Salvation Army Red Kettle

Kick Off Holiday Fundraising Campaign

Austin Metropolitan Area Command Contact:

November 25, 2014 Jan Gunter,
Communications and Community Relations Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Direct: 512.634.5910 Cell: 512.944-0572

The Salvation Army to Kick Off Holiday Fundraising Campaign

Red Kettle Kickoff at Rock the Red Kettle Concert Launches Season of Holiday Giving

AUSTIN, TX (November 25, 2014) – The Salvation Army of Austin is announcing an ambitious $2.5 million holiday fundraising goal in conjunction with the launch of its annual Red Kettle campaign Sunday, November 30, at the Rock the Red Kettle Concert at Midnight Rodeo presented by KOKE FM and featuring Cory Morrow and friends. The event will begin at 5:00 p.m. with a family area complete with Santa Claus and activities, with musical performances set to begin at 6:00 p.m. At 8:00 p.m., KOKE FM personality Bob Cole will be on hand along with Cory Morrow, local philanthropist John Paul DeJoria and Lt. Colonel Henry Gonzalez, The Salvation Army Austin Area Commander, to ring the first ceremonial bells for 2014.

“Giving back is so important, and I am looking forward to kicking off the iconic Red Kettle Campaign and getting those bells ringing across the Austin area to help families and children in need,” said KOKE FM owner Bob Cole. “The Salvation Army has been helping people in need in Austin for 125 years, and KOKE FM is honored to support their good work for the people of Austin and surrounding areas.”

The $2.5 million goal represents an increase over last year’s holiday giving in the Austin area reflecting the increase in requests for assistance in 2014. On average 400 women and children are on The Salvation Army wait list for emergency shelter each day. Local donations from the Red Kettle campaign stay in Travis and Williamson counties and support The Salvation Army’s social service efforts throughout the year. These programs benefit more than 400,000 people locally each year, including providing more than 480,000 meals and thousands of nights in safe shelter. More than 300 people sleep in local Salvation Army emergency shelters each night and are provided with case management to help them move from crisis to stability.

“The Red Kettle campaign runs from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve,” said Colonel Gonzalez. “Through the generous support of our community we are able to serve Travis and Williamson counties’ most vulnerable people and ensure that they have a warm, secure place to sleep, hot food to eat and hope for a better tomorrow.”

The Rock the Red Kettle Concert will be at Midnight Rodeo Austin at 2201 E. Ben White Boulevard. For tickets and details, visit SalvationArmyAUSTIN.org.

The Salvation Army Red Kettles will be placed in front of stores across the area, and community members are invited to volunteer to ring the bell and even create their own virtual Red Kettle at OnlineRedKettle.org. To volunteer as a bell ringer, visit the volunteer page of the website. Supporters may also donate at SalvationArmyAUSTIN.org or by mailing a gift to The Salvation Army at P.O. Box 1000, Austin, TX 78767.

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 125 years in the Austin area. Locally more than 400,000 people receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, to relief for disaster victims, rehabilitation for the addicted, clothing and shelter to those experiencing homelessness and case management to help people move from crisis to stability. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army Austin spends is used to support those services in Travis and Williamson Counties. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyAUSTIN.org. Facebook.com/SalvationArmyAustin, Twitter.com/SalArmyAustin and Instagram.com/SalArmyAustin

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Get ready for Giving Tuesday!

 

#GivingTuesday

Giving Tuesday is on its way!

After remembering all there is to be thankful for and braving black Friday sales and cyber Monday deals to find gifts for our loved ones, on Tuesday, December 2, we can be a part of a growing tradition of generosity – Giving Tuesday!

Impact the lives of people right here in Austin.

Our holiday events and services will bring Christmas gifts to thousands of children who may not otherwise have them. We’ll be able to serve holiday meals to hundreds of people this Christmas, and provide thousands of gifts to children and families through the Angel Tree.

