If you think The Salvation Army is only about ringing bells at Christmas, think again. While their primary income is indeed produced during the Yuletide Season, their work goes on 365 days a year. Founded in London, England in 1865, today it is an international non-profit Christian organization proving social services to deserving recipients.
Many people don’t even know the programs exist; or they have a very misconstrued opinion about what they believe to be the purpose of the Salvation Army. Their outreach programs are administered by their “Booth Family Services.” Regional centers dot the map in the US and work tirelessly to help the less fortunate.
According to the United Way, “Booth Family Services provides a range of social service programs to respond to emergency crisis situations as well as longer term care and support. Some of their offerings include: food pantries, limited utility and rent assistance, assistance for single females and families who are homeless or in need of shelter, women and children residential programs for those who need short term or temporary housing, Pregnant/Parenting teen services, Prenatal and Family Health Clinic for low income women and children in the community.”
The Salvation Army is also recognized as a legitimate charitable organization by the Better Business Bureau, which does not award that recognition without a thorough investigation of an organization. The BBB reports that The Salvation Army meets all of their criteria.
Booth Family Services are especially noteworthy when it comes to pregnant teenage girls age 13 – 17. In addition to providing counseling services for these young women, some of their centers also provide inpatient and resident care. As if that weren’t enough, many centers offer high school classes, day-care facilities and vocational guidance, all designed with the future productivity of the young women.
However, they don’t stop there. Some centers work with drug and alcohol addictions presenting in and outpatient treatment. They also work with the homeless providing temporary shelter and meals. One of the more recent causes taken up by The Salvation Army is the issue of human trafficking. They provide informative, educational information about how this insidious practice works and what steps you can take if you suspect this type activity is taking place in your area.
The Salvation Army also stands out as one of the quick response organizations when Americans are faced with natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires and floods. They work side by side with other organizations like The Red Cross ready to assist victims in finding food, shelter and the resources for people who are left with nothing but the clothes on their back.
Recent action taken by a major discount store, has had a detrimental effect on their income. As mentioned above, the primary source of income to The Salvation Army is gathered during the Christmas holiday season. This particular store took action to ban bell ringers at their locations. Somehow The Salvation Army must recoup the loss of this revenue. If you are interested in learning more about The Salvation Army, you may do so at their web site http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/