National Salvation Army Week, May 10-16, 2021
Dallas, Texas (May 10, 2021) – What would Christmas be without The Salvation Army? Smiling bell ringers greet busy shoppers outside of area stores, Angel Tree gifts are bought, sorted, and delivered to excited children and families in time for Christmas morning, and holiday meals are lovingly prepared and served to seniors and those in need. The Salvation Army is synonymous with the holiday season and continues to make Christmas possible for many, right here in Texas.
The Salvation Army is excited to celebrate National Salvation Army Week, May 10-16, 2021. Since 1889, The Salvation Army has faithfully and consistently worked to help those in need across Texas, 365 days a year, providing assistance to individuals and families who find themselves in crisis, shelter to those experiencing homelessness, food and meals to the hungry, and much more.
The Salvation Army is perhaps best known for the Red Kettle campaign and Angel Tree Christmas program. The Red Kettle program was started in 1891 by Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee. The purpose of the kettle was to raise funds to provide a free Christmas dinner for the destitute and poverty-stricken in San Francisco. Almost 130 years have passed since its inception and the Red Kettle has become the icon of The Salvation Army, with every coin and dollar bill dropped into the red kettles going to support year-round ministry and assistance to those in need.
Along with the familiar Red Kettles, the Angel Tree program is one of The Salvation Army’s most effective and loved Christmas efforts. The Angel Tree was created by The Salvation Army in 1979 by Majors Charles and Shirley White when they worked with a Lynchburg, Va., shopping mall to provide clothing and toys for children at Christmastime. The program includes Angel Trees in local shopping malls, on-site at area corporations, churches and organizations, and in recent years has expanded to include online Angels. Thousands of children woke to gifts under the tree on Christmas morning thanks to the generosity of donors and businesses and The Salvation Army Angel Tree program.
Adam and April never expected to need Christmas assistance from The Salvation Army. But at the end of October, a fire broke out in their home. Thankfully, everyone made it out safely, but the house was left uninhabitable. Firefighters threw the family’s burning furniture out of the second story windows.
“We walked out with just our pajamas on,” April said. After the fire, the family lived in motels until they found another house. Getting reestablished took Adam away from work. As a result, he couldn’t get enough hours to make ends meet. The couple called numerous places trying to find help. Then April saw a TV advertisement for The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. She called to get more information and was invited to come in for an interview.
“I didn’t think I’d ever be in these shoes asking for help,” April said. “It was an awesome experience. I didn’t feel down; I didn’t feel embarrassed. I felt like I was walking into a family and the family was helping me out.”
With the fire emergency, April and Adam easily qualified for assistance. They left with groceries, new clothes, coats, and shoes, and the names of their three children were to be placed on Salvation Army Angel Tree.
Two days before Christmas, Adam went to The Salvation Army Christmas Center to pick up gifts for Savannah, 14, Anthony, 6, and Ryan, 1. “The generosity was overwhelming,” said Adam. “If it wasn’t for The Salvation Army Angel Tree, I honestly don’t know what we would have done for our kids for Christmas. The Salvation Army really came through when we needed them.”
“Christmas 2020 was a very challenging time for many Texans as we continued to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Salvation Army has experienced heightened need over the last year or so and we have adjusted many of our programs and pivoted the way in which we serve to allow for social distancing and ensure the safety of staff, volunteers and clients,” said Lt. Colonel Ronnie Raymer, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army in Texas. “Communities throughout this great state stepped up to support our work at Christmastime, both through volunteering, and also by continuing to give at the traditional red kettles and through online kettles. During this National Salvation Army Week, we want to say thank you for your support, and prayers, at Christmas and throughout the year.”
For more information, or to make a donation, please visit us online at www.salvationarmytexas.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 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a broad 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 spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org