The Salvation Army in Austin is one of the largest providers of basic needs services to those experiencing homelessness in Austin. Your donation to the Salvation Army can help us feed and shelter more than 400,000 people in need this year. Your gift will ensure that children can be warm, safe and well-nourished.

boy opening gifts - The Salvation Army Angel TreeSalArmy Angel Tree

Donate at a Red Kettle or Online

Donate now, or drop your donation into one of our Red Kettles from now through Christmas Eve outside stores across Williamson and Travis counties. When you give on Giving Tuesday, use the hashtag #GivingTuesday on FacebookTwitter  or Instagram to let people know you’re joining the Salvation Army in giving joy, hope, and peace this Christmas.

volunteer bell ringer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boxes of diapers

Diaper Drive for Families Experiencing Homelessness

Diapers Needed at The Salvation Army Shelters

Boxes of diapers

In conjunction with National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, The Salvation Army is conducting a diaper drive for families who are experiencing homelessness. The Salvation Army is the only emergency shelter option in Austin for families, and we need a lot of diapers. Large sizes 4, 5 and 6 are especially needed.

Diapers can be donated at The Salvation Army Downtown Shelter and Social Services Center at 501 East Eighth Streeton Thursday, November 20, from 9 am to 4:30 pm or Friday, November 21.

OR donate at any of the four Salvation Army Family Stores in Austin or Round Rock on Thursday, November 20. See our Family Store page for locations and store hours. Each person who donates will receive a coupon to our Austin Salvation Army Family Stores.

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is held each year the week before Thanksgiving. This is a time for us all to start to think about what we are thankful for, and a perfect time to share our compassion with our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness.
This year, National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week is November 15-23, 2014.

The Salvation Army Austin is participating in National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week not only to bring greater awareness to our community, but also to help to promote the national endeavor to end hunger and homelessness. The plight of those without a home, or those living in poverty, can be both lonely and difficult.

Women and Children Experiencing Homelessness

Did you know that more than 65% of the people The Salvation Army Austin serves who are experiencing homelessness are women and children? Women and children are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in our community.

Please consider sharing your efforts on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, using #NHHAW and tag @SalArmyAustin or Facebook.com/SalvationArmyAustin.

online red kettle home page

Host an Online Red Kettle

Online Red Kettle

Host a virtual Red Kettle – Start yours now at OnlineRedKettle.org  – or keep reading to learn more.

Start New Kettle

Your Kettle Will Help Change Lives

Once you’ve created your kettle, spread the word. The more people you invite, the more donations you’ll get. Which means you’ll be helping more people in desperate need.

Feed the Hungry. Shelter the Homeless.

When others donate to your kettle, they’re giving far more than money. They’re giving meals to a hungry child, warm beds to a homeless family, and hope to those who need it most.

The Joy of Giving.

Thank you for starting an Online Red Kettle. By sharing the need and ringing your “virtual bell,” you are giving a gift that will not only bring joy to families in need, but to you as well.

See below for detals and screenshots to help you with the process, or click here  to start your Online Red Kettle now

Be a part of helping those in need this Christmas by hosting an Online Red Kettle. Red Kettles have been used by the Salvation Army since 1891 to raise funds that have impacted millions of  lives.

At OnlineRedKettle.org you can join in the tradition by inviting your friends and family to give to your virtual Red Kettle using email and social media. You can sign up as an individual, as a team, or as a company (which has multiple teams).

Setting up your Red Kettle is easy. You will never be asked to install or download an application, and there is no fee to register. Each person who gives to your Online Red Kettle will receive an email acknowledgment of their donation, which can be printed used for tax purposes. For more, check the Online Red Kettle FAQ page.

Here’s how to get started!

First, go to OnlineRedKettle.org, and in the center or top right click “Start a New Kettle”.

online red kettle home page

Step 1 – Choose a Role

Select the type of Red Kettle you’ll be starting. Select individual, unless you are starting one for a team or company. (If you’d like to join a company or team, you’ll be able to do that on Step 2.) Then create an account. You can login using your email, or an existing account with Google, Facebook or Twitter.

