch their children for an hour or so.  (All mandatory background checks are required for childcare). 
  • Instead of receiving gifts for a birthday or a special occasion, request monetary contributions be directed to The Salvation Army or ask friends/family to buy certain items. Each of our centers has a “Wish List” that we can provide for you.

    Ameren employees donated more than 400 hours in 2011 to bellring for The Salvation Army.

Help us help others!  Consider “Doing The Most Good” in 2012 and start the New Year off right with a thoughtful donation and volunteer.


We have two pair of tickets to the Rams preseason game this Saturday to give away to the person that has the best story of The Salvation Army DOING THE MOST GOOD.

Stories can be of anything that you have been a part of that exemplifies our mission of DOING THE MOST GOOD. Did you volunteer one summer at a corps location? Were we your cooling center during the heat wave? Did we help you pick up the pieces after a disaster? Do you know someone who got a second chance at life because of our programs? Did you establish a relationship with Christ at Camp Mihaska?

Tag us, link us, post on our wall – just post by NOON on WEDNESDAY! Entries can be narrative, photos (with caption) or videos and must be linked to our page, profile or Twitter account. Winner to be announced Wednesday afternoon!

Employees and their families are not eligible to win. Entries must be recieved by Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. CST. to be eligible.

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