Community

Low-cost ways you can help during the pandemic

With much of the country sheltering in place, keeping a sense of community has become increasingly difficult. Yet, being home-bound doesn’t have to preclude you from helping. There’s a tremendous amount of need out there, which has many people asking, “how can I help with limited funds and without leaving my house?” If you’re one […]

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If you feel alone, call The Salvation Army

A message from Territorial Commander Commissioner Kenneth G. Hodder: Social distancing, the loss of income and livelihood, the fear of getting sick and a host of other unprecedented circumstances set off by the COVID-19 crisis have increased stress and anxiety levels for many. Many of us feel like we’re all alone right now and I […]

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How people are showing great kindness in crisis

“No man is an island,” 16th century English scholar and poet John Donne once wrote. And now the coronavirus has made that more true than ever. If there’s anything positive from this worldwide scourge of a virus, perhaps it’s that we see in fact, it is a small world afterall.  As poet Tess Taylor wrote […]

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10 good news stories to read today

It’s hard to escape the news these days—news that can feel heavy, dark and uncertain as the coronavirus outbreak spreads throughout the world. But there are good headlines too, from promising medical trials to recovered patients and reopenings in other parts of the world. Here’s 10 good news stories to read today. 1. Medical workers […]

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How to show kindness in turbulent times

We’re living in turbulent times. COVID-19 has taken the world by storm—according to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are now more than 150,000 cases globally.  As these numbers grew to what they are today, so did the panic, fear and uncertainty around the world. Headline after headline and post after post, there seems to […]

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Female Friends Happy with Arms Around Each Other

The best ways to encourage friends, based on their love language

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’” –C.S. Lewis We walk through a lot of times in our lives where we feel alone and misunderstood, and finding friends that “get us” can alter the course of our lives. Finding that […]

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A tip for better expressing each of the 5 love languages with Dr. Gary Chapman

Americans are not living happily ever after. According to a study by the University of Chicago, about 60 percent of respondents rated themselves “pretty happy” in their marriage—which leaves 40 percent of people less than fully satisfied. Further, the American divorce rate has doubled since 1960. As Dr. Gary Chapman says, “No single area of […]

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This family teaches philanthropy through bellringing

The Fie family legacy of service to The Salvation Army spans more than 60 years and is still going strong, with the family coming together every Christmas season in Denver to ring bells at the Army’s red kettles. In the Share Change video, “A Family of Volunteers,” family members, including patriarch Merrill Fie and his […]

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Man and Young Girl Volunteer Bellringers

How to volunteer as a Salvation Army bellringer 

When you drop a dollar (or more!) into a Salvation Army kettle, that money helps fund programs in your community—from the food pantry, emergency utility assistance, to after-school programs and so much more. That money helps The Salvation Army serve some 23 million Americans a year. So each of the 25,000 individuals who stand by […]

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A wedding marked by a village of love 

My best friend (and maid of honor) sent me an email while I was wedding planning that really upset me. It read: “These are the things that are still needed for the wedding. I love you and want you to have the wedding of your dreams.” I looked over the very practical list and couldn’t […]

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New book features 100 faces of The Salvation Army 

As The Salvation Army Western Territory is set to celebrate the centennial of its official formation in 2020, find in this latest Frontier Press title—“We Are The Salvation Army”—a time capsule to highlight the essence of who makes up The Salvation Army right now with 100 portraits and short vignettes. These are the stories of […]

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Food at Salvation Army Food Pantry

Why I love working in social services

I believe one of the most rewarding and interesting career fields is social work—the opportunity to understand people, and help them, every single day. Helping others is a fundamental part of humanity. Life can be difficult—we all know this—and if each of us helps others, we’ll be doing our part in making life a bit […]

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Brew Crew Backpack Closeup

‘Brew Crews’ bring coffee and love

The Salvation Army has a street outreach centered around coffee: the “Brew Crew.”   These teams of those in addictions recovery programs through the Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARC) venture out with backpack coffee dispensers, known as “Rocketman Backpacks,” to share Jesus and a cup of coffee, with the outreach aimed primarily toward those experiencing homelessness. “We […]

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How to stay connected with family when they’re far away

I was 22 years old when I moved away from my home state of California and ventured south to Louisiana where my husband was stationed in the military. While I physically moved away, a piece of my heart stayed with the family I left behind—my mom, dad and brother. As excited as I was for […]

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Naomi Lambert and family

My heartbreak led to a global kindness movement

“The chances of you conceiving naturally are non-existent. The chance of us successfully harvesting eggs is also minimal.” I sat. Heart pounding. Palms sweaty. I began to feel the walls slowly start to come in on me. My breathing shallow, head spinning and hands clasped tightly in my lap like little weights—they held all the […]

