The Salvation Army of Austin http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin The Salvation Army of Austin Fri, 19 Aug 2016 20:55:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Williamson County Giving Back presented by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/news/the-williamson-county-giving-back-presented-by-berkshire-hathaway-homeservices/ Tue, 19 Jul 2016 19:20:23 +0000 http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/?p=17462 Dinner, Music and Dancing to raise $20,000 for services to Williamson County families

GEORGETOWN, TX (July 11, 2016) – The Salvation Army Williamson County Service Center will be the beneficiary of Williamson County Giving Back, Sunday, August 28, 2016 at the Sun City Ballroom, with a goal of raising $20,000 to support local families in need. Presented by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Texas Realty, the event will be emceed by KEYE TV Chief Meteorologist Chikage Windler and will include dinner, music and dancing featuring jazz, swing and big band music by Not Past 11. Tickets are available to purchase through The Salvation Army.

Opened in 2014, the Service Center, located in Georgetown at 1930 S. Austin Avenue, provides financial assistance, food and clothing to Williamson County families who are living in the first stages of financial crisis. The Center’s goal is to prevent homelessness by helping families move from struggle to self-sufficiency. The Salvation Army also supports the community through a summer camp for kids, nursing home ministry, and community outreach to a disadvantaged neighborhood. The Service Center closely collaborates with other agencies and churches in Williamson County to ensure that needs are met appropriately and to avoid duplication of services.

“The Salvation Army makes a difference right here at home and has the greatest return on investment of any philanthropic organization I know,” said Jay Warren, managing partner for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Texas Realty. “The money we are raising through this event stays here in Williamson County. It’s going to help people who are trying, people who are working, people who are doing the best they can and who don’t need a hand out but a hand up.”

In addition to the assistance provided at the Service Center, a dedicated group of volunteers operates The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services canteen (mobile kitchen) out of Williamson County, responding when disaster strikes. This team provided more than 2,000 hours of service in disasters around the region in the past year, providing food, drinks and emotional and spiritual support to first responders and survivors in disasters such as the historic Blanco River floods, the Halloween floods, the Hidden Pines fire, and local disasters including a plane crash.

“As a leader in Christian faith based human services, we are motivated by the love of God”, said Major Andy Kelly, Salvation Army Austin Metropolitan Area Commander. “Around the world, The Salvation Army is committed to serving the whole person, body, mind and spirit, with integrity and respect, using creative solutions to positively transform lives. Locally, we are equally committed to providing a wide array of social service assistance programs for residents in Williamson County who find themselves in need.”

The public is invited to purchase tickets to the event or get more information by visiting The Salvation Army’s website at www.SalvationArmyAustin.org, emailing AustinDevelopment@uss.salvationarmy.org, or calling 512-634-5902.

 

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 127 years in the Austin area. Locally thousands of 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 self-sufficiency. Eighty-three 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 or Instagram.com/SalArmyAustin.

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Deloitte IMPACT Day at The Salvation Army http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/blog/2016-deloitte-impact-day-salvation-army-austin/ Wed, 22 Jun 2016 14:36:47 +0000 http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/?p=17206 The Salvation Army Austin Downtown Shelter and Social Service Center, along with the Christmas Cheer and Emergency Disaster Services Warehouse, benefited from the 17th Annual Deloitte IMPACT Day on Friday, June 10, 2016.

Deloittle Employee Volunteers at Christmas Warehouse

Deloittle Employee Volunteers at The Salvation Army Christmas Cheer Warehouse.

Employees of the Austin Deloitte offices arrived Friday morning to complete community services projects, including painting walls at our shelter and re-assembling shelves at the Christmas Warehouse to get ready for our Christmas Angel Tree program.

IMPACT Day is an opportunity for many Deloitte member firms around the world to put their passion, determination, and skills to work – letting their employees leave behind their laptops, conferences calls, and emails  – to do these IMPACT Day projects and make a difference in their communities.

Deloitte Employee Volunteers at Downtown Shelter

Deloitte Employee Volunteers at Downtown Shelter

 

The projects are coordinated locally by Deloitte employees.  “We do like to give back to the community; we like to work with them in a way we can to help the community grow”, said Boris Block, Tax Manager with Deloitte Tax Services Austin.  “We reach out to all of our Deloitte employees in our local offices to ask them for ideas and then from there we get to choose based on interest or a previous relationships”.

