The Do Gooders Podcast Episode 122: Welcome to The Salvation Army 101

122: Welcome to The Salvation Army 101

You’ve probably seen the red kettles and thrift stores, and while we’re rightfully well known for both, The Salvation Army is so much more than red kettles and thrift stores.

So who are we? What do we do? And where?

In this episode, we’re going to cover the who, what, where, why and how of The Salvation Army—plus how you can get involved in the Fight for Good.

So take a seat for Salvation Army 101.

Show highlights include:

  • The who, what, where, why and how of The Salvation Army.
  • Plus, how you can get involved in the Fight for Good.

Listen and subscribe to the Do Gooders Podcast now. Below is a transcript of the episode, edited for readability. For more information on the people and ideas in the episode, see the links at the bottom of this post.

* * *

Let’s start with the who.

The Salvation Army is a faith-based organization that began in London in 1865. Its co-founders, a Methodist minister and his wife named William and Catherine Booth, walked the streets preaching to the homeless, the hungry and the destitute. The Booths’ efforts became The Salvation Army, which set out to offer compassionate, tangible service to people in need following a quasi-military structure with William Booth as its first General. As The Salvation Army spread, it became known as one of the largest providers of humanitarian aid. You may have even heard of its early motto: Soup, Soap and Salvation.

Today, the work is carried out across the U.S. by 63,000 employees, some 3 million volunteers and roughly 3,500 officers, who complete a two-year training program to become ordained ministers of The Salvation Army.

And that’s just here in the U.S. The Salvation Army has a presence in 132 countries worldwide.

If you want to see the full timeline of how The Salvation Army became what it is, head to

Next, the what.

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is “to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”

With the generous support of the public, The Salvation Army serves more than 31 million Americans in need each year.

That’s almost one person every second, every day.

The Salvation Army’s service includes—get ready for this list:

  • Curing hunger
  • Overcoming poverty
  • Providing shelter
  • Fighting human trafficking
  • Stopping domestic abuse
  • Equipping families
  • Teaching kids
  • Empowering the arts
  • Assisting the unemployed
  • Combating addiction
  • Helping disaster survivors
  • Loving the elderly
  • Serving veterans
  • Sharing God’s love
  • Meeting the greatest need
  • Brightening the holidays

See how every gift to The Salvation Army fights for good all year in a video all about the red kettles at

Now, the where.

As an international organization, The Salvation Army serves in more than 132 countries around the world and in every U.S. zip code, working to meet human needs in every community—exactly as that community needs.

Want to see what The Salvation Army is doing right where you are?

You guessed it; head to to find out now.

Ok, we’ve heard the who, what and where…but why?

Every program of The Salvation Army is rooted in a passion to serve God by serving the hurting, the helpless and the hopeless.

It’s biblical: We love because God first loved us.

As Mark 12:30-31 says, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Or more simply, as we find in 1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, love.”

We know love doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t pick and choose. Love isn’t pro this or pro that but proactive and protective. When there’s so much to fight against, love fights for. When others flee, love runs toward. For 156 years, The Salvation Army has loved all who feel lost. We love beyond hunger, overdue bills, homelessness, crisis, loneliness, poverty, addiction, loss…And with your help, we’ll never stop.

Did you know nearly 1,200 Salvation Army corps—or church—locations across the U.S. offer worship services every Sunday morning?

Find The Salvation Army’s 11 doctrines—our statements of belief—and a location to worship with The Salvation Army near you at

And all of this leads us to the how.

Yes, The Salvation Army does a lot.

And notably, we don’t do it alone.

Thanks to generous donors and a long list of corporate partners—including Walmart Stores, Kroger Company, JCPenney, Walgreens, UPS, Albertsons and many more—The Salvation Army is dedicated to Doing the Most Good. Thousands of business and community leaders also partner with us as advisory board members—from the National Advisory Board to the one serving in your neighborhood.

By meeting tangible needs, we give the world a lasting display of the love behind our beliefs. Since 1865, we have been working to provide sustainable solutions for the most vulnerable. We stay not just until the job is done, but long afterward, to ensure that the healing continues. With 82 cents of every dollar dedicated to directly supporting the needs of the community in which it was received, The Salvation Army is committed to stewarding every donation with integrity.

Find the most recent annual report at

So, how about you? Where do you fit in? Right here.

When you open your eyes tomorrow, you too can be proud knowing you showed LOVE BEYOND.

Visit us today and find your place with The Salvation Army in fighting hunger, homelessness, addiction, disaster and more. Whether you join us for Sunday worship, volunteer to serve or give to support the effort, we need you.

Imagine belonging to a community with a loving God and caring people, where you can find joy, goodness, meaning, love.

Find your place with The Salvation Army and LOVE BEYOND all else.

Head now to

The world needs us—it needs you—to “Above all, love” (1 Peter 4:8).

Additional resources:

  • You’ve probably seen the red kettles and thrift stores, and while we’re rightfully well known for both…The Salvation Army is so much more than red kettles and thrift stores. So who are we? What do we do? Where? Right this way for Salvation Army 101.
  • Get on the list for Good Words from the Good Word and get a boost of inspiration in 1 minute a day with a daily affirmation from Scripture sent straight to your inbox. It’s an email to help you start your day with goodness.
  • Get inside the Caring Magazine Scripture Study Collection and find a suite of free, downloadable Bible studies to guide you through topics from New Beginnings Through Forgiveness, to Understanding our Imago Dei or Life Hacks From David.

Listen and subscribe to the Do Gooders Podcast now.

Sharing is caring!