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Family Holding Hands Walking Through Field

How to juggle work and spending quality time with your kids 

I went back to work when my daughter was just six weeks old. And although I loved my job, when I dropped her off at her babysitter’s house for the first time, my heart broke a little bit. I worried about the moments I would miss—like her first words or steps—and was sad I wouldn’t […]

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Thomas Ferraro in VISTA Uniform

Retired reporter goes back to work as a Volunteer in Service to America

VISTA, the half-century-old national service program dubbed “The Domestic Peace Corps,” fights poverty in America.                                                                                  […]

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Overhead View of Open Picnic Basket

How to pack for a summer picnic with thrift store finds

With summer right around the corner, it’s finally time to say goodbye to the frigid winter and spring weather and hello to perfect outdoor-fun temperatures. Finding quick, easy and inexpensive outdoor activities for the summer can sometimes be a drag, but with the help of The Salvation Army’s array of Family Stores, thrifting your way […]

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Female Friends Hugging and Smiling Around Bride

3 Strategies for maintaining friendships in adulthood

When I was a kid, I remember how easy it was for me to make friends and keep them—especially in elementary school. I vividly recall many of my childhood friendships starting at the school playground during recess with a simple introduction, followed by someone saying, “Do you want to play tag?” But as time progressed, […]

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Female Graduate in Red Cap and Gown Walking Down Street

8 Books to inspire graduates to live the good life

If you’ve ever graduated, you’ve probably heard excerpts from Dr. Seuss’ book, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”—famous lines like, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” While the book’s rhythmic inspiration is, perhaps, the most popular go-to graduation book, there are a […]

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How to honor Memorial Day on your day off

As we head into Memorial Day, it’s easy to get caught up in the anticipation of the three-day weekend and poolside barbecues we have planned. But the significance behind the national holiday encompasses so much more than the day off. Honestly, I didn’t really fully grasp the meaning of Memorial Day until our family became […]

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9 tips for being present over long holiday weekends

Memorial Day functions as our traditional summer kick-off. It’s when we start up the grill, smoker or BBQ and consume copious amounts of food. It’s a great time to get together with friends and simply enjoy one another’s company. Yet, even though the weather is nice, the grill is cooking and we’re with family and […]

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What it’s really like to be married to a soldier

When my husband, Erik, joined the military, I didn’t know what to expect. We had dated for several years before he enlisted in the U.S. Army, and he proposed while in basic training. Our marriage happened like many military marriages do—quickly. We found out there was a high possibility of him deploying very early on […]

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Mom’s an alien?

I grew up in a border town in Arizona and my family would regularly drive to Mexico to get tacos or tortas for dinner. When coming back to the United States, we’d have to wait in a long line of cars as the exhaust from other cars and the heat of the sun tested our […]

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Christin Thieme, Her Mother, and Christin's young son pose for holiday photo

5 things I’m modeling after my mother as a new mom

They say nothing changes you like having a child of your own and I have found this to be absolutely true. In fact, I read in “The Birth Of A Mother” from The New York Times: “At the time a child is born, the mother is born too. She had never existed before that moment. […]

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4 valuable traits we can learn from military children

Most military kids face more challenges in their childhood than many adults do in a lifetime—and they go through many of them at a young age. From coping with a family member’s deployment or being away for extended periods of time for training, to moving every few years and frequently having to adjust to new […]

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homeless man sleeping outside

Communities in the West look for solutions to the homelessness crisis

The number of people living on our streets continues to rise to emergency levels along the coast. As economies rebound and housing markets soar, so does the population of those who find themselves without a home. Despite the state of the economy, levels of homelessness continue to rise in many communities, none more prominently than […]

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Officer and woman smiling with each other

How to heal homelessness through community

‘Unprecedented’ effect of temporary shelter keeps doors open When you arrive at The Salvation Army-run homeless shelter in Antelope Valley, California, the presence of the past is undeniable. The Army operates the Los Angeles County shelter out of an abandoned mental hospital—whose address includes the law code involved in temporarily committing individuals, 5150—and much of […]

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Damage caused by Paradise Fire

What it’s like to survive unexpected homelessness

California fire survivors begin to rebuild. Amber McErquiaga woke up in her home in Paradise, California, on Nov. 8, 2018, to get ready to take her children to school and go to work at the local Salvation Army Family Store, just like any other day. But that day, she noticed something was off as she […]

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

PB&J ministry provides weekly touchpoint for people on streets of paradise

A sandwich ministry provides a weekly touchpoint for people living on the streets around Aala Park in Honolulu’s Chinatown, with Salvation Army members and friends offering both food and the non-judgmental love of Jesus. Hawaii—the Aloha State—has almost everything. For people who like to be warm year-round and don’t miss seasonal change, the climate is […]