 

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Due to the generosity of businesses like Deloitte, we are able to continue to provide the vital programs and services at our emergency shelters and service centers (Downtown Shelter and Social Service Center, the Austin Shelter for Women and Children, and the Williamson County Service Center), along with an Adult Rehabilitation Center, our emergency disaster services and Christmas assistance.

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2016 National Donut Day http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/blog/2016-national-donut-day/ http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/blog/2016-national-donut-day/#comments Fri, 27 May 2016 20:43:55 +0000 http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/?p=16987 What do donuts, “Lassies” (no, not the famous dog),  social media contests and war have in common? They are all part of the 79th annual celebration of The Salvation Army National Donut Day on Friday, June 3rd.   To mark this occasion, Salvation Army Austin volunteers and staff will be giving away donuts to police and fire officers at locations in Austin and Williamson County and at the Austin VA Outpatient Clinic. Entenmann’s Bakery is providing the donuts through a partnership with The Salvation Army.

Because many veterans have a happy memory of receiving donuts or other care from The Salvation Army on the front lines, and many of these stories have been passed on, we invite you to share a related Donut Day story to enter our Donut Day Mug contest.

As part of the 2016 National Donut Day festivities, we will be giving away three commemorative Donut Day mugs with the original Salvation Army WWI doughnut recipe on the side.  To win your mug, join us during our celebration this year by telling your Donut Day story or a family member’s story on social media, and you will be entered into a drawing for a Donut Day mug.  To be eligible, include #nationaldonutday and tag SalvationArmyAustin on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.  Plus, be sure to make your post public so we can enter you in our drawing.  Deadline to enter is Sunday June 12, 2016.  Three randomly drawn winners will be selected on Tuesday, June 16, 2016 and will be announced on our social media sites.

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And for even more fun, Entenmann’s Bakery gives you a chance to  “Win Free Donuts for a Year”  with a sweepstakes on their Facebook page.  They will be awarding 10 grand prizes of one year of free Entenmann’s donuts and awarding 100 lucky fans with Party Pack prizes.  Visit Entenmann’s on their Facebook page to enter.  Be sure to share their page and encourage friends and family to enter as Entenmann’s Bakery will donate $1 to The Salvation Army for each “Win Free Donuts for a Year” sweepstakes entry received.

National Donut Day, held annually on the first Friday of June, was established by The Salvation Army in 1938 in Chicago to honor the “Donut Lassies”, who served these treats, along with providing writing supplies, clothes-mending and home-cooked meals to soldiers during World War I and to help raise needed funds during the great depression.

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When America entered the hostilities of World War I in April 1917, Evangeline Booth, who was The Salvation Army USA National Commander, placed the entire Salvation Army in the USA on war-service basis.  Hostels and service centers were established adjacent to military camps and were dispatched wherever the American troops were stationed.  These women earned the nicknames “Doughnut Lassies” or “Doughnut Girls” as they served countless treats to grateful soldiers, moving through the trenches to bring the men donuts and coffee.

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With limited resources at the start, the donuts were fried, only seven at a time and in soldiers’ helmets.  Although the young women worked late into the night, they only served 150 donuts the first day.  The next day, that number was doubled, and when fully equipped for the job, they fried from 2,500 to 9,000 donuts daily at each tent set up along the front line.  Because at the start they didn’t have a donut cutter, they twisted strips of dough to fry, but the demand for donuts with a hole increased by the soldiers and an elderly French blacksmith improvised a donut cutter by fastening the top of a condensed milk can with a camphor-ice tube to a wooden block.  Later, all sorts of other inventions were employed, such as the lid from a baking powder can or a lamp chimney to cut the donuts, with the top of a coffee percolator to make the hole.

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The donuts became synonymous with The Salvation Army, as well as the American Expeditionary Force soldiers who were returning home with the nickname, “Doughboys”.  More than just filling an empty stomach, these donuts and the joyful presence of the women who worked so hard to make them provided the soldiers with the boost their spirits needed during an extraordinarily difficult time.  This significantly established the donut as a long-standing symbol of the services The Salvation Army provides.

Today, The Salvation Army Austin continues to provide meals, including donuts, as well as numerous other programs and services including our current Camp campaign,  emergency shelters and service centers (Downtown Shelter and Social Service Center, the Austin Shelter for Women and Children, and the Williamson County Service Center), along with an Adult Rehabilitation Center, emergency disaster services and Christmas assistance.

Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and enter our Donut Day contests today.

