Don’t we all have an unrealistic, totally off-the-wall dream? Tell me I’m not the only one. Mine has been since early childhood to slip a cape over my shoulder, tie a bonnet under my chin, and play in a Salvation Army street corner band. Guys and Dolls when it came along decades ago did nothing to dampen that yearning. But there I was playing only a clarinet instead of a brass instrument, and playing that none too well.
In defense of the shallowness of my wishes, Jerry and I have long supported the Salvation Army. They do wonderful work with great humility. In nosing around the web I found this unattributed fact sheet and learned many facts I didn’t know. See if you do, too. And when you have finished, think about making a donation “where it will do the most good.”
Revised 2/08 Fact Sheet
(Based on International and U.S. Statistics)
DID YOU KNOW…
The Salvation Army provides assistance to those in need 365 days a year.
Founded by William Booth in 1865, The Salvation Army is an international organization that meets the physical and spiritual needs of people in 113 countries around the globe, without discrimination.
With 8,500 centers of operation in the United States, The Salvation Army assists nearly 36 million individuals nationwide throughout the year – almost 5 million of those during the holiday season alone.
83% of your donation to The Salvation Army goes directly to program funding to help people who need it most.
The Salvation Army operates several domestic violence shelters nationwide, where abused women and children can get a fresh start in life, safely and confidentially.
When you shop at Salvation Army thrift stores, you are supporting adult rehabilitation centers that annually help more than 216,000 people from every walk of life fight substance abuse and return to their communities as participating, contributing members.
The Salvation Army’s Alegria program in Los Angeles provides transitional and permanent housing and specialized support services to homeless and low-income families affected by HIV/AIDS.
The red Christmas kettle debuted in San Francisco in 1891 in the guise of a crab pot. A depression had thrown many out of work, including hundreds of seamen and longshoremen. The campaign proved so successful that by 1900 it was imitated nationwide.
Movie actors Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Mae West, and Joan Crawford have all appeared in movies with Army characters.
More than 3.5 million people volunteer for The Salvation Army nationwide.
The Salvation Army operates a Missing Persons Program, which helped more than 187,000 people last year.
The Salvation Army’s Community Care Ministries visited more than 3.3 million people with special needs in hospitals, nursing homes, and correctional facilities last year.
The Salvation Army assists nearly 19.8 million people with basic social services each year.
The Salvation Army provided an opportunity to camp for more than 193,000 underprivileged children, seniors, and adults last year.
The Salvation Army was at the frontlines in World Wars I and II, offering comfort and pastoral guidance.
The Salvation Army provided nearly 76,000 job referrals last year.
Peter Drucker called The Salvation Army “by far the most effective organization in the U.S.,” in Forbes magazine.
The red shield dates from 1896 and serves as the trademark for the Army’s social services.
Known for their brass band music, The Salvation Army has approximately 2,500 brass bands worldwide.
Since the 1920s, a Salvation Army brass band from Southern California has marched in the Tournament of Roses Parade.
The phrase “on the wagon” was coined by men and women receiving the services of The Salvation Army. Former National Commander Evangeline Booth – founder William Booth’s daughter – drove a hay wagon through the streets of New York to encourage alcoholics on board for a ride back to The Salvation Army. Hence, alcoholics in recovery were said to be “on the wagon.”
The first Salvation Army band was formed in 1882 by accident. Charles Frye and his sons offered their services as bodyguards for Salvation Army street preachers. They began playing music on their brass instruments to give them something to do while they protected the officers, and soon after quit their family business to lead the Army’s music department.
The Salvation Army led in the formation of the USO – United Services Organization. The USO operates service units, which serve members of the armed forces abroad.
“Strawberry Fields Forever” in the Beatles 1966 song by that name, is John Lennon’s nostalgic reference to a Salvation Army orphanage called Strawberry Field In Woolton, England. Lennon is said to have played with childhood friends in the trees behind the orphanage when he was a boy.
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