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Working toward #BalanceForBetter this International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day celebrates women, their achievements and encourages progress every year on March 8. This year’s theme is #BalanceForBetter. The purpose of this theme is to work together to build a world in which there is gender balance in everything from the workforce and government to media, sports and more. Here are some ways […]

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Hands holding change with note that says make a change

The importance of taking initiative

The key to making change happen in all aspects of life is by taking the initiative to do so. This allows us to take charge in what we want to accomplish, ensure our voices are heard and take that step toward meeting our goals and achieving our dreams. Here are some important areas of our […]

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Sign that says love in all capital letters

7 ways to show love to strangers

As Valentine’s Day approaches, many of us start thinking of creative and thoughtful ways to express our love to significant others, family and friends. But the holiday also gives us the opportunity to pay it forward and show love to others we don’t know—people who may need a reminder that they are not alone, and […]

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10 ways to spread positivity in 2019

In a time when negativity surrounds us, it’s important to spread positivity and be the light for others who are struggling. These are some simple ways to do so in 2019: 1. Use social media for good Social media is a go-to time filler for many people. And while it helps bring us together, it […]

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Closeup of sparkler at night

5 things to keep in mind when setting New Year’s resolutions

This year is coming to a close, and 2019 is right around the corner — which, for many people, means setting New Year’s resolutions, like adopting a healthier lifestyle, becoming debt-free or going back to school. Here are some things to keep in mind as you make your list of goals for the upcoming year: […]

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Closeup of present with recyclable wrapping paper

Ways to gift consciously this holiday season

In the season of gifting, it’s tempting to visit online shops and stores for the cheapest deals on Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers. While we all love a good deal, it’s important to remember Christmas is also a season that comes with the opportunity to gift sustainably. Sustainable giving makes us more conscious of how […]

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Three coffee cups on wooden table

Coffee connects cops and community

Event facilitates understanding, growth. When Portland Tabernacle Corps Officer Lt. Laura Fyn walks through the Rose Center for Seniors, it’s common for her to overhear snippets of conversation in passing. But the ones regarding fears of police brutality really weighed on her heart. “With everything going on in our country right now, I think that […]

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Cathy Heying headshot

Meet the mechanic who won’t overcharge you

The role of reliable transportation in fostering economic mobility can’t be overstated. At some point, many people hit a plateau in their careers. The way they’ve been working is no longer cutting it. And they feel an unshakeable, visceral urge to switch things up. Sometimes, that leads to a career pivot—doubling down on what’s working […]

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Man in sweatshirt sleeping on cardboard on the street

The diagnosis is poverty

A growing model contends that poverty isn’t something to simply “rise above” any more than exposure to lead or asbestos. $1.6 trillion. It’s a figure so large, it’s hard to wrap your head around. It’s also the amount of money the U.S. spends each year on programs to help the poor. While a basic eye […]

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Man and woman smiling at each other

Missing person no more

The Salvation Army helped reunite a sister with the brother she didn’t know existed. After her mother’s death in March 2015, Lisa Bayard, 60, found a single envelope in the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet. Inside was a birth certificate that contained only the two footprints of a newborn child and her mother’s last […]

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Older woman smiling inside her home

Uber grant helps shuttle Alaska seniors

Seniors are the fastest growing segment of Alaska’s population and many need a ride. It had almost become a routine decision for Trudy Brown: medical treatment or food. She could either go to her doctor’s appointment or to the grocery store, but she couldn’t afford transportation for both. So, she made her choice. “My taxi […]

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closeup of red ornaments on Christmas Tree

Embracing the Christmas spirit of connectedness

There’s something about Christmas that brings people together — families, friends and even people who don’t know each other. When I was a kid, one of my favorite holiday memories was when my parents would drive through neighborhoods on the way home so my brother and I could admire all the pretty holiday lights and […]

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man sitting by window next to Christmas tree

A letter to those who feel lonely during the holidays

Dear (insert your name here), So, I heard you don’t have the holiday spirit. You walk around, bombarded with ads and magazines on what to gift and you can’t really smile when everyone else is and you feel like you’re missing out on something the whole world seems to be feeling. Maybe this time of […]

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Desserts on wooden table

Embracing Thanksgiving traditions with your family

To this day, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. A big part of the reason why is because my parents always made it memorable. They made sure to engage me and my brother in the spirit of the holiday through traditions, and it really brought us closer together as a family. Traditions have the […]

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Single table setting on white table cloth in front of candles

How to host a festive Friendsgiving

I don’t know about you, but the holiday season is what I wait for all year. It’s a time of year where cinnamon and cloves fill the slightly chilled air, the hue in the world begins to shift toward a deeper palette, the evenings twinkle with the lights from decorated homes and storefronts. It’s also […]