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The Salvation Army Austin partners with Entenmann’s Bakery to celebrate National Donut Day on June 3rd http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/news/the-salvation-army-austin-partners-with-entenmanns-bakery-to-celebrate-national-donut-day-on-june-3rd/ http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/news/the-salvation-army-austin-partners-with-entenmanns-bakery-to-celebrate-national-donut-day-on-june-3rd/#comments Fri, 27 May 2016 20:01:55 +0000 http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/?p=16983 National sweepstakes will also raise up to $35,000 for The Salvation Army

Austin, TX (May, 2016) – Entenmann’s® Bakery, a division of Bimbo Bakeries USA (BBU), is again partnering with The Salvation Army for National Donut Day, celebrated this year on Friday, June 3, 2016. In the Austin area, to commemorate the historical day, the day’s events will include Entenmann’s® donut distribution at the Austin Veteran’s Administration clinic as well as Williamson & Travis County police, EMS and fire departments.

The Salvation Army founded National Donut Day in 1938 to pay tribute to “Donut Lassies”, female volunteers, who provided writing supplies, clothes-mending, home-cooked meals, and of course, donuts, for soldiers on the front lines in WWI. For the 6th consecutive year, Entenmann’s® will be joining The Salvation Army to honor this day with co-branded Entenmann’s® Bakery boxes, including the company’s roll-out of the new Rich Frosted Party Sprinkled Donut. In addition, Entenmann’s® Bakery will donate $1 to The Salvation Army for each ‘Win Free Donuts for a Year’ Facebook Sweepstakes entry received during the campaign, up to $35,000. In addition, a local social media contest invites people to share their Donut Day stories in a public post using #NationalDonutDay and tagging Salvation Army Austin on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to be entered to win one of three Donut Day mugs.

“With the support of Entenmann’s®, we are glad for the opportunity to share National Donut Day with our community. For The Salvation Army, the donut is a symbol of our service, a legacy we continue to uphold as we have done for 128 years in Travis & Williamson Counties,” said Area Commander, Lt. Colonel Henry Gonzalez.

We are honored to have The Salvation Army as our National Donut Day partner for the 6th consecutive year, and proud to be a part of their efforts to help families around the world by raising funds through our National Donut Day campaign,” said Maureen Sticco, Director of Entenmann’s® Marketing Services. “We are also looking forward to the ‘Win Free Donuts for a Year’ Facebook sweepstakes, reaching Entenmann’s® fans everywhere so they can be part of our National Donut Day celebration and have a chance to win their own parties at home.”

To learn more about The Salvation Army and the Entenmann’s® partnership, visit http://bitly.com/EntenmannsNDD

Entenmann’s® New Rich Frosted Party Sprinkled Donuts:

In keeping with the 2016 party celebration theme, Entenmann’s® Bakery has created a brand new sweet and iconic treat to celebrate National Donut Day. The new Entenmann’s®  Rich Frosted Party Sprinkled Donut combines the classic fan favorite Rich Frosted Donut dusted with of splash of/coated/dusted with colorful party sprinkles.

The new donuts hit store shelves in April right in time for this year’s National Donut Day celebration. It will join the Entenmann’s® donut family which includes the renowned Rich Frosted and Crumb Topped Donuts (aka Mr. and Mrs. Rich Frosted,) in addition to seasonal favorites like the Lemon, Harvest Pumpkin and Cider Donuts.

Entenmann’s® Facebook Sweepstakes:

As a part of the 2016 National Donut Day festivities and through the “Win Free Donuts for a Year” Facebook sweeps, Entenmann’s® Bakery will not only be awarding 10 Grand Prizes of one year of free Entenmann’s® donuts at the end of Sweepstakes period, and awarding 100 lucky fans Party Pack Prizes that include everything they’ll need to throw their own National Donut Day party at home. The 100 Party Packs Prizes (value $75 each) will be awarded in advance of National Donut Day; the package includes (4) $7 Entenmann’s® Coupons, Entenmann’s® Party Napkins and Plates, an Entenmann’s® National Donut Day T-Shirt and a Rich Frosted Donut Plush Toy with a party hat.

Starting April 1, 2016, the Sweepstakes link will be on the Entenmann’s® Facebook page. For every consumer (fan or not) that enters the Facebook “Win Free Donuts for a Year” sweepstakes, $1 will be donated to The Salvation Army, up to $35,000. All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET on July 2, 2016. Winners will be randomly selected from all submissions. Official Rules can be found at www.entenmanns.com.  No purchase necessary.