Step 1 Choose a Role

Step 2 – Registration
This is where you can choose to register your kettle under a team or company.

Step 2 Registration

Step 3 – Profile
Enter your name and contact information. Your name will appear on your virtual Red Kettle’s web page. Donations made to your Red Kettle will support the Salvation Army in your local community, determined by the zip code you enter in this page!

Step 3 Profile

Step 4 – Fundraising
This is where you’ll get your official Online Red Kettle URL! (It will automatically use the name listed on your profile page, but you can edit it here if you’d like.) This is the link you will share with those you’d like to invite to donate to your Red Kettle!

Step 4 Fundraising and personal goals

Step 5 – Donate
Next you’ll have to opportunity to make your own donation to the Salvation Army. As a virtual Red Kettle host, you aren’t obligated to give, but it’s a great way to kick off your Red Kettle campaign.

Step 5 Donate

Step 6 – Review and Confirm
Make sure your information is correct, and press submit!

6 Review and Confirm

You’ll now be able to access your Red Kettle any time by logging in at OnlineRedKettle.org. If you’d like you can customize your page and share why you decided to host a Red Kettle this Christmas, which can help you inspire more people to give.

Angel Tree

Give joy to families in our community this Christmas by participating in the Salvation Army Angel Tree program.

boy opening gifts - The Salvation Army Angel Tree

Each year the Salvation Army provides toys and clothing to children in need at Christmas. Last year, thanks to the generosity of the Austin community, we provided gifts to more than 6,800 local children. With your help we will help 7,000 individuals in the Austin area this year.

Our online Angel Tree adoption has ended, but you can learn how to adopt an Angel at an area mall by Saturday, December 13.

“It’s an act of showing someone that you love them.”

sva-button-donate

Don’t have time to shop? Donate now, and we’ll do the shopping for you.

Families in need are referred to the Salvation Army by social services or schools. We verify the needs of the family and then each child registered with Angel Tree is printed a tag that’s hung on one of the trees located in malls and in participating corporations and organizations across Travis and Williamson counties.

Angel Tree tags

We Need You!

This is where you come in! We need volunteers who will adopt Angels, or who will give their time by manning Angel Trees in the malls or helping in the Salvation Army Distribution Center where gifts are organized and where families will pick up the gifts. Click here to see all Angel Tree volunteer opportunities and sign up now. You can find Angels at Angel Trees Lakeline, Barton Creek Square and The Domain.

See our Angel Tree page for more information on how it works. Tune in to The Majic of Christmas on 95.5 from December 1-19th to hear from Angel Tree families and others served by the Salvation Army.

 

 

 

KOKE FM Presents Rock the Red Kettle Austin

For 2016 Rock the Red Kettle ATX, Click Here.

Rock the Red Kettle Austin presented by KOKE FM

KOKE FM Presents Rock the Red Kettle Concert to Benefit The Salvation Army of Austin

Headliner Cory Morrow and Guest Speaker John Paul Dejoria Highlight the Event

AUSTIN, TX (November 14, 2014) – Musicians will soon band together to Do the Most Good for the Live Music Capital of the World’s locals in need. KOKE FM announces the first Austin Rock the Red Kettle Concert, a night of feel-good music on November 30, benefiting the local Salvation Army serving the growing number of women and children who are experiencing homelessness in the Austin area. The concert will feature country music artist Cory Morrow, as well as other artists to include Shane Smith, John Baumann, Owen Temple, Carter Beckworth and The Rankin Twins, who will perform in the benefit concert at Midnight Rodeo.

It all started with Morrow, who is passionate about helping others in our community, especially women and children in Salvation Army Area shelters. Once other artists heard about the concert plans, the artist volunteer list started growing. Things didn’t end there though, In addition to the musician star power, the event will include the kickoff of the annual Salvation Army Red Kettle fundraising campaign with Texas Hall of Fame’s Bob Cole as emcee and local icon John Paul DeJoria sharing the moving story of when his support of The Salvation Army first started, as well as Major League Baseball players planning to be onsite to sign autographs!