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elderly couple sitting on porch

How to build relationships with your local community

Loving our local community is something attainable, at the tip of our fingers, and yet, something we always seem to put off. Maybe it’s the convenience of it that creates a sense of idleness in us, maybe it’s the proximity that scares us, maybe it asks things more frequently of us. Why is it important […]

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toddler in purple dress playing

3 Important lessons learned from raising a toddler

Just like that, my daughter, Emma, reached the prime of her toddlerhood and turned two years old — she’s determined to try everything and see what she is capable of accomplishing. Toddlerhood is a fun time when you really get to see your child’s personality flourish, as they explore everything the world has to offer. […]

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couch with table and plants inside room

How to be a good roommate and live together well

One of the greatest gifts and challenges of life is doing life with one another. Depending on your age or stage of life, you might have already experienced multiple opportunities to live with other people. Maybe you grew up in the same home your parents grew up in and have lived there ever since. Maybe […]

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Woman sitting on couch next to flowers

The science of making friends as an adult

We search for soul mates, why not best friends? I hit my social peak at 5 years old. Kindergarten was the bomb, let me tell you. I was double-booked for play dates. I frequently had three, yes three birthday parties in the same weekend. During lunch, I had a system to hang out with all […]

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3 ways parents can encourage other parents

3 ways parents can encourage other parents

It’s common to hit hurdles at every stage of parenting that can be discouraging, whether that be dealing with exhaustion and parent shaming, or the tantrums of toddlerhood and arguing siblings. In the middle of the chaotic times, it’s important to have a support system in place of fellow parents you can count on. This […]

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woman taking selfie with friends

Capturing life and improving it

Research finds taking and sharing pictures can enhance wellbeing. For something touted as a simple, modern way to connect, having a social media presence is complex. It can feel like a necessary evil—you want to stay in the loop and see your sister’s cat photos, but it’s easy to get sucked in and stumble upon […]

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Husband and wife with child outsdie

5 ways to stay organized as a family when life gets busy

One of the biggest obstacles I face as a parent is staying organized, especially on days when my toddler is taking out toys as I’m putting them away, unfolding laundry I just folded, or spilling snacks on the floor I just swept. It’s hard, but that’s why having a system in place for this “organized […]

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boxes of items to be donated

The Salvation Army sends kids home with meals to avoid hunger away from school

Imagine seeing a child in the dumpster behind school looking for food to take home to her family for the weekend. Or another child walking in one morning who stops at the curb and sits down. Not because he’s lazy, but because he didn’t have the energy to make it in the building. “Those are […]

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Man in suit standing in front of 40 under 40 poster

The ABCs of Gens X, Y and Z

“The young man pities his elders, fearing the day he, too, will join their ranks. The elderly man pities the younger generation, well-knowing the trials and tribulations that lie ahead of them.” –Lynda I. Fisher The competitive advantage of learning from each other Born in 1980, I missed being a millennial by one year (depending […]

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Three young women smiling with each other

How to extend an invitation to church

Let’s ask ourselves when the last time we extended an invitation to an unbelieving friend to come to church was. If the answer is “I can hardly remember,” then perhaps the reason is either we haven’t enlarged our circle of community to those who may need it, or there is something keeping us from it, […]

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child feeding small animals outside

4 ways to volunteer with your kids

The benefits of volunteering are endless at any age. But for children, giving back to the community can set the framework for a lifetime development of quality skills, meaningful life lessons, and a greater understanding of the world that gives them the determination to make a difference. By volunteering, kids can learn valuable life skills […]

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hands holding candle

How to make the most out of volunteering

To be a volunteer is to be a giver of good things, of life, of shared burdens. To be a volunteer requires sacrifice, generosity, and action. As we approach April, or volunteer month, consider these mindsets and methods to give and hopefully you will find an appreciation for life in the bigger picture given in […]

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person painting fence

9 habits of highly successful volunteers

How you can strive to make the most impact when giving back To be successful at something like volunteering your time may seem counterintuitive as it’s more about giving freely than being “good” at something. But volunteering is like everything else in life: You get out of it what you put into it. Whether it’s […]

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woman laying with eyes closed next to leaves

Can we train for compassion?