National Donut Day’s Freshly Baked History:

The holiday, held annually on the first Friday of June, was established by The Salvation Army in 1938 in Chicago to honor the “Donut Lassies,” who served these treats to soldiers during World War I, and to help raise needed funds during the Great Depression.

The donuts became synonymous with The Salvation Army, as well as the American soldiers who were returning home with the nickname, “doughboys.” This significant occasion established the donut as a long-standing symbol of the services The Salvation Army continues to provide. Today, The Salvation Army continues to provide meals, including donuts, and numerous other services to clients who visit The Salvation Army programs daily.

“We are grateful for loyal partners like Entenmann’s®, who have proven to be exceptional in their efforts to support our mission of goodwill. We look forward to making the 2016 National Donut Day an unforgettable occasion,” said Colonel Ron Busroe, National Community Relations and Development Secretary for The Salvation Army.

About Entenmann’s® Bakery 

Founded in 1898, Entenmann’s® Bakery has over 100 sweet baked goods, including donuts, Little Bites®, crumb cakes and chocolate chip cookies. Entenmann’s® products are baked by the Bimbo Bakeries USA companies (BBU).  BBU is a leader in the baking industries known for its category leading brands, innovative products, freshness and quality.  Our team of more than 25,000 U.S. associates operates 69 manufacturing locations in the United States. 13,500 distribution routes deliver our leading brands such as Arnold®, Bimbo®, Boboli®, Brownberry®, Entenmann’s®, Francisco®, Freihofer’s®, Heiner’s™, Marinela®, Mrs Baird’s®, Oroweat®, Sara Lee®, Stroehmann®, Thomas’®, and Tia Rosa®.  More information about Bimbo Bakeries USA companies’ full line of products can be found at http://www.bimbobakeriesusa.com and www.entenmanns.com.

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 150 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: 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. Eighty-two cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

 

Jan Gunter, Director of Communications   512-634-5910   Jan.Gunter@uss.salvationarmy.org

Linda D’Isa/Amy Friedland, Freeman Public Relations for Entenmann’s  ldisa@freemanpr.com 973.470.0400 ext 14  afriedland@freemanpr.com 973-470-0400 ext 25

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Sending Children Experiencing Homelessness and Poverty to Summer Camps http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/news/sending-children-experiencing-homelessness-poverty-summer-camps/ Fri, 13 May 2016 21:34:59 +0000 http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/?p=16946 Local Individuals, Companies and Organizations are asked to Support this Critical Effort

AUSTIN, TX (May 11, 2016) – More than 125 local children ages 5 through 16 who are experiencing homelessness or poverty will attend summer camps starting in June. Many of these children are living in Salvation Army Austin emergency shelters, and some are living at home but because of financial constraints would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend summer camp like other children. Camp is important for every child, but it is especially important for children who are facing great hardships. The Salvation Army is inviting individuals, companies, churches and organizations to help raise the funds needed to make summer camp a reality for all of these children.

Summer camp provides stability and structure in the midst of chaotic times for children. Activities include team building, swimming lessons, exploring the great outdoors, playing sports and games, studying nature and wildlife, talent shows, faith-building lessons and much more. Day camps for children living in shelter, and overnight camps for children from The Salvation Army service center run from June 13 through mid-August.

young boy happy at camp

“Sending all of our children to camp is a monumental and critical undertaking,” says Stacy Schwarz, Assistant Social Services Director. “Without camp, they will have nowhere to go during the summer, and their moms won’t be able to go to work. Then if their moms can’t work, the families will not have the income to get housing and end the cycle of homelessness.”

In addition to providing wholesome and nurturing activities, sending these children to camp allows their parents to continue to work to provide for the family. While parents are working, going to school and taking necessary steps toward self-sufficiency and stability, they have the confidence of knowing that their children are being well cared for through meaningful and fun camping experiences.

One local donor, Anita Rodriguez, shares how attending Salvation Army camp many years ago with her brothers had a lasting impression on her. While her father was quite ill and often hospitalized, and her mother worked to support the family, she and her brothers were given the gift of Salvation Army camp. She donates regularly to The Salvation Army today because she wants to give other children the great experiences she had. Read her story and see pictures from her camp days, including a camp letter she sent to her mom and dad here: http://bit.ly/AnitasCampStory.

