This story was contributed by Caring Magazine.
Happy National Salvation Army Week!
President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared National Salvation Army Week back in 1954 to remind the country of the vast scope of the services provided by The Salvation Army and to highlight ways you can help your neighbors in need.
“Among Americans, The Salvation Army has long been a symbol of wholehearted dedication to the cause of human brotherhood,” Eisenhower said in his speech. “In time of war, the men and women of this organization have brought to those serving their country far from home, friendliness, and warm concern. In the quieter days of peace, their work has been a constant reminder to us all that each of us is neighbor and kin to all Americans. Giving freely of themselves, the men and women of The Salvation Army have won the respect of us all.”
To celebrate National Salvation Army Week in 2022, here’s 12 fun facts about The Salvation Army to share with a friend:
- With more than 7,500 centers of operation and a presence in almost every zip code in the United States, The Salvation Army assisted 31 million individuals nationwide, including providing more than 225 million meals and nearly 10 million lodgings.
- When you shop at Salvation Army thrift stores, you are supporting adult rehabilitation centers that annually help more than 160,000 people from every walk of life fight substance abuse and return to their communities as participating, contributing members.
- The Salvation Army’s Community Care Ministries visited more than 1 million people with special needs in hospitals, nursing homes and group homes in 2021.
- The Salvation Army facilitated more than 11,000 job placements last year.
- Nearly 2.7 million people volunteer for The Salvation Army nationwide.
- The red Christmas kettle debuted in San Francisco in 1891 in the guise of a crab pot. A depression had thrown many out of work, including hundreds of seamen and longshoremen. The campaign proved so successful that by 1900 it was imitated nationwide. In its 131st year, the annual Red Kettle campaign raised nearly $110 million in the U.S. in 2021. Kettle funds are used locally to provide a wide range of social services for those who need them most in communities nationwide.
- The Salvation Army’s work in disaster relief began in 1900 in response to the the devastating hurricane that destroyed Galveston, Texas, and killed more than 5,000 people
- Peter Drucker called The Salvation Army “by far the most effective organization in the U.S.,” in Forbes magazine.
- Joan Kroc, widow of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, made the largest individual charitable contribution in history to The Salvation Army in 2003. Her $1.5 billion gift was given to the Army for the exclusive purpose of building recreational and community centers in under-served neighborhoods.
- The Salvation Army was at the frontlines in World Wars I and II, offering comfort and pastoral guidance.
- The Salvation Army is often credited with popularizing the doughnut in the United States. During World War I, The Salvation Army served doughnuts, which were often cooked in battle helmets, to U.S. troops in the field; and many soldiers came back to the States hooked on the pastries. In 1938, The Salvation Army created “National Doughnut Day,” observed the first Friday of June, to honor the female Salvation Army officers, or “Doughnut Lassies,” who served the troops during the War.
- The first Salvation Army band was formed in 1882 by accident. Charles Frye and his sons offered their services as bodyguards for Salvation Army street preachers. They began playing music on their brass instruments to give them something to do while they protected the officers, and soon after quit their family business to lead the Army’s music department. Known for its brass band music, The Salvation Army has approximately 2,500 brass bands worldwide today.
Join the celebration this week, learn more about the work of The Salvation Army and find a way to join in right where you are.