Researchers wanted to determine two things: After the training, would participants’ behavior become more altruistic? Would their brains respond differently to suffering? New research says yes, through meditation. When you hear the word “training,” you probably think of how your body can achieve various tasks, like learning an instrument or exercise, through repetitive practice. While […]

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Man washing hands outside

Salvation Army helps battle San Diego’s Hepatitis A outbreak

Vaccination clinics, hand-washing stations and outreach events are part of a coordinated effort to contain the deadly disease. Since last spring, San Diego County, California, has played reluctant host to the nation’s second-largest outbreak of hepatitis A in decades. And through it, the county’s called on an unlikely partner to stop the spread of the […]

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How to really hear someone in a time of polarization

“It is easy to become overly invested in conveying our viewpoint—and when that happens, we stop listening.” Here are a few tips to help you reach across the aisle. I’m right, you’re wrong. I’m good, you’re bad. When we demonize or idolize, we eliminate the middle ground. It’s all or nothing. It’s my way or […]

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Police Officer saluting from behind

Promoting faith and justice

The Salvation Army in Phoenix partners with law enforcement to make their community safer through understanding and prayer.   The Salvation Army and law enforcement are working diligently to help make their community in Phoenix, Arizona, safer, not by the use of force and fear but by the power of understanding and prayer. Through the […]

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Two cups of coffee on table

Finding freedom in engaging with others

I was raised in West New York, New Jersey, one of the most densely populated municipalities in the United States. Our neighborhoods were not only overcrowded and constantly busy with the influx of workers making their way into the area, but parking was a challenge. Northerners, unlike their southern neighbors, enjoy a quick and deliberately […]

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group sitting together in city park

Called to community

We long for unity, but what does that really look like and how do we find it? What is community? Community, Merriam-Webster says, is a unified body of individuals. After further delineations and demarcations, the dictionary entry concludes with “community: ‘a social state or condition.’” The word seems easy enough to define—in essence, a community […]

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hands holding cup and plate

Rethinking the warm reception

Sunday evening knocks on our door and we welcome with the warmth of an open hug and an open house. The invitation extended is met with a meticulously-framed evening of entertainment, appetizers, and conversation topics, not without a somewhat-forced flair. Everything proceeds smoothly, compliments are exchanged, and another box is checked off the internal list […]

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mother reading to child

Integrating culture in parenting

What is your cultural identity? For most of us, the ideas that shape our cultural identities stem from what our parents taught us early in life. Growing up, my parents always instilled the importance of embracing our South American roots in me and my brother. They taught us Spanish, had us help them cook Peruvian […]

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EDS worker from behind

The lessons disaster brings  

Two of the biggest natural disasters ever struck back-to-back—delivering a host of obstacles and shedding some light on why The Salvation Army does what it does. The longest major “hurricane drought” in U.S. history came to a sudden and devastating end late in August. As costly and unprecedented as consecutive hurricanes Harvey and Irma were, […]

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Staffer and resident hugging

Serving newcomers, asylum seekers stalled at Mexican border

A Baja California shelter opened to serve Mexican nationals at risk of trafficking, but it’s become a safe haven for women and children from around the world. Gabrielle finally packed up and moved from her rural Mexican village to Tijuana to find work. It was the first step toward eventually coming to the U.S. and […]

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girl holding cup being filled with water

Clean water flows from well of good will

A pledge to solve human need without discrimination has put The Salvation Army up against a killer disease in Sri Lanka. The farmer’s face was incandescent with happiness as he gazed up at the two-story structure built on land he had given away so that other lives in his village might be saved, if not […]

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How to nail your Christmas shopping this season

For a lot of us, Christmas shopping is a mixed bag—literally and figuratively. It can feel like it’s equal parts fun and stressful. The stores are pure chaos. There’s always that one person who’s impossible to shop for. And let’s not even start with trying to get that prime parking spot. Getting the most out […]

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I was a refugee

I was born in Cuba, on the cusp of communism. Both of my parents were Cuban, and except for my paternal grandmother who was a Spaniard, my grandparents and great-grandparents were Cuban as well. Prior to the Castro revolution, Cuba enjoyed seasons of lavishness, famous for its beaches and nightclubs. However, behind the façade, it […]

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Pie on table

The future of tradition

Our traditions connect us and cause us to remember Every year on Christmas Eve I am inevitably up and about as the clock approaches midnight. The television offerings of nostalgic movies and live events usually draw our family into the living room. Additionally, I am an absolutely reliable procrastinator when it comes to gift-wrapping. I […]

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Flowers in vase on stool

Why comparison is stealing your joy

We’re quick to forget we aren’t getting the full story. Comparison eats up energy, peace and creativity—all things that exist within joy. It’s a fear-based response that distracts us from our gifts. The jealousy we feel when we compare our lives to another person’s fuels the doubts and insecurities we have about ourselves. Theodore Roosevelt […]

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Red metal design

Reviving Strawberry Field

Let me take you down, ’cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields. Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about. Strawberry Fields forever. – “Strawberry Fields Forever,” The Beatles Grounds that inspired legendary Beatles’ song will soon open to the public. Fifty years ago The Beatles released the legendary song “Strawberry Fields Forever,” which immortalized Strawberry Field, […]

