Archive for February, 2011


February 24, 2011 Leave a comment

 Americans Continue to Donate Despite Lingering Recession

Giving $142 Million to Support People in Need


Alexandria, VA – Through strong support of U.S. donors and a united front of traditional red kettles and virtual bell-ringers, The Salvation Army raised a record $142 million during the 2010 annual Red Kettle Christmas Campaign.  The increase of just over two percent from 2009’s record of $139 million raised reflects the continued determination of every American to support their neighbors during challenging economic times. The Salvation Army’s 2010 campaign employed traditional efforts with volunteers, celebrity endorsements and corporate partners such as Walmart and Sam’s Club, along with new technology and social media tools to set a campaign record for the sixth year in a row. 

“We’ve all witnessed the extreme demands the economic recession has placed on Americans during the past three years,” said Commissioner William Roberts, National Commander of The Salvation Army. “This record-breaking year stands as a testament to the generosity of our neighbors, but more importantly it demonstrates the spirit of the One whose birth we celebrated. We are thankful to all those who supported the campaign for enabling The Salvation Army to continue its mission of meeting human needs.”

For the 14th consecutive year, the Dallas Cowboys hosted the National Red Kettle Campaign Kickoff at Cowboys Stadium with a live performance by country superstar Keith Urban during their nationally televised Thanksgiving Day football game that reached more than 31 million Americans. In keeping with The Salvation Army’s continued efforts to reach young and aspiring American philanthropists, the Red Kettle Campaign was also celebrated with the first ever “Rock the Red Kettle” concert in Glendale, CA on December 15.  The event, in partnership with Sky Blue Group and Caruso Affiliated, featured up-and-coming performers, including Emily Osment, Ashlyne Huff, New Hollow and Honor Society.

Throughout the campaign, bell-ringers manned Red Kettles at store fronts and in shopping malls at approximately 25,000 locations nationwide. Red Kettles located at Walmart stores and Sam’s Club locations raised $37 million and $5 million respectively, or 30 percent of this year’s total raised in the kettles. These donations and others support a variety of programs and services including providing food, shelter, rent assistance, summer camps and Christmas assistance to the nearly 30 million Americans served by The Salvation Army each year.

The Walmart Foundation also made a direct donation of $1 million to The Salvation Army, as part of its effort to support hunger relief throughout America. The donation was used in part to support Salvation Army food service programs, which have seen an increase in demand and flat donations that has left shelves bare in some cities according to Army’s recently released report “Feeding the Need 2011.”  

“The Salvation Army offers an unparalleled breadth of programs and assists millions of people every year. We are proud to support their efforts during the holiday season and year-round,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. “Through donations from our customers and the Walmart Foundation’s support of local food service programs, we know we are able to reach those who need our help most.”

Sam’s Club and The Salvation Army also partnered with Off the Field, a professional football players’ wives association, to host the fourth annual Dream Drive on December 16. Through their efforts, 10 needy families in 10 cities across the country, received $1,000 worth of food and holiday gifts, including clothes, personal items and toys from their local Sam’s Club to help provide a brighter Christmas. The donation totaled $100,000.

Kroger and its family of store banners hosted Red Kettles at nearly 2,000 store locations across the country in 2010, raising $11.8 million, or 8 percent of the campaign’s total. Donations at more than 800 Big Lots stores raised $1.3 million or approximately 1 percent of the campaign’s physical Red Kettle total.

“We are ever grateful for the charitable support and compassion of all our corporate partners,” said Commissioner Roberts. “Through their big-heartedness, along with the generosity of the millions of Americans who gave, The Salvation Army is able to continue their work to help those in need.”

Utilizing various high-tech platforms, The Salvation Army also engaged virtual bell-ringers during the Red Kettle campaign to raise awareness, volunteerism and fundraising during a time of great need. For the sixth year in a row, donors could raise money with family, friends and colleagues through The Salvation Army’s Online Red Kettle ( Nearly $1.6 million was donated through this method. Other online donations in November and December, not through the Online Red Kettle system, totaled $13.7 million, a 19 percent increase over the $11.5 million raised in 2009.

