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Texas—Southwest Airlines has teamed up with The Salvation Army, donating items left on board planes for sale in Army thrift stores.

The lost coats, books, cell phones, gloves and other items not claimed within five days are sent to the Southwest Airlines central baggage service facility in Dallas, Tex., where employees sort them and attempt to find the owners. Each month, the thousands of unclaimed items will be donated to local Dallas/Fort Worth Salvation Army facilities.

“We do everything in our power to reunite these lost items with their owners, but when they are not claimed, it is up to us to determine their future,” said Laura Adams, Southwest Airlines director of central baggage services. “By working with a partner such as The Salvation Army, we are able to give back to the community and find a productive use for these unclaimed items.”

In the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, The Salvation Army provides over 40 different services to help make life better for those in need. Southwest, based in Dallas, currently operates more than 3,400 flights a day and serves 64 cities in 32 states.
– Excerpted from a press release by

North Carolina—These days, no one has to agonize over the perfect presentthere’s a gift card to fit every personality. But of the $100 billion worth of gift cards sold in the U.S. in 2007, an estimated eight to 12 percent went unused.

The Salvation Army in Wake County, North Carolina, realized how much money that adds up to, and they began collecting the gift card leftovers.

Any card, from any retailer, anywhere in the U.S. can be handed over to the Army in Wake County, who then sends the cards to a California-based company that converts the unused portion into cash.

The Salvation Army retains 70 percent of that converted cash and uses the money back in the community where it was donated to assist with programs that serve the homeless and needy.
– Factual information from a story on, forwarded through a Salvation Army national press release

Florida—Esther and Rick Ford, members of The Salvation Army’s First Strike Team for disaster relief in Florida, are featured in an episode of NASCAR Angels as their ’97 Dodge Grand Caravan gets revamped.

Since emigrating from Cuba 30 years ago, Esther has devoted her life to helping others, even receiving the Presidential Award for Volunteerism in 2004. As members of The Salvation Army, she and her husband Rick have provided relief to countless victims of natural disasters, including hurricanes Floyd and Katrina.

Hosted by legendary NASCAR champion Rusty Wallace, he national TV program focuses on how the racing and automotive care communities can help deserving individuals in need of a transportation fix.

At the taping, Rick and Esther thanked their Salvation Army family and said, “When we go out to disasters, it’s not about us. It’s about The Salvation Army and making sure people are fed. We want to feed their souls.”

The show aired in Florida as well as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington D.C. and Houston the weekend of Feb. 15; it will air again around June 20. Check your local listings.

More information on the show can be found at
From a NASCAR press release and a Salvation Army national news release

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