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Person holding Bible outside

Building a more inclusive church

It works from the inside out.    It starts with a simple question. “One of the first things I say to anybody when they contact me is: let’s discuss the purpose of the program you’re running,” said Kendra Holly, a teacher and special needs consultant for The Salvation Army. That question—and the act of defining […]

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Three women laughing together

How to find a new community

Your willingness to be open and vulnerable can be a major help. At some point in our lives we will find ourselves looking for a new community. It might be because we switched jobs or schools, and that forced us to move to a different new city or state where we do not know anyone. […]

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People sitting together outside

Why community over competition is more than a popular hashtag

The idea of community is greater than competition. It’s easy to get caught up in the fear of falling “behind” or the shame of feeling like we’re underachieving. It’s sad, but true. Society has trained us to believe that there is one path to success, one “right” way to do things, one job, and so […]

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Table with chairs around it by window

Making room at your table

I’m not always comfortable with group events, and nine times out of 10 I’ll choose being home and quiet over a social gathering. Party of one? Yes please. I’m a fan of the solo-game. Even when I was living with friends who frequently opened their doors to friends, I would choose the solace of my […]

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Fractured American Flag graphic

Deciphering the divide

Race remains an issue in America. Black and white Americans are still deeply divided when it comes to views of racism, racial inequality and prospects for change, according to a 2016 Pew Research Center survey. Blacks, far more than whites, say black people are treated unfairly across different realms of life, from dealing with the […]

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Child holding camera by pond

Firming up fatherhood

The Salvation Army and the National Louis University partner to research methods for strengthening the paternal role in family and community. From the strong moral compass to the breadwinner to the equal partner—what defines a good father has evolved throughout the years. But whatever the role, studies show that the biggest impact a father can […]

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Rendering of empowerment center in Ferguson

Empowerment center to open in Ferguson

Construction is underway where a QuikTrip convenience store was looted and set afire on Aug. 10, 2014, the night that Ferguson, Missouri, a small suburb just north of St. Louis, erupted in a wave of civil unrest that made headlines around the world.   This spot on West Florissant Avenue, just blocks from where an […]

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Woman smiling with jean jacket and glasses

Drafted

A community embraces a reluctant champion.   When I accepted God’s invitation to join his work in St. Louis in 2013, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew I’d be leading a neighborhood-based ministry for The Salvation Army, and that I’d be joining a community of young adults. In my mind, I thought this […]

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human network diagram

Share and share alike

New research into the sharing economy illustrates how companies can better serve the underserved. It’s easy to see ridesharing companies Lyft or Uber as a savvy business traveler alternative to renting a car or simply as a convenient ride to the airport, but research shows that it’s actually low-income communities—where residents often don’t own cars […]

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Child in red jacket jumping outside

Kid-friendly ways to celebrate Christmas

Host a Christmas camp-out. Bring out your sleeping bags and set up in the living room for a family camp-out under the Christmas tree. Don’t forget the hot chocolate and carols. Have a surprise lights night. Follow the usual bedtime routine, but instead of tucking everyone in, head to the car in pajamas. Drive through […]

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Four men outside with chainsaws

Trees turn to heat

“It’s firewood, but to them it’s gold.” – Lt. Kevin Pope, former Coos Bay Corps Officer The City of Coos Bay and The Salvation Army make use of downed trees together.   In the rural town of Coos Bay, Ore., many residents rely solely on wood-burning stoves to heat their homes. So when former Corps […]

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Authentic influence

Are you authentically expressing your requests? Are you authentically fulfilling your promises? It is only through our interdependence with others that we create value. What is authentic influence? It is the true voice of the leader, and when we speak it from our character, it creates trust, synergy, and connection with everyone around us. Authentic […]

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Brickwall

Responding to racism

Islamophobia is on the rise, with media attention specifically highlighting the situation in European countries such as Britain and France, where the recent ban on burkinis on Cannes beaches was met with severe backlash and ultimately overturned by French courts, citing insufficient grounds to justify such a decree. The ban came after photographs of police […]

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Mother and son smiling with each other in Salvation Army shirts

Raising volunteers

Starting early makes a child more likely to give back later.   Getting an early start on volunteering as a family can have the most impact on a child’s future philanthropic behavior, according to DoSomething.org, which notes that the influence of family on a young person is the most impactful during middle school and early […]

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How to be a kind traveler

As a multi-trillion-dollar industry, travel and tourism has become one of the biggest players in the global economy, and according to a 2015 study conducted by the market research company Phocuswright, almost three quarters of travelers reported a desire for their contributions to make a positive impact on the places they visit. Enter Kind Traveler, […]

