Monday, March 16th is the 122nd birthday of The Salvation Army officially beginning its life-changing ministries in Greater Chattanooga. On March 16, 1893, District Officer J. C. Smith arrived in the Scenic City. The next day he greeted Chattanoogans with these timely words, "We (come) with peace, charity and goodwill toward everyone, and we trust we shall succeed in doing good."
On June 3, The United States recognizes the 79th Annual National Donut Day! It is only appropriate The Salvation Army, who popularized the donut, will help lead this celebration.
As America entered World War I in 1917, The Salvation Army established a mission to provide for the needs of U.S. soldiers fighting in France. Salvation Army volunteers traveled overseas to set up service “huts” located in abandoned buildings near the front lines where they could serve baked goods, provide writing supplies and stamps and offer a clothes mending service to the soldiers in battle.
When providing freshly baked goods proved to be a difficult feat considering the hut’s conditions, two entrepreneurial Salvation Army volunteers named Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance cleverly thought to fry donuts in soldiers’s helmets. The volunteers were capable of frying seven donuts per batch. The sweet treats, along with the warm hearts and glowing smiles of those who served them, brought a bit of comfort to American soldiers who were serving their country. Nicknamed “Doughnut Lassies” and “Doughnut Girls,” these women made history by introducing this little known confection to the United States when the “Doughboys” returned from war.
The first National Donut Day was established in Chicago in 1938 to raise money for people in need during the Great Depression. The holiday has since been celebrated on the first Friday in June as a way to commemorate the service of The Salvation Army’s Doughnut Lassies and honor the memory of our soldiers. The donut has become synonymous with The Salvation Army’s social services and continues to be a comfort food served by The Salvation Army to those in need during times of disaster.
To celebrate National Donut Day locally, The Chattanooga Salvation Army will be delivering donuts to local heroes who serve our community and nation everyday – men and women from the Armed Forces and the local Police & Fire Departments.
Both Entenmann’s and Krispy Kreme are Donut Day National Sponsors. Our local partner, Tasty Daylight Donuts of Chattanooga, TN will also donate the donuts to be delivered.
Visit Entenmann’s on Facebook and enter to for a chance to win free donuts for a year and other great prizes! In continued support of The Salvation Army, Entenmann’s Bakery will donate $1 to The Salvation Army for every sweepstakes entry up to $35,000!
Krispy Kreme will offer one free donut per customer and will have counter top Red Kettles available for donations. All proceeds to benefit The Salvation Army.
Most people know you can help The Salvation Army by ringing bells for them at Christmastime, serving in their soup kitchens, giving items to their Family Stores or donating money or food, but there are plenty of other ways to help The Salvation Army too, including some you might not have thought of. In honor of Give Local America! Day today, here are five super easy and less commonly thought of ways to support your local Salvation Army.
1. Donate lesser-known needs
When people think of donating items to The Salvation Army, they generally think of things like food, clothing and money, but while those are important, they’re far from the only donations The Salvation Army needs.
Case in point: plastic grocery bags. You know you’ve got some lying around the house, so instead of trashing them, give them to your local Salvation Army, which can use them to pack items for its food assistance programs as well as in its Family Stores. Remember, though, as the Richmond, Kentucky Salvation Army reminds people, the bags should be “clean, dry [and] hole-free.”If you need other ideas, you can call and inquire as to what is needed or check online. For instance, The Salvation Army in Murfreesboro, Tennessee has a Needs section on its website that lists things people can donate. Items include coffee, toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, garbage bags and all-purpose cleaners.
Also, many Salvation Army locations have Facebook pages, and some will post the needs they have there. For instance, the Bowling Green, Kentucky Salvation Army recently shared that it’s in need of pillows for its homeless shelter, and it has also sought steel-toed work boots for shelter clients who require them for work, winter coats it gives away to anyone in need, a meat slicer for its kitchen and fitted sheets, pillow cases and towels for the shelter, among other things.
Feminine products are also frequently needed. This includes hygiene items like tampons, sanitary pads and women’s deodorant as well as bras and underwear. The Chattanooga Salvation Army hosts an annual event calledMardi Bra, where it collects these items to give to women in its shelter and to stockpile for distribution to women throughout the year, but even without an official event, you can still donate these critical items.
2. Hold a donation drive
This goes hand in hand with #1, and it’s an easy way to ease yourself into volunteering with The Salvation Army if you’ve never done it before. Once you’ve found out what items your local Salvation Army needs, simply set up a drive at your school, office, church or other community location to collect these items.If you’re not the person in charge, make sure to check with them first for approval, then simply set out collection boxes at various locations in the building, set a deadline and/or goal amount and spread the word. You can create flyers to pass out and post that have information such as what you’re collecting, who you’re collecting it for, where people can donate and when they need to donate by.
Once you’ve raised your desired amount, simply take it all to The Salvation Army. In some places, like Louisville, Kentucky, if you call The Salvation Army first, they will bring out the boxes for you to collect the items and then pick up the donations when you’re done.
3. Credit The Salvation Army at checkout
If you have a Kroger Plus Card, you may be able to help your local Salvation Army with almost no effort on your part. First, check to see if it participates in the Kroger Community Rewards Program; if so, you’ll need the five-digit participant number.
Then, on Kroger’s website, sign in or create your account. Under the Community Rewards section of your account settings, enter the participant number, which designates that particular Salvation Army location as your recipient. After that, each time you use your Plus card when you shop, it earns money back for The Salvation Army.
You can also help The Salvation Army when you shop on Amazon by going through smile.amazon.com. It’s the same as shopping on Amazon, except a portion of your purchase price goes to the charity you select.