The community is invited help in the following ways:
· Donate online at http://bit.ly/DonateCamp2016.
· Text the word “LOCAL” to 91999 to make a donation of any amount.
· Donate by mail, and mark your check “Summer Camp”. Mail it to: The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1000, Austin, TX, 78767.
· Purchase camp supplies and donate them at any of the four Austin area Salvation Army Family Stores. Get details here: http://bit.ly/CampForKids.

In addition to paying for camp registration, staffing and transportation, the funds will go to purchase basic supplies such as swimsuits, shorts, sunscreen, flashlights and all the small items children need to attend camp since these children may not have much more than the clothes on their backs. To learn more about the camp drive, visit http://bit.ly/CampForKids. The deadline for donations is June 15.

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 127 years in the Austin area. Locally tens of thousands of people 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, rehabilitation for the addicted, clothing and shelter to those experiencing homelessness and case management to help people move from crisis to self-sufficiency. Eighty-two 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.

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Anita’s Story http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/blog/anita-story/ http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/blog/anita-story/#comments Tue, 10 May 2016 13:00:58 +0000 http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/?p=16888 As we continue to celebrate National Salvation Army week, we want to tell you Anita’s story.  Anita looks back to the three years when she was able to attend Salvation Army camp in the summer and what lasting impressions camp had on her.

Growing up in a poor, dangerous neighborhood, Anita and her brothers were not allowed to play outside because it wasn’t safe.  Their mother worked hard supporting the family and caring for their ill father.  “I remember my father being sick all the time…we spent a lot of our childhood in hospitals.”  When the boys started having trouble in school, a social worker suggested Salvation Army camp to Anita’s mom — a great benefit for the kids at no cost.  Going to summer camp opened a whole new world for eight-year-old Anita and her brothers.  At camp they were able to run outside and experience nature for the first time.  They learned to swim and fish, and Anita’s favorite activity was arts and crafts.

Summer camp letter from Anita to parents

Camp letter from Anita to her parents

Anita and brothers, with camp counselor at Camp

Anita and brothers, with camp counselor at Salvation Army camp

Anita and brothers at Camp

Anita and her brothers at Camp

 

Anita now owns her own business in Austin, and credits her time at camp for setting her on a path to success.  Years ago she received a Salvation Army appeal in the mail, and has faithfully donated since.

She said, “With the hope and joy that I still carry warmly in my heart for The Salvation Army, I decided thirteen years ago to pay it forward.  I donate to help send other children to camp so they can experience new adventures, grow, and have a little joy just as I did.”

Anita and her mom

Anita and her mom

“I’m grateful for what The Salvation Army did for my family.  It gave us hope…It made me the strong person I am today.”

 

Anita

Anita

Anita Rodriguez; Katrine Formby - Licarione Photography

Anita Rodriguez; Katrine Formby – Licarione Photography

Anita enthusiastically supports the work of The Salvation Army in our community and recently joined us, along with her friend, Katrine Formby, for our Doing the Most Good Luncheon.  Her faithful support ensures that many children like her and her brothers can have happy times attending camp even in the midst of challenging times for their families.  If you would like to help send a child to camp, click below to learn more.

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2016 National Salvation Army Week http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/blog/2016-national-salvation-army-week/ Mon, 09 May 2016 13:00:50 +0000 http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/?p=16875 Today we kick off the 2016 National Salvation Army Week and look back to just how The Salvation Army was formed.  In 1852, William Booth, an ordained Methodist minister, embarked upon his ministerial career, walking through the streets of London to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the poor, the homeless, the hungry, and the destitute, forgoing the traditional concept of a church.

William and Catherine Booth

William and Catherine Booth

In 1855, when Booth was invited to hold a series of meetings in a tent in the East End of London aided by his wife Catherine, he formed an evangelical group dedicated to preaching among the “unchurched” people living in the midst of appalling poverty, recognizing the interdependence of material, emotional and spiritual needs.  In addition, he became involved in the feeding and sheltering of the hungry and homeless and in the rehabilitation of alcoholics.