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Two young women standing with young man

How to make friends and create your own community

When I was young, my father was a petty officer in the US Navy. Every few years, no matter where I was in school or where my mom was working, we would pack up our things, cancel our lease, and move somewhere new. Of course it was unsettling, always being the new girl, always starting […]

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boat with USA flag on back

#Refugees welcome | responding to fear and guilt with faith and hope

If you are like me, you are listening and watching the reports of the world’s worst refugee crisis with a mixture of emotions. Mostly, it’s a mixture of fear and guilt. I’m afraid of what it all means. The displacement of over four million people is mind blowing to say the least. What will it […]

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On neutral ground

It seems that there is a new story each week about the tensions between “black lives” and “blue lives” in communities across America. There are longstanding rifts, historical complications, and pieces of the puzzle that are tough to place. How to solve those issues is a big problem, but that doesn’t discount the little steps […]

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Person with gym bag standing outside Olympic building

Without a flag of their own

Are you watching the Olympics this summer? As athletes from around the world prepare to kick off the games with the opening ceremony Aug. 5, this year has an interesting twist. One team doesn’t have a flag. Rami Anis is a Syrian refugee. And a swimmer. Yiech Pur Biel is a South Sudan refugee. And […]

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house with wood walkway leading up to it at night

Home

We put the building blocks of life together in the home. There, we carefully initiate the process of establishing our identity, shaping our self-esteem, building our belief system, exploring our expectancies, and learning how to behave in various situations. Parents portray through words and modeling aspects of the common culture they hope the child internalizes. […]

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Grand Park in Los Angeles (Photo by John McCoy)

Can we build a better Los Angeles by 2050?

The role of community feedback in cultivating a more sustainable future What does your vision of a better Los Angeles look like? An ambitious, innovative effort called LA2050 eagerly wants to know. In September, LA2050 launched its third My LA2050 Grants Challenge, a $1 million crowdsourced competition that supports creative ideas from both nonprofit and […]

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Young children standing in line outside holding clothes

Rags to resources

Youme Clothing has a collaborative, repurposing approach to affect community growth and international connection. Hepburn’s words describe the mission of Youme Clothing as we seek to renew and empower communities through collaborative repurposing projects, taking old things and making them new for the benefit of those in need. I remember when my friend first shared […]

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Jail alternatives

Salvation Army becomes home for low-level inmates in Modesto More than 60 percent of inmates released from California prisons wind up back in custody within three years, according to the State Corrections Department. In an effort to reduce the number of inmates in the state’s 33 prisons to 137.5 percent of design capacity, Gov. Jerry […]

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I Beg to Differ: Navigating Difficult Conversations With Truth And Love

At a point in time when civility both within and outside of the community of faith appears at an arguably  all-time low, the need for resources to assist humanity in reestablishing a sense of unity within our divided world is a welcome addition. I Beg to Differ: Navigating Difficult Conversations With Truth And Love (InterVarsity […]

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children with arms around each other

Compassionate relationships

I’ve heard it said that The Salvation Army is “compassion in action.” I think it fits and makes a good slogan. I hope it’s still true. I worry about that. I also hope it’s part of officer training along with regular workshop updates in the field. Relating compassionately is a very delicate idea that demands […]

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Outside view of houses

The Salvation Army’s Bed and Breakfast

In Angoon, Alaska, there’s only one place to stay Most afternoons, Angoon, Alaska, Corps Officers Majors John and Cathy Quinn can be found in their home office, inside the bed-and-breakfast (B&B) that supports the Army’s ministry there. “It’s an odd, but fortunate, twist on how an Army ministry typically supports itself,” John Quinn said. “Instead […]

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University Project seal

The University Project

While in Ecuador, Amy Morrison, Kevin Wilkinson, and Gianna Persico, missionaries from Downey First Christian Church, met Ismael, a young man who could not afford to go to college. The three collaborated and decided to pay not only for Ismael to go to college, but others as well. From this, The University Project was born. […]

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close up of bellringer apron and bell

Everyday people

The little pigtailed girl thinks he’s Santa Claus. As he waves and smiles from behind a wavy gray beard, the golden buttons gleaming against his green wool vest and a festive stocking cap pulled tight over his head, Bryan Mackey  does look the part of St. Nick. The girl first stares in awe, then grins […]

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Child smiling mothers lap

Empowering community

Program has reached more than 5,800 women in India Northern Territory There are around 488 self help groups in the India Northern Territory reaching more than 5,800 women. “So if you are married why do you not wear nose rings and have a mark on your forehead?” In some cultures it is particularly obvious when […]

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person walking by book shelves