The Salvation Army also developed free applications for the Apple iPhone including an all-new Online Red Kettle iPhone app and, for the second year, a virtual Red Kettle bell app that allowed users to share in the tradition of the Red Kettle Campaign by ringing a virtual bell on their phone.

In addition, The Salvation Army launched its first national text-to-give program to support the red kettles, which ran from November 21 to December 24. The program raised $25,000 and allowed donors to text “GIVE” to 85944 to make a $10 donation to the Red Kettle Campaign.

Corporate partner JCPenney helped raise more than $3 million in red kettle donations across its stores. In addition, the 2010 holiday season marked the second year that JCPenney hosted The Salvation Army Angel Giving Tree online at As the exclusive online destination for adopting Salvation Army Angels, customers could adopt, shop and ship their gifts through the ease and convenience of Nearly 70,000 children and seniors in need were adopted in time for Christmas – an increase of over 40 percent from when the program first launched the year before.

The Salvation Army also partnered with Hanes®, America’s No. 1 Sock Brand, to deliver 1 million socks to people in need via Facebook. For every person who “liked” Hanes on Facebook ( and clicked “Help Hanes Donate,” the Hanes® donated one pair of actual socks toward its overall donation goal of 500,000 pairs (one million individual socks).

“In the 21st century people are looking for new ways to support and interact with the charities that are important to them. The Salvation Army is keeping pace so donors have a variety of options to give,” said Commissioner Roberts. “The Red Kettle Campaign incorporated several aspects of the changing face of giving by raising awareness through social media and allowing the next generation of donors to give online or through their phones.”

The Red Kettle Campaign, the oldest annual charitable fundraiser of its kind in the United States, helps raise money for those who need it most in communities nationwide – providing toys for kids, coats for the homeless, food for the hungry and countless social service programs year-round. From its humble beginnings as a fundraiser started by a Salvation Army captain in San Francisco in 1891, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable outreach efforts in the United States.

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans 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 spent is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to


The Salvation Army Receives $75K Donation from Giant Food

February 17, 2011 1 comment

February 17, 2010

Landover, Md. – Last week, Giant Food of Landover, Md. began a year-long celebration of the company’s 75th anniversary. In 1936 despite difficult economic times, N.M. Cohen and Samuel Lehrman together opened the first grocery store in the nation’s capital. In honor of Giant Food’s 75th anniversary, the company presented a $75,000 check Wednesday to The Salvation Army at National Capital Area Command headquarters in Washington, D.C. The donation will help further the work of Salvation Army divisions and corps across Giant’s operating area in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Delaware.

“The Salvation Army is thankful to Giant Food for this gift and congratulates them on their 75th anniversary. Giant’s commitment and partnership helps The Salvation Army to continue Doing the Most Good for people in need throughout the National Capital area and beyond; and for that, The Army is grateful,” said Captain Vance Murphy representing The Salvation Army.

In honor of Giant Food’s 75th anniversary, Brian Beatty (left), director of marketing and external communications for Giant Food of Landover, Md., presents a $75,000 check to The Salvation Army. Captain Vance Murphy accepts the gift on behalf of The Salvation Army.

“Giant Food supports The Salvation Army’s efforts to help our neighbors in need and is pleased to make this gift as we begin our 75th anniversary celebration,” said Jamie Miller, manager of public and community relations for Giant Food.

Giant will continue to support The Salvation Army and hundreds of additional community partners throughout the anniversary year and in the years ahead.

About Giant Food of Landover, Md.