“KOKE FM is proud to bring this concert to Austin,” says Bob Cole, owner of KOKE FM. “We want to shine a light on the growing number of women and children experiencing homelessness in this community. No one does more to help these women and children than The Salvation Army.”

Top-of-the-bill performer Morrow is Texas born and bred and is a regular on the Texas country music scene. “The Salvation Army helps those who need it most,” Morrow says. “I’m honored to be a part of this 125-year tradition of doing the most good to the most people in the most need right here in Central Texas.”

“We are proud of the heritage and 125 year history of The Salvation Army in Texas,” said Lt. Colonel Henry Gonzalez, The Salvation Army Commander of the Austin Area. “If going to a great concert is good, then going to a great concert and also supporting women and children who are homeless in our community is doing the most good.”

Tickets for this family-friendly evening are $12, and free for kids 12 and under. The family area will be open at 5:00 pm including photos with Santa, face painting and crafts along with music by The Salvation Army band. Cory Morrow and friends take the stage at 6:00 pm. Barbecue plates will be available for purchase. A silent auction will include Major League Baseball and Texas Red Dirt Music memorabilia.

Visit KOKEFM.com or SalvationArmyAUSTIN.org to purchase tickets or to learn more about all programs serving our local community. People who are not able to attend the concert can donate online and find many holiday volunteer opportunities at SalvationArmyAUSTIN.org.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 125 years in the Austin area. More than 400,000 receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army Austin spends is used to support those services in Travis and Williamson Counties. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyAUSTIN.org. Facebook.com/SalvationArmyAustin, Twitter.com/SalArmyAustin and Instagram.com/SalArmyAustin.

About KOKE FM

KOKE-FM (99.3 and 98.5 FM and AM 1490) is Austin’s Country Alternative and the flagship station of the Austin Radio Network, which includes The Horn 104.9. The Fringe 105.3 and The Word AM 1260. KOKE FM can trace its roots the original KOKE that gave rise to the Outlaw Country movement of the early 70’s with names like Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings.  The current incarnation went on the air July 9, 2012 with long time Austin radio hosts Bob Cole and Eric Raines.

NHHAW National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week 2014

NHHAW National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is held each year the week before Thanksgiving. This is a time for us all to start to think about what we are thankful for, and a perfect time to share our compassion with our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness.

This year, National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week is November 15-23, 2014.

The Salvation Army Austin is participating in National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week not only to bring greater awareness to our community, but also to help to promote the national endeavor to end hunger and homelessness. The plight of those without a home, or those living in poverty, can be both lonely and difficult.

Women and Children Experiencing Homelessness

Did you know that more than 65% of the people The Salvation Army Austin serves who are experiencing homelessness are women and children? Women and children are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in our community.

Below are two ways that you can make a difference for these women and children – and others in our community during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.

Please consider sharing your efforts on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, using #NHHAW and tag @SalArmyAustin or Facebook.com/SalvationArmyAustin.

Diaper Drive for the Homeless

The public is invited to donate diapers for families who are experiencing homelessness. Diapers can be donated at The Salvation Army Downtown Shelter and Social Services Center at 501 East Eighth Street on Thursday, November 20, from 9 am to 4:30 pm. OR donate at any of the four Salvation Army Family Stores in Austin or Round Rock on Thursday, November 20. See our Family Store page for locations and store hours: http://bit.ly/FamilyStore . Each person who donates will receive a coupon to our Austin Salvation Army Family Stores.

Food Drive for the Hungry

Wolf Ranch Chick-Fil-A in Georgetown will be accepting donations of canned goods all day Monday, November 17 for The Salvation Army food pantry in Williamson County. Those who donate three cans of food will receive a free Chick-Fil-A sandwich. A special family time from 5-7 pm will include a visit by the Chick-Fil-A Cow and the Baby Cow along with a performance by The Salvation Army brass band.

10 Reasons featured image

10 Reasons to be a Volunteer Bell Ringer this Christmas!

by Emily Alvarado
Sign up to be a volunteer bell ringer this Christmas!