Originally known as “The Christian Mission”, The Salvation Army found footing in the United States when Lieutenant Eliza Shirley left England to move to Philadelphia and held the first meeting of The Salvation Army in the United States in 1879.  Today, The Salvation Army is now active in every zip code in the United States and in 125 countries, along with the Gospel being preached by its Officers in more than 160 languages.  In 1954, the first National Salvation Army Week was declared by the United States Congress and proclaimed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower as a reminder to Americans to give freely of themselves.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower

President Dwight D. Eisenhower

The Salvation Army came to Austin in 1889 conducting the first meeting in a building downtown on the corner of 11th and Congress.  From this small beginning in our community, The Salvation Army has grown to include two emergency shelters and service centers, an Adult Rehabilitation Center, a Corps community center, four Family Stores, along with emergency disaster services and Christmas assistance.

We will be celebrating all this week with inspirational stories about our volunteers, programs and services.  Please follow and share our #NationalSalvationArmyWeek posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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2016 Doing the Most Good Luncheon, Thursday, April 21, 2016 http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/blog/2016-most-good-luncheon/ Tue, 03 May 2016 17:08:44 +0000 http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/?p=16663 A first in Texas history happened at this year’s Salvation Army Austin Doing the Most Good Luncheon as Dick Rathgeber a long-time supporter and Advisory Board member – pictured above with his wife, Sara – was presented with the Honorary Colonel designation in front of a record crowd of more than 650 people at the JW Marriott.  And through heartfelt giving, guests donated a record $274,000 in sponsorships and donations to provide emergency shelter and services to local women and families. (See press release here.)

In addition to luncheon honoree Dick Rathgeber becoming the first in Texas to receive the Honorary Colonel designation, he is only the eighth person in the world to receive this honor in the 150 year history of The Salvation Army.

Along with the award presentation, attendees were treated to a live musical performance and film featuring Sam’s story about his family and how The Salvation Army helped bring them from homelessness to self-sufficiency.  It was a very moving presentation, with songs intertwined with Sam speaking on how his family found help at The Salvation Army when they were facing homelessness.  Our local organization was able to provide them housing, food, bus passes and most importantly, the support they needed to get back on their feet.

2016 Doing the Most Good Luncheon

Event Chair Cathy Present with Sam Espinosa and Event Committee Members Mary Durham and Betsy Hester – Licarione Photography

Sam experienced all of this with his family when he was in high school. Once the family had become stable again in their own home, Sam applied to and was accepted at Yale University, where he went on to receive his degree. Back in Austin now and a successful businessman, Sam said, “You may wonder if what you are doing is working.  I’m telling you today that it worked for me and my family.”  He then invited the crowd to write a check to support local families like his who come for help every day, taking out his own checkbook to make the first donation.

Many thanks to Ramy Antoun of Creative Arts Group and Clayton Corn of Crosswind Events + Experiences, who produced this moving live performance and film.  Other thanks goes to our emcee, Bob Cole of KOKE FM, our event chair, Cathy Present and her hard-working committee and to our faithful volunteers.  We appreciate everyone who took time out to attend the luncheon and donated from the heart.  If you were not able to attend but would like to make a difference for a local family like Sam’s, click the button below to donate now.

Click on the photo below to see the photo gallery of all of our luncheon photos taken by Licarione Photography and others at this year’s 2016 Doing The Most Good Luncheon.  To request a print quality version of a specific photo(s), please email heidi.garcia@uss.salvationarmy.org and we will be happy to send you what you need.

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Jerry Dollar; Britni Peters; Heather Merz; Ben Estes – Licarione Photography

 

 

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Guests at The Salvation Army’s “Doing The Most Good” luncheon witness bestowment of prestigious award and get unique look at organization’s local impact http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/news/doing-the-most-good-luncheon-2016/ http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/news/doing-the-most-good-luncheon-2016/#comments Wed, 27 Apr 2016 15:07:11 +0000 http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/?p=16648 Dick Rathgeber becomes only the eighth person in the world to receive Honorary Colonel designation

AUSTIN, TX – The Salvation Army and Austin legend Dick Rathgeber made Texas history April 21 as the charitable organization conferred the state’s first ever Honorary Colonel award to Rathgeber, a long-time supporter and Advisory Board member. A record luncheon crowd of more than 650 guests were on hand at the JW Marriott in Austin for The Salvation Army’s “Doing The Most Good” luncheon, demonstrating their support for both Rathgeber and one of his favorite organizations. Guests also donated a record $274,000 in sponsorships and donations to provide emergency shelter and wraparound services to local women and families experiencing homelessness after hearing a first-hand account of how The Salvation Army Austin brought a family from homelessness to self-sufficiency.

