(Alexandria, VA) May 9, 2011 — Across the country, The Salvation Army will be celebrating its 58th annual National Salvation Army Week with a variety of events and activities to honor donors, supporters and beneficiaries of Salvation Army programs. Events will highlight the importance of Americans giving back to their local communities to support their fellow neighbor at a time when many families and individuals continue to struggle to make ends meet. The very first National Salvation Army Week was declared by President Dwight D. Eisenhower between November 18 and December 4, 1954 as a reminder to Americans that they should give freely of themselves.
“Every year, it’s important for The Salvation Army to say ’thank you’ to the people who make it possible for us to help others who are looking for assistance to escape hard times,” said Major George Hood, National Community Relations and Development Secretary for The Salvation Army. “Even now, our neighbors are relying on the generosity of others to stand strong following the April tornadoes, which devastated so many homes, businesses and lives. The Army’s work in these impacted cities would not be possible if it were not for our donors, volunteers and supporters.
Nationwide, Salvation Army programs will be honoring National Salvation Army Week through a variety of activities, including:
• Alexandria, VA: The Salvation Army will host its annual Civic Dinner with special guest Vince Lombardi, Jr. on Saturday, May 7.
• Auburn, CA: On Wednesday, May 11 the Auburn Corps will host a Celebration Breakfast at the Ridge Golf Course to honor volunteers and supporters.
• Beaumont, TX: The Salvation Army will host the second annual Kids Book Fair on Friday, May 13, at the Point North Housing Complex.
• Galveston County, TX: The Salvation Army will thank community partner banks all week by serving coffee and doughnuts in the morning and ice cream in the afternoon from a canteen at each location. Partner banks include Texas First Bank, HomeTown Bank, Frost Bank and Moody National Bank.
• Guayama, Puerto Rico: The Guayama Corps will host a variety of events including “The Lassies and the Doughnut” on Tuesday, May 10 – a night honoring Salvation Army lassies who provided doughnuts to American soldiers during WWI – and a free concert featuring Christian singer Miriam Cortés on Saturday, May 14.
• Harrisonburg, VA: The Salvation Army will serve doughnuts and coffee from a Salvation Army Mobile Canteen on North Main St. outside WHSV (ABC TV 3) on Monday, May 9. On Saturday, May 14, James Madison University’s baseball team will celebrate Salvation Army Night during its match-up against Towson University. Fans can bring one canned good for general admission.
• Houston, TX: On Wednesday, May 11, the third Annual Citywide Art Contest Reception for The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club will recognize young artists and their work. Winners at the event will have their artwork displayed at One Allen Center in downtown Houston.
• Indianapolis, IN: The Salvation Army will host the week-long “Bite Back Box Fest,” asking community members to drop off a Bite Back Box with donations to help the Army bite back against homelessness. Boxes can be picked up and returned at The Salvation Army, and the box with the largest donation receives a $100 gift card. The Army will also be celebrating 128 years in Indiana with live music, food and games during the Red Kettle Cookout on Thursday, May 12 at University Park in downtown.
• Kerrville, TX: The Salvation Army Kroc Corps Community Center will celebrate give out free coffee, doughnuts, and water to the community as a thank you for the continued support. The Army’s canteen will hand out goodies between 11am and 1pm (CT) at the Kerrville Wal-Mart Monday, May 9 and the Kroc Center Tuesday and Wednesday May 10 and 11.
• Las Vegas, NV: The annual Salvation Army Clark County Awards Luncheon in Las Vegas will honor donors, volunteers and other supporters of the Army from the past year on Wednesday, May 11 at the Texas Station-Dallas Ballroom. In addition, the Army will award the “Partner in Mission” award to the individual whose contributions to the Army had great impact in the local community.
• Modesto, CA: The Salvation Army’s Red Shield youth members will provide a Boxing Demonstration at the Vintage Faire Mall on May 14.
• Nashville, TN: The Nashville Sounds minor league baseball team will host The Salvation Army as Charity of the Night on Saturday, May 14. The Army will host a booth at the stadium featuring activities and giveaways for families and kids as the Sounds take on the Sacramento Rivercats.
• San Francisco, CA: The Salvation Army will team up with the Rotary Club of San Francisco, NPS Presidio Park Police and Sports Basement for the third Annual “Bike Build” on May 14 to provide 75 underprivileged children from San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood with new bikes and helmets.
• Suisun City, CA: The Salvation Army will hold an Open House Party on May 9 at the newly opened welcome center of the Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center. Visitors can see the latest construction renderings of the Kroc Center, research and apply for open positions, meet the Kroc Krew and much more.
• Syracuse, NY: The Salvation Army of Syracuse will partner with P&C Food & Pharmacy to deliver free doughnuts throughout the week as a special thanks and symbol of friendship to community members for their continued support.
• Texarkana, TX: On Wednesday, May 11, the Army will host a block party across the street from the Texarkana Corps, with food, games, music, tours of the center and a devotional.
• Turlock, CA: On May 9, community members will participate in the Sixth Annual Century 21 M&M and Associates Charity Golf Classic at the Turlock Golf & Country Club with all proceeds benefiting The Salvation Army. More than $77,000 has been raised in the past five years.
• Tyler, TX: The Salvation Army of Tyler will host the “Doing The Most Good” luncheon, a community fundraiser, on Thursday, May 12. All week, the Army will also be running PSAs featuring advisory board members, employees and others sharing their experiences with The Salvation Army.
• Washington, DC: The Salvation Army will partner with Dunkin Donuts to hand out free doughnuts at various Metro stations to commuters in the Greater Washington area. Doughnuts will be given away each weekday morning between 7:30 and 9:30am. Metros include:
o Monday: Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Station
o Tuesday: New Carrollton
o Wednesday: King Street Station
o Thursday: Medical Center Station
o Friday: Pentagon City
• Yuba City, CA: The Salvation Army will host a “Progressive Dinner” on Tuesday, May 10. Attendees will begin at the Corps’ Social Services office for appetizers and then “progress” to the Depot Family Crisis Center for dinner. From there, attendees will progress to the Transitional Housing program to tour the program and have dessert.
Since The Salvation Army began its social service work in the United States in 1880, the organization has grown into one of the largest social service providers in the country. Each year, The Salvation Army directly supports nearly 30 million Americans through a variety of programs including transitional and family shelters, feeding programs, senior centers, adult rehabilitation, education, athletic programs for kids, and more.
“Through 2010, The Salvation Army saw an increased need at 94 percent of our feeding programs, based on an internal survey,” said Major Hood. “We are proud that our supporters recognize the struggle taking place in local communities, and continue to stand by their neighbors as President Eisenhower intended so many years ago.”
President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared the first National Salvation Army Week in 1954, proclaiming, “Among Americans, The Salvation Army has long been a symbol of wholehearted dedication to the cause of brotherhood. 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 all.”
Though the dates have changed since the first National Salvation Army Week, the work of The Salvation Army has not changed. More information about National Salvation Army Week and The Salvation Army’s service programs in more than 5,000 areas nationwide is available online at www.salvationarmyusa.org.