We need you this Red Kettle season

This year’s annual Red Kettle campaign starts November 26th and we need you to be a volunteer bell ringer! Red Kettles have been a trademark of the Salvation Army for more than 100 years. Christmas shopping wouldn’t be the same without the greeting of a Salvation Army bell ringer. It’s one of the many traditions that make Christmas special – for us, and for those who will benefit when we drop our donation in the Red Kettle. Learn more about how you can get involved here.

10 Reasons you should be a Bell Ringer this Christmas

 1. It’s fun! This is a great way to celebrate the holiday season. You get to be right in the midst of the holiday bustle. Get creative – dress up, sing songs, bring your friends!

2. You’ll spread Christmas cheer. The Red Kettle bell is an iconic sound of the season. You’ll put people in the Christmas spirit! If you’re up for it, you can even use the time to check caroling off your list of festivities.

3. You’ll be part of changing lives. The Salvation Army in Austin provides food, clothing, shelter and other social services to those in need. Last year the Salvation Army served more than 400,000 people – that’s about 1,100 a day.

4. The money you raise directly impacts your community. All donations made in Austin stay in Austin. The Salvation Army is the largest provider of basic needs services to those experiencing homelessness in Williamson and Travis Counties. By helping raise funds through a Red Kettle, you’re a neighbor helping neighbors.

5. It’s easy! No experience required. It takes as little as two hours on a Saturday. Sign up here!

6. It’s the perfect opportunity to wear a tacky Christmas sweater. After hanging in your closet all year, it’s time for the annual debut. Dressing up makes bell ringing more fun, and might get some extra smiles out of Christmas shoppers.

7. “Make new friends, and keep the old.” You’ll get to meet lots of new people as you invite them to donate to your red kettle. Add to the fun by asking friends and family to ring a bell with you. You can even make it a new tradition!

8. Channel your competitive side. For you goal-oriented types, it’s easy to see how your work is paying off as your Red Kettle fills up! See how many people you can convince to give to your Red Kettle.

9. Take advantage of the cool winter air! It doesn’t stick around for long. Dust off those winter coats and sip on some cider or hot cocoa.

10. Be part of a legacyThe Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign has been a Christmas tradition since 1891. Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee set out a kettle to raise funds to feed the hungry in San Francisco. Now Red Kettles can be found all over the world in places like Japan, Chile and countries in Europe.

Ring a bell for Red Kettle this Christmas!

Red Kettle Season is Almost Here!

by Emily Alvarado

Ring a bell for Red Kettle this Christmas!

Red Kettle 2014

The 2014 Red Kettle campaign kicks off soon. It begins November 26th and goes through Christmas Eve.

This year marks the 124th year of The Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign. Last year donors across the country gave almost $136 million, which provided more than 30 million people with food, shelter and social services. Donors in Austin raised $229,000, which helped serve more than 400,000 people in Travis and Williamson Counties.

Holiday donations make up the majority of funds used to provide services to people in Austin year round. Red Kettles make change happen, so this year the Salvation Army needs your help.

Four Ways to Get Involved

1. Drop a donation in one of the Salvation Army’s Red Kettles at stores or companies across Austin between November 26th and Christmas Eve.

2. Sign up to be a volunteer Bell Ringer! Make a difference by giving just two hours on a Saturday. You can sign up with friends and family, and throw on your favorite ugly Christmas sweater! Check out our bell ringer page for more information.

3. Spread the word! Tell people why you’re giving to a Red Kettle this Christmas. Use the hashtag #RedKettleReason. See what others are saying, and join the conversation at RedKettleReason.org.

4. Host your own Red Kettle – online! Use email and social media to invite friends and family to donate. You can sign up individually or with a team. Start your online Kettle now: OnlineRedKettle.org.

Salvation Army Red Kettle

 

Roxanne Strong at The Salvation Army Austin

The Salvation Army Gave Roxanne a Place to Start

by Mary Rosewood

“I’m just so grateful to the Lord. I’m grateful to The Salvation Army. The Salvation Army gave me a place to start.”

