The Salvation Army is more than a red kettle at Christmas. Perhaps you've even thrown a few coins in the bucket. And although this welcomed symbol appears in your community for just a short while, its impact extends far beyond the holiday season..........changing lives, one at a time, every day, all year long.
The scope of The Salvation Army's influence is vast, touching nearly every segment of society and providing help, hope, and healing for those who come within its sphere. It is at work in more than 108 countries around the world. And although programs vary from country to country and community to community to help people most effectively, its mission is constant: to share the life-transforming gospel of Jesus Christ and meet needs without discrimination. This focus, established by its Founder William Booth in 1865, remains the guiding principle for its cutting-edge and award-winning work in contemporary life.
At the heart of The Salvation Army on the local level is the corps community center. Chances are there's one in your community, making a world of difference. These are action-packed centers where people are living out their faith. They are centers of worship, learning and service which incorporate a vast range of programs that encompass people of all ages. They are great places to enrich your life and where your family can grow together. So, whether you're looking for meaningful volunteerism, diverse music opportunities, uplifting women's ministries, lively seniors clubs or after-school activities for your child, Salvation Army Corps Community Centers are a place you can belong.
Realizing the future of a society is never brighter than the present for its children; The Salvation Army places a great emphasis on families and offers a wide array of children's services such as quality daycare, summer camps. There are character building programs that help kids get off to the right start in life and develop skills which can lead to success. In many cities there also are specialized programs to aid children in crisis.
In fact, The Salvation Army is recognized as one of America's foremost leaders in social services and dramatically alters the lives of hundreds of thousands each year who face daunting circumstances such as unemployment or homelessness. From making the holidays happier for less fortunate families with seasonal assistance to providing quality housing for low-income seniors, reuniting missing persons, offering free health clinics or teaching children to read, The Salvation Army is intrinsically involved in people's lives and your community. Where there are no corps community centers and other Salvation Army facilities, often in very rural areas, dedicated members of our service extension units fill the gap.
By the time many people reach our doors, their lives have hit a dead end. But at The Salvation Army they learn there's still hope. There are still opportunities for u-turns, chances for change and new directions. For instance, tens of thousands of people each year take the first step to breaking alcohol and drug addictions at adult rehabilitation centers. Others begin to find the strength and resources they need to break the vicious cycle of homelessness. And for many who are incarcerated, The Salvation Army shows them the way to spiritual freedom and practical skills needed to start over through correctional services.
Each year many other people, who never dreamed they'd need help, suddenly find themselves in overwhelming situations and turning to The Salvation Army. A tornado, hurricane or some other natural or man-made disaster has torn apart their lives and ravaged their homes and community. When disaster strikes The Salvation Army is often the first emergency relief organization on the scene, providing nourishment, shelter and other practical assistance but just as importantly instilling hope and helping people cope with tragedy, pick up the pieces and begin again. In all of its services, The Salvation Army believes that meeting immediate needs is important but addressing larger, long-term issues is vital for real life change. Its ministry is holistic; it addresses the whole person-body, mind and spirit. This creative and compassionate approach has made The Salvation Army not only America's favorite charity, but a leader in world services.
Yet, The Salvation Army could never accomplish all it does alone. To maximize its service, it often networks with governments, other agencies, churches and advisory organizations composed of community leaders who bring their wisdom and expertise to the organization. They, along with more than a million other volunteers across the country, join with us to improve the landscape of our nation by changing one life at a time.