Licarione-Photo_Colonels Henry and Dorris Gonzalez with Sara and Dick Rathgeber

Lt. Colonels Henry and Dorris Gonzalez, Austin Area Commanders, with Sara and Dick Rathgeber at Doing The Most Good Luncheon. Licarione Photography.

Event producers Creative Arts Group and Crosswind Events + Experiences treated luncheon attendees to a unique live performance that told the organization’s story in a moving and compelling manner, featuring a local family whose lives were changed by the support of The Salvation Army. A young man, “Sam,” detailed for the crowd how he, his mother and four younger siblings came to The Salvation Army more than a decade ago when they had run out of options, after sleeping from place to place. The organization gave the single mother and five children safe housing, bus passes, food and support so they could move beyond their immediate crisis. Sam, in high school at the time, went on to graduate from Yale University, and is now living and working in Austin. He credited his mother for her tenaciousness and love, and challenged the luncheon guests to donate to help The Salvation Army’s mission of making a difference for families like his.

“You may wonder if what you are doing is working,” Sam said to the attentive ballroom crowd. “I’m telling you today that it worked for me and my family.”

As one of the organization’s most ardent supporters, luncheon honoree Dick Rathgeber believes fervently in supporting families like Sam’s, backing up that belief with decades of giving to the organization. In addition to being the first in Texas to receive the Honorary Colonel designation, he is also one of only eight people in the world to receive that award in the last 150 years. Honorary Colonel is one of the highest honors a non-Salvation Army officer can receive.

Salvation Army Area Commander Lt. Colonel Henry Gonzalez acknowledged not only Rathgeber’s contributions, but the generosity of the luncheon attendees and other donors.

“The luncheon guests demonstrated their support for The Salvation Army by showing up today,” said Gonzalez. “All donors are crucial to success stories like Sam’s, and it’s important we get stories like his out to illustrate our belief that once individuals can stop worrying about meeting basic needs, they can cross a threshold to successful and productive lives.”

Ramy Antoun, founder of Creative Arts Group and a former drummer for Seal and the Black Eyed Peas, and Clayton Corn of Crosswind Events + Experiences, produced the live performance and film featuring Sam’s story. The elegant JW Marriott provided the ideal backdrop. The Cain Foundation, Cathy and Randy Present, and Nancy and Nyle Maxwell were major event sponsors, and Bob Cole of KOKE FM was the emcee. Cathy Present and her committee of Betsy Hester, Tami Schroeder and Mary Durham chaired the event.

For more information email AustinDevelopment@uss.salvationarmy.org, or call 512-605-1410.

For photos of the luncheon, click HERE.

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Amplify Austin 2016 http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/blog/amplify-austin-2016/ Wed, 16 Mar 2016 15:40:17 +0000 http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/?p=16502 Amplify Austin is I live here I give Here’s community-wide day of online giving that took place March 8-9, 2016.

We are thankful for the community’s support. Because of your donations we raised $30,329 total. A very generous anonymous donor matched these donations, bringing our total to $60,658! These funds stay local and help us to continue to serve families in urgent need, providing shelter, meals and services that help local men, women and children move from crisis toward self-sufficiency.

Six Amplify Ambassadors created their own fundraising pages to help us raise funds. Chuck Harris attached a fun focus to his campaign called the Jalapeño Helpers. He encouraged donors to eat a jalapeno then make a donation. Miss M (one of the cutest babies in Austin) asked Austinites to donate on her page because she believes no child deserves to be without a home.

Miss M

Miss M

We had several supporters show their support by sharing their I #AmplifyATX reasons, including our Area Commander, Lt. Colonel Henry Gonzalez.  You can find their pics on our Twitter and Instagram pages.

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Colonel Gonzalez

The Amplify Austin kick-off began with many watch parties around the city, including ours, hosted by our advisory board chair, Dwight Thompson and his lovely wife Cathy. Party-goers watched the leaderboard as donations rolled in and enjoyed the music of Rick Hornyak and his friend, Jim an Austin attorney. We are thankful for Rick, a local musician, who volunteered his time to entertain our partygoers and has volunteered before to “rock the red kettle” during the holidays. Thank you to P. Terry’s and Hoboken Pie for showing their support and donating Amplify Watch Party door prizes.

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We would again like to thank our donors and volunteers for continuing to show their support. We couldn’t do what we do without you! If you missed out on Amplify, you still have a chance to have your donation matched for a limited time. Donate here to have your donation stretch even farther, helping even more families have a better tomorrow.

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