Roxanne Strong at The Salvation Army Austin - A Place to Start

“Salvation Army, where we’re doing the most good. How may I direct your call?”

Roxanne cheerfully answers the phone at the downtown Austin shelter with these words. When a person in crisis walks through our shelter doors asking for help, Roxanne is the first calm, caring person they meet at The Salvation Army. She stays busy: filling out paperwork for new clients entering the shelter, creating badges for them, answering questions, providing directions, giving out sack lunches, handing over the clipboard for laundry sign-up.

“I am proud to have this real, normal job. I work for The Salvation Army, Monday through Friday from six to three,” Roxanne says.

“I love my job. I LOVE it. I love it,” she adds. “I’m right in the hub of the building. It seems like everybody comes to me for all kinds of help. I try to encourage clients. My experience might be the one thing that helps that person or gives them some strength to go on.”

Grateful for Her Job

Roxanne does not take having a job for granted.

“It was the bottom of bottom” is how Roxanne describes her life in 2007 when she arrived at the shelter after spending ten years as a homeless drug addict.

At age 15, Roxanne began smoking marijuana. Within two years she was using cocaine and speed, then smoking crack.

As her addiction tightened its grip, Roxanne walked out on her six children, thinking that she was protecting them. But this decision led to years of living in cheap hotels, sometimes on the street, then in the woods.

Roxanne struggled to be sober. She tried different treatment centers. She attended Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Cocaine Anonymous. The programs would work for a while, but she just wasn’t getting what she needed.

One day she ran into her now-grown son; unsure of what his mother might do, he stayed in the car and showed Roxanne her one-month-old granddaughter through the window.

“I had been praying and praying and praying for God to help me find some kind of direction to get out of that mess,” Roxanne says. “And at that moment, I felt like that was my open door.”

Roxanne did not want her new granddaughter to experience what she had put her children through. She felt a strong need to go somewhere to straighten out her life so she could be a good grandmother.

Starting Over

“Literally, I just jumped on a bus,” Roxanne recalls. “I didn’t know where I was going, I had no clue I would end up at The Salvation Army. I had nothing with me, no clothes – nothing. I just kind of ended up there. I thought The Salvation Army was just some place you ate. When I got there, that’s when everything began to change for me.”

Over the next few months doors opened one after the other. Roxanne followed her caseworker’s suggestion to volunteer in The Salvation Army kitchen. Soon she was being paid for this work, and then promoted: dishwasher, kitchen assistant, cook. She hadn’t done honest work for sixteen years; she started to feel like a human being again.

“All I had to do was open myself up and be willing to do the next right thing,” Roxanne says. “Through The Salvation Army and through God, my entire life changed in a matter of months, I mean rapidly.”

Today Roxanne works as the ground floor receptionist at the downtown Austin shelter, a job she loves because she is able to share her story of hope with people coming in off the street.

Roxanne Strong interviewed by Lauren Petrowski of FOX 7 - A Place to Start Over

Roxanne had the opportunity to share her story with Lauren Petrowski of FOX 7 Austin last year.

The Blessing of Her Family

Now her children are in her life again, and she finds delight in spending time with her granddaughter. Her second grandchild was born in October, and Roxanne is delighted to be able to spend time with and enjoy her grandbabies.

“It is truly God’s miracle that my life is where it is today,” Roxanne says.

You can help people like Roxanne with your donation to The Salvation Army today. Click here to make a donation.

“What I am today, and who I am today, and what I have today has nothing to do with me, other than being willing to be open to what God has for me, what God’s plans are for me, and just stay sober. God is the one who keeps me sober, and he has allowed my life to be where it is today. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m just so grateful to the Lord. I’m grateful to The Salvation Army. The Salvation Army gave me a place to start.”

 

Thanks to freelance writer, Mary Rosewood, for writing this story. Mary enjoys capturing the stories of memorable people and events. Find her website at rainydayrose.com .