With The Salvation Army, if you live in Kentucky or Tennessee, you’d select “The Salvation Army USA – Southern Territorial Headquarters” as your charity, and then, whenever you buy something, a portion of the sale goes to the local Salvation Army in your zip code.
4. Be a signal booster
If you are active on social media, find the Salvation Army location or locations near you that are also active. Follow their pages to keep up with what is going on. Many have Facebook and Twitter, while some also have Pinterest, YouTube and/or Instagram.
When they have messages about needing supplies or volunteers, that their shelters or soup kitchens are open longer or closed because of inclement weather, when their Angel Tree sign-ups are, that they need more bell ringers at Christmas or about any upcoming fundraisers they’re having, share these with your friends and followers and encourage them to do the same. Even if you can’t help, maybe someone else can, and the wider the message is spread, the better the chance The Salvation Army has to do the most good in your community.
5. Share your airline miles
If you have airline miles from United or Delta that you have no plans for or simply more than you can use, consider donating them to The Salvation Army. They’ll be used to help The Salvation Army quickly mobilize personnel in times of disaster, provide travel for those in need of out-of-area emergency medical care and to provide staff travel, which reduces administrative costs and, in turn, allows more money to go directly to Salvation Army programs.
The programs are called United Airlines Charity Miles Program and Delta SkyWish. You must donate a minimum of 1,000 miles at a time and can do so online or by phone. You can learn the full guidelines on The Salvation Army USA’s website.
Brenda Osborne has been a soldier and volunteering with The Salvation Army for more than 30 years. She began volunteering in the Thrift Store in the early 80’s and became a soldier shortly after. However, the Corps closed and she moved on to other things. Much to her delight, her daughter invited her to a service at the newly opened Salvation Army in 2011 and she hasn’t looked back! She attends services weekly, is involved in the leadership council and active in Women’s Ministries. More than that, she volunteers more than 40 hours a week as the receptionist for our administrative offices. She assist our homeless friends and neighbors by monitoring their access to showers and laundry services. She eagerly helps the staff by helping make copies for upcoming groups or events, is very crafty and often can create accessories for upcoming events adding just the right touch. An incredible baker, she often makes cupcakes or cakes for upcoming special occasions…with homemade icing of course. “As a retired person, Volunteering gives me purpose and I really enjoy helping other people.” The Salvation Army Cleveland are so blessed to have her and are very grateful for all she does!”
Some longtime friends who believe in the value of our work have stepped forward with an amazing $25,000 Matching Gift – hoping to inspire you and other in our area to give as generously as possible and help match the gift dollar for dollar. That would mean $50,000 to help care for neighbors in need.
This couldn’t have come at a better time because more people are coming to us for help. So we are asking you to consider opening your heart once again and giving a generous tax-deductible contribution to The Salvation Army here in Chattanooga.
We are asking for the sake of people like Stan. Like so many others, Stan was recently laid off from work. He struggled to get by on his meager unemployment check as he frantically searched for employment. Humbly, he turned to us after learning his electricity was going to be turned off. Thanks for friends like you, we were able to help with his utilities. The next day, Stan stopped by to let us know he’d gotten a job and to offer hugs of gratitude.
We are asking for your help today also for the sake of people like Miranda. She was just 18 when her daughter Janelle was born. And though life was challenging at times, Miranda tool great pride in being able to provide for her little girl. But when Miranda fractured her leg and became unable to work for an extended period, she got behind on the rent and soon lost her apartment.
Through the support of caring people like you, Miranda and her daughter received safe shelter, food and loving support until she was well enough to return to work. “I owe my life to The Salvation Army,” she says. “Now Janelle and I have a real home of our own.”
I’m also coming to you for the sake of people like Sue. Her reliance upon alcohol had taken over her life and had led to the loss of her dream job as a paramedic. But thanks to friends like you, that’s not the end of Sue’s story…
“Because of the new start at The Salvation Army, I regained self-esteem, which has led to my being a productive member of our community,” she says. “I recently celebrated seven years of continued sobriety, and I have now enjoyed employment with the same company for almost six years.”
There is no question…The Stans, Mirandas and Sues in Chattanooga are worth it. Worth every penny we invest, every hour we labor, every tear we shed, every prayer we offer up to heaven.
But we simply can’t continue responding to every need unless the caring citizens of our community continue giving us their valuable support.
That’s why the Matching Gift is such a great opportunity. As caring friends like you match the gift, we’ll have $50,000 to help keep all of our efforts going strong. Doing The Most Good just like we’ve been doing in Chattanooga for 123 years.
Jane, a single mother with a young son, was almost at the end of her rope. She had fled from another state to escape domestic violence and to seek a fresh start. She had less than $300 in her pocket, no friends, no family, and no direction. Her only source of income was the small disability check she received every month.
Today, families account for nearly 40% of the homeless population. The United States is unique among industrialized nations in that women and children make up such a large percentage of the homeless.
The Salvation Army provides a range of services to help the homeless men, women, and children of our community by providing food, cold weather shelter, clothing, referrals and vouchers. Partner agencies can also help with permanent housing and medical treatment.
To make a donation to help care for families in need, visit www.csarmy.org or by calling 423-756-1023.
Reasons for Family Homelessness
One in seven U.S. households has sever housing cost burdens, making them highly vulnerable to homelessness due to job loss
Federal support for low-income housing has fallen 49% between 1980-2003
More than one-third of single parent households live below the Federal Poverty Line, and single women lead 85% of homeless families
The average wait for public housing is 20 months, and the wait for a Section 8 Voucher is 35 months
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.