Each year, National Salvation Army Week serves as an opportunity to celebrate our volunteers, donors and program beneficiaries who have enabled us to serve those in need around the world for 154 years. This week is observed immediately following Mother's Day in May and was first declared by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954 – 74 years after The Salvation Army arrived in the U.S. In his speech, President Eisenhower noted:
“Among Americans, The Salvation Army has long been a symbol of wholehearted dedication to the cause of human 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 us all.”
In the nearly 70 years since, we have continued to do the most good for local communities and broadened our services to assistance needs that couldn’t be conceived of back in ’54.
We’re thankful for this opportunity to recognize the 3.5 million volunteers who give their time and talents to The Salvation Army each year in order to help us do the most good for those in need!
THE NEED IN AMERICA
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 40 million Americans live in poverty, and millions more live near the poverty line. Approximately half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and one-third of adults between 18 and 64 live in low-income households.
And after two years of devastation due to the COVID pandemic restrictions, the need is great.
HOW WE HELP
We open our arms and our hearts to give families the support they need to grow together and thrive. Through hundreds of after school programs, we provide kids a safe place to play, and in many cases, the option for sports and music programs they might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience. Through summer camps, we enable children to see the world in a fresh new way. And, through our community centers, we provide families with the physical, emotional and spiritual support they need to foster better, brighter futures.
LOVE THE ELDERLY
The Salvation Army showers senior citizens with love and serves them with respect. Every year, older adults are welcomed with open arms in Salvation Army corps community centers across the country. Rather than simply allowing these wonderful men and women to fend for themselves against loneliness and depression, we organize community meals, offer joyful activities, visit the homebound, and even provide residential facilities for those in need.
FEED THE HUNGRY
The Salvation Army helps cure hunger daily by providing nutritious meals to anyone in need. This includes homeless people of all ages, as well as individuals and families who may be down on their luck and in need of some extra assistance. In addition to addressing the immediate symptoms of food insecurity, our programs are designed to help identify and treat its root cause.
Over time, this holistic approach to the physical, mental and spiritual needs of each person helps moves many from ‘hungry’ to ‘fully healed.’
The Salvation Army’s ministry to veterans began with serving coffee and doughnuts to soldiers during World War I. Today, we serve hundreds of thousands of veterans in need every year, providing comfort, support, counseling, shelter, and more. While many veterans struggle to find their way in the years following their service, we strive to show our gratitude by serving them, loving them, and meeting their specific needs.
Each year, The Salvation Army provides over 10 million nights of lodging to those in need. Our group homes, emergency shelters, and transitional living centers provide housing, food, and overnight lodging for varying amounts of time to destitute families, the homeless, the displaced, and to youth where family care is undesirable or unavailable.
Through our holistic approach to serving the whole person, we supplement every shelter service with emotional and spiritual support.
Our free programs provide housing, food, counseling, community, and employment as we work to treat the symptoms, and ultimately the root causes, of prolonged alcohol and drug dependence.
HOW WE MEASURE NEED
LEARN A LITTLE. HELP A LOT.
Learn more about the level of basic need in America with the Human Needs Index. You can help out by spreading awareness and signing up to become a volunteer in your local community and make a real impact in the lives of our neighbors in need.
PRESIDENT EISENHOWER'S PROCLAMATION