Giant Food LLC, headquartered in Landover, Md., operates 179 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia, and employs approximately 22,000 associates. Included within the 179 stores are 163 full-service pharmacies. For more information on Giant, visit

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans 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 spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to and locally go to

Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Pin Choengtawee

February 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Pin Choengtawee


“I picked The Salvation Army because it seems like such a friendly organization and I knew I could help people by the work I would be doing.” ~ Pin Choengtawee


Pin Choengtawee is originally from Bangkok, Thailand. She has been in the United States since 2006. After a search on she found a listing for an administrative volunteer position with The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command and has been with us for three weeks. To enhance her skills Pin came to The Salvation Army looking for an opportunity to gain experience in “a professional business environment that [was] both personally fulfilling and leverages [her] management and analytic problem-solving skills.” She has found just that here at our administrative offices (2626 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, DC) where she has helped to reorganize and support the new volunteer program.

“Pin is a joy to work with, she always has a smile on her face and is just so happy to be here” ~ Andie Bobb, Director of Development

Gayla LeMarie said, “Volunteers are paid in six figures… S-M-I-L-E-S.  We are grateful for Pin’s dedication to her community!  It’s volunteers like her who make our work possible. 

Liz O’Dell
Volunteer and Donation Drive Coordinator
The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command

Special Thanks to Jack Taylor for New Minivan in Alexandria

February 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Captain Ken Argot accepted the keys to a 2010 Toyota Sienna minivan on February 3 during a brief ceremony held at Jack Taylor’s Alexandria Toyota.  Still reeling from the effects of a lackluster Red Kettle season, The Salvation Army Officer had become even more concerned when the Corps nine-year old minivan died in their parking lot.  We asked Captain Argot to tell us how such a blessing arrived to The Salvation Army’s doorstep in his own words:

I’m fairly new to The Salvation Army. Most of my life I knew The Salvation Army meant good people providing social assistance by managing thrift stores and in some places providing shelter.  However, I wasn’t aware just how much goes into the role of Salvation Army officer.  During my officer training a few years ago, I had a wonderful community mentor named Fritz Van Winkle. Fritz is a well established business person in Atlanta who knows most of the CEO’s in town. As part of his mentoring, Fritz placed me in front of business leaders to gain greater perspective from their side of the desk teaching me the art of “the ask”.

 I never forgot those lessons. 

Upon my arrival in Alexandria, I quickly became acquainted with Jack Taylor.  Early on, I approached him about making a donation to The Salvation Army.  It was then I learned of Alexandria Toyota’s commitment to the community.  Skeptical there would be any funds to offer to us, suddenly Mr. Taylor, started talking about his late mother, Ms. Pauline Taylor.  She’d always given to The Salvation Army. Then, minutes later, his executive assistant put a check in my hands.  I took a deep breath and made another “ask”.  After all, Christmas was coming and I needed a vehicle for bell ringing.  I asked for the use of a vehicle during the Christmas season.  Mr. Taylor smiled, leaned forward, and said, “Yes, I think we can do that too.”

Not bad for someone who hates to ask for things, though Mr. Taylor made it easy for me.

For the past 4 years, Jack Taylor and Alexandria Toyota have loaned us a vehicle for 6-weeks during the Christmas Season to transport bell-ringers, volunteers, and collect angel tree toys, clothing and food. A few months ago, a van that we’ve had for 9 years finally died in our parking lot.  If not for the mini-van from Jack Taylor,  a significant portion of our $167,000 raised during Christmas would have been completely lost. With no additional funds for repairs, the issue before us was how would we transport children and seniors to and from programs at the Corps about to restart after Christmas break.

I emailed Jack Taylor thanking him for the Christmas season use of the vehicle and the amount of money that his gift helped generate for The Salvation Army in Alexandria. I also stated, “If you ever want to donate the vehicle outright to us we would be very grateful.”  Within 15 minutes, I received a reply stating, “Let’s do it!  Can I add a picture of my mother in memory of her?  She probably wouldn’t like it, but I can’t think of a better way to honor her and her love for The Salvation Army.”

Thank you Jack, it’s a pleasure to know you.

Captain Ken Argot
Corps Officer
The Salvation Army in Alexandria