Imagine for a moment: New York City in the middle of winter.
Snow flurries, icy sidewalks, and near-zero temperatures.
This is the type of weather that only compounds Darian’s current situation.
He recently lost his minimum-wage job, couldn’t pay the rent, and now has nowhere to live. Without any family or friends to help, Darian was forced out onto the streets with no immediate options.
If only Darian had a warm place to stay and a support system to lift him up.
Enter The Salvation Army.
What is The Salvation Army?
The Salvation Army is an international charitable organization that centers its mission on the Bible: to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs without discrimination.
The founders of The Salvation Army are William Booth and Catherine Booth.
In 1852, William started a career as a minister in England. Soon after, he decided to replace sermons given at a traditional church pulpit with walking the streets of London and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to the poor, the homeless, the destitute, and the vulnerable.
William’s approach was unconventional.
It eventually led Mr. and Mrs. Booth to withdraw from their church, and from there, the couple’s newfound mission was born: to “fight for the souls of lost men and women.”
In 1865, William and Catherine co-founded “The Christian Mission” as a way to assist those who did not attend a traditional church—namely gamblers, thieves, and drunkards.
Within 10 years, the organization had the support of over 1,000 volunteers and evangelists.
It wasn’t until 1878 that William embraced the name “Salvation Army.”
Converts were referred to as “soldiers of Christ,” and later Salvationists, as they are today.
In 1879, William sent his daughter Evangeline to spread The Army’s mission in North America.
The Salvation Army then expanded its operation throughout the U.S. and beyond to Canada, Switzerland, India, South Africa, and Germany, to name a few.
Today, the organization serves in 130 countries, spreading hope and healing to all in need.
The Salvation Army assesses the needs of every community that it serves and then identifies the obstacles and challenges unique to an area.
Local programs are developed to provide physical-, spiritual-, and emotional support to a community via immediate assistance, short-term care, or long-term services such as:
1) Housing and Homeless Services
The Salvation Army recognizes that homelessness can happen to anyone and provides displaced men, women, and children with access to homeless shelters, transitional shelters, and permanent supportive housing options that include:
- Emergency shelters and dedicated living complexes for homeless adults and families
- Supportive housing services for low-income seniors
- Apartment assistance for vulnerable young adults
- Temporary, transitional stays for recent evictions, domestic breakups or addiction issues
2. The Salvation Army Emergency Trafficking Program
Sex-trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar criminal industry affecting over 40 million people around the world. The Salvation Army joins forces with local law enforcement, FBI, ICE, and community activists to identify and rescue victims of sexual exploitation and forced labor.
3. Addiction-Recovery Services
Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery—a multi-billion-dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 40.3 million people around the world.
As the largest private provider of free residential addiction-recovery services, the Salvation Army operated 141 rehabilitation centers nationwide in 2017.
Free programs provide access to housing, food, counseling, community, and employment.
Each year, the organization arms over 150,000 with skills to:
- Combat drug abuse
- Build work- and social skills
- Regain health and stability
- Restore families
Impact and Future Plans
The Salvation Army assists approximately 25-30 million Americans of all ages annually.
- Salvation Army volunteers served 52,259,152 meals to the hungry in 2017; over 5.8 million of them went to victims and aid workers during the hurricane season.
- The Angel Tree Program put new clothes and toys under the tree for 1 million children who usually go without holiday gifts.
The organization’s goals and reach continue to advance.
As The Salvation Army looks toward the future, the nonprofit’s focuses on finding new ways to:
- Connect with communities and meet the specific needs of more residents.
- Open more homes that provide shelter and resources for human trafficking survivors.
- Help more people overcome poverty and combat food insecurity.
- Increase the number of people that volunteer and give online to The Salvation Army.
How to Donate
To learn how to use Giving Assistant to easily donate a portion or all of your cash back to The Salvation Army, visit their fundraising page. You can also donate directly by visiting The Salvation Army.
- First, sign up for a Giving Assistant account.
- Select The Salvation Army on your Giving Assistant account settings menu.
- Choose how much of your balance from cash-back rewards you’d like to donate.
- Then next time you shop using Giving Assistant and earn cash back, you’ll automatically donate your set percentage to The Salvation Army.
Giving Assistant members interested in donating to The Salvation Army can choose just a portion (or all!) of their cash back earnings to go to The Salvation Army.
If you need more help, you can see how to use Giving Assistant to shop online and donate to a nonprofit here.
If you haven’t already, download the Giving Assistant button cash back extension for your desktop browser.
This will help you effectively support The Salvation Army nonprofit AND save money on your everyday online purchases at thousands of online retailers.
Not a member yet? Sign up here to start supporting The Salvation Army as you shop online.
If you’d like to learn more about The Salvation Army and what they are achieving next, visit https://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/.