Cause for celebration

National Salvation Army week is May 13–19.

by William B. Flinn with Jeff Curnow – 

Cultures define themselves by what and when they celebrate. Coming together to celebrate the essential elements that bond one to another has been a part of every culture since the beginning of time.

From the Army’s humble beginnings in the U.S. in 1880, it grew into a force capable of changing society. In 1954, the 83rd Congress of the U.S. recognized this transformation. Congress declared, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed, the first National Salvation Army Week. His proclamation read, in part:

“…The Salvation Army has long been a symbol of wholehearted dedication to the cause of human brotherhood…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.”

National Salvation Army Week gives the Army an opportunity to showcase, highlight, educate and demonstrate the culture that is uniquely, “Army.” It allows supporters, members and friends to share by celebrating the Army’s mission.

Celebrate this year

In 2007, one opportunity open to all is the Celebrate at the Ambassador with The Salvation Army gala concert. This event—scheduled Saturday, May 12 at the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena—will kick off National Salvation Army Week. It provides a chance for anyone interested in The Salvation Army to learn about and celebrate the work that the Army does every day.

Celebrate will feature the New York Staff Band, renowned trumpet soloist Allen Vizzutti, the Pasadena Tabernacle Youth Chorus, and soprano Annika Scutt. Vizzutti has performed as a soloist at the Hollywood Bowl. His trumpet playing has been a part of several movie soundtracks, and he has toured the world as a soloist.

Proceeds from the concert will benefit Army youth music programs. Any advisory organization can get involved in this gala event! Organizations who take part can share in money raised in their local area. For more details please call 626-773-4400.

More than one way to celebrate

What can you do if you aren’t within driving distance of Pasadena? Ask your city council to take time in session to recognize the Army with a proclamation about the value of the Army’s work across the country and in your town. Ask your advisory organization to support an event in the community that draws attention to the Army’s work.

It is important to move outside of our buildings’ walls and get in touch with the public. It may be risky, but with sound planning, results will come.

With so much vying for our attention, it is much easier simply to do nothing as the week slips by. Be careful; this is how organizations lose the clarity of their message and support of their audience.

In this world of instantaneous news that is often forgotten within hours, we must continue to interact—building relationships with those who are important to the long-term success of our cause.

It takes hard work to keep any message fresh in people’s minds these days. When something is celebrated, importance and value are lent to the cause.

A celebration allows others to join with us and hear that the Army is doing something in the community. National Salvation Army week is the time to celebrate the Army.

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