Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Salvation Army - Hear the Bells Ringing?

It's that time again... 
We've all seen them and in our bustling shopping schedule it's easy to walk right on by. Sometimes we may throw in some spare change as we pass. This year I got curious to know more about the Salvation Army including it's history and impact. What I found amazed and astounded me and if you have a few minutes I hope you too will take the time to learn a little more about this wonderful organization to whom one of the wives of the McDonald's company thought worthy enough to donate $1.6 billion dollars. I know I will dig a whole lot deeper into my own wallet each time I see a kettle.

The Salvation Army is the Number 1 non-governmental charitable organization in the United States and has locations in 122 countries. They have been feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, on the battle fields, and burying the dead after disasters. In 1906 they were there after the great San Francisco earthquake and more recently have assisted 1.7 million after Hurricane Katrina investing $365 million dollars and countless hours in rebuilding the lives of those affected. The list of where they have been and the help they have given is extensive for more than a century.

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Founded in 1865 in the United Kingdom by William and Catherine Booth as a mission organization to reach out to the alcoholics, drug addicts, and prostitutes. While William preached to those outcasts of society his wife spoke to the wealthy gaining financial support for the work. Surprisingly their work was met with the throwing of rocks, rats, and tar along with assaults on their workers because they were affecting the livelihood of the bars and other individuals who profited off their misery. Read more about the history and current outreach in Wikipedia . In Australia alone the Salvation Army has housed over 30,000 needy children. William's goals were simple: Soup, Soap, Salvation.

His passion and mission has encompassed the world providing food, clothing, and shelter to those in need and rapid response in times of crisis. We have the opportunity to participate in this work simply by taking a moment to pause and donate to the kettles and thrift stores thoughout our communities. The story is exciting and encouraging and never more appropriate than in this season of giving.

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