Tag Archives: volunteering

…for everything else, there’s MasterCard.

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Major Paul Ferguson at our O’Fallon Corps Community Center and shelter knows what’s important.

He became an officer in The Salvation Army because he saw the need that so many people face when it comes to food, clothing, shelter, feeling lost in their faith, or just needing someone to care. But when you’re tending to the needs of so many others, sometimes it’s not possible to tend to the very needs that your home and workplace requires.

“We have limited staff hours and we’re focusing on meeting the needs of the people who walk through our door,” Major Ferguson said. “So when we see the bushes overgrown or broken picnic tables or paint chipping, we don’t have the manpower to do it.”

Enter MasterCard.

With a small army of over 65 volunteers, MasterCard’s LFI division in O’Fallon, Missouri, came out to sort cans, paint, trim bushes and make repairs that have long been needed at this site. This was part of a MasterCard-wide day of service to local organizations that needed volunteers, and The Salvation Army was thrilled to be the recipient of these services for the second time in the past few years.

“Because of their hard work and dedication, they are literally saving us tens of thousands of dollars,” Major Ferguson said. “These repairs give our clients dignity knowing that their space is well taken care of before they go on to the next steps in their lives.”

So here we go with our imitation of MasterCard’s famous marketing campaign:

Paint: $350

Mulch: $650

Chainsaws: $1,000

Taking a day to change the lives of hundreds of people by improving the place where they come to find hope: PRICELESS.

Thank you, MasterCard! To learn about other volunteer opportunities (especially to ring bells… Christmas is coming!) head on over here. We would love to have you help come change lives.

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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.

A cup of cold water in Jesus’ name

NEW YEAR, NEW HOPE, NEW CHALLENGES: A Blog Series

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.

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