The Salvation Army is so much more
than red kettles and thrift stores.

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?
Take a seat for Salvation Army 101.

Who We Are

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 nearly 50,000 employees, some 1.4 million volunteers and roughly 3,500 officers, who complete a two-year training program to become ordained ministers of The Salvation Army.

What We Do

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 24 million Americans in need each year.

That’s 45 people every minute, every day.

The Salvation Army’s service includes:

A gift to The Salvation Army does good all year

See stories of our impact on:

Where We Serve

An international organization, The Salvation Army serves in more than 130 countries around the world and in nearly every U.S. zip code, working to meet human needs in every community—exactly as that community needs.

Why We Do What We Do

Every program 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.

“‘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.”
– Mark 12:30-31

And so, we “Trust in the Lord and do good…”
– Psalm 37:3

Nearly 1,200 Salvation Army corps — or church — locations across the U.S. offer worship services every Sunday morning.
See The Salvation Army’s 11 doctrines — our statements of belief.

How We Serve

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.

Download a printable version of this page here.

Will you join us and do good?

Continuing Education

Brush up on your Salvation Army knowledge with additional learning on these specifics:

What does The Salvation Army believe?

What do The Salvation Army crest and shield signify?

What is The Salvation Army chain of command?

What are the steps to become a Salvation Army officer?

What are The Salvation Army advisory organizations?

How to volunteer as a Salvation Army bellringer?

How does The Salvation Army accept cryptocurrency?

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