Bringing together community

Harvestfield was recently described as a “spiritual mini Ikea” and that is truly our hope––a department store that offers not only “buy one, get one free,” but the greatest gift ever––Jesus Christ. Harvestfield is a secondhand furniture store in Berwick-upon-Tweed in the United Kingdom that offers furniture, a “Coffee Stop” and a play area for […]

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Officer with woman on street

Image to awareness

Costa Rica social media campaign highlights ‘the forgotten.’   Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy (Prov. 31:8-9). The Salvation Army Costa Rica Division is running a campaign to give people in […]

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Salvation Army Officers serving food in Japan

The strength of ‘kizuna’

In Japanese, ‘kizuna’ means a “bond of friendship.” Born of adversity in Onagawa, Japan, kizuna has emerged between the residents, The Salvation Army Japan Territory, The Salvation Army USA Western Territory and Trident Seafoods. On March 11, 2011, it only took minutes for a tsunami to sweep away the entire downtown area of Onagawa, taking […]

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Silhouette on construction site

‘Will work for humanity’

It’s a small world. Isn’t it? We’re an interconnected and even interdependent transnational society. Communication is as easy with my neighbor as it is with a friend across the world. But it’s still a world with expansive difficulties—problems that are so big they become overwhelming to consider. As a global church—The Salvation Army is currently […]

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Flowers blooming

Aquaponics in Anaheim

Descending a flight of stairs in The Anaheim (Calif.,) Praiseworks Corps Community Center, we approach a locked door. Envoy Michael Freeman draws the basement key from his pocket like an Old West gunslinger; he knows the place like the back of his hand. He unlocks the door and before our eyes can to adjust to […]

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Women holding bags by Salvonista van

Salvonista pop-up store

At first glance, the Salvonista Mobile Boutique appears to be an ordinary van, but a closer inspection reveals otherwise. This one-of-a-kind eco-friendly vehicle is powered by sustainable energy and fully geared as a “pop-up” fashion store. Salvos Stores in Australia’s Eastern Territory launched the first fashion-focused Salvonista campaign in September 2012 to encourage fashion-savvy, budget-conscious […]

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Salvation Army Officer looks over damage

Salvation Army on the ground in Oklahoma

Estimated at over two miles wide, a devastating tornado with winds up to 200 mph struck just south of Oklahoma City on May 20 ripping apart homes and other buildings in populated areas. Officials said 24 people were killed and more than 200 injured as a result of the EF-4 tornado, which flattened entire neighborhoods […]

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A beautiful city

ReCreate Cafe revitalizes its community It’s not often that people who are homeless get a round of applause. So the ReCreate Cafe in Chattanooga, Tenn., started with karaoke—a chance to take the limelight and be affirmed. “I stepped out of my comfort zone to experience something wonderful,” Jessie said. Now, the cafe offers acting and […]

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KROC center

How it all came together

When Debi and I were appointed as divisional leaders in San Diego in February 1998, we immediately took up the work laid by previous divisional leaders and staff for a new corps community center in the east San Diego area. The previous year, Joan Kroc asked The Salvation Army in San Diego to submit a […]

Red scooter parked

Love as the cornerstone

I spent a number of recent days in the hospital. Not for myself, but to support someone whom I love dearly—my grandfather. Between all the beeps and bustle of the critical care unit, our care was his heart. It is in these moments of unconditional positive regard for another, when family drops daily duties and […]

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Joan Kroc with granddaughter Amanda sitting down

My grandma’s love

Joan Kroc’s granddaughter shares a personal letter from her grandma. I am extremely proud to express my love and admiration for my Grandma Joan. I remember it like it was yesterday when she surprised the people of The Salvation Army, the media, and our family when she crawled in the bulldozer at the groundbreaking of […]

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Ribbon cutting in Hawaii at Kroc Center

Aloha, Kroc

Somewhere over the rainbow, in the unincorporated and developing community of Kapolei, Hawaii, a $133 million Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps and Community Center now stands. “My grandmother wanted every child, no matter his or her economic background to enjoy a more luxurious place than they ever imagined,” said Amy Ragen, granddaughter of […]

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sunset behind mountains

‘Apologies Due’ revisited

Following an online apology, a dedication to connecting with every responding individual ensued. During the summer, Carolyn and I visited with a retired officer over dinner. She is not from the Western Territory, but rather a faithful officer and friend we have known for many years. We have visited this couple in their home, and […]

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row of houses

Splintered reality; renewed dreams

EnviRenew rebuilds in New Orleans Shumeca Chadwick left for work on August 29, 2005, at 5 a.m. Wearing blue with badge in hand, she needed to report for duty by 6. All New Orleans police officers were instructed to arrive ready to serve—assisting with evacuations, monitoring the storm damage and protecting the city. Chadwick never made it to the station. When […]

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