National Salvation Army Week (May 10-16, 2021) is fast approaching. This week is set aside to remind or inform the country of the comprehensive nature of the services we provide to help people in need in your community. These are your neighbors — your brothers and sisters.
National Salvation Army Week was declared by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954, and since then it has served as an annual reminder of the vast scope of our services and ways you can help.
In 1954, the week of November 28-December 4 (now recognized in May) was declared by the United States Congress and proclaimed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to be the first National Salvation Army Week, as a reminder to Americans to give freely of themselves. In his speech, President Eisenhower said:
“Among Americans, The Salvation Army has long been a symbol of wholehearted dedication to the cause of human brotherhood. In time of war, the men and women of this organization have brought to those serving their country far from home, friendliness and warm concern. In the quieter days of peace, their work has been a constant reminder to us all that each of us is neighbor and kin to all Americans. Giving freely of themselves, the men and women of The Salvation Army have won the respect of us all.”
In the nearly 70 years since, we have continued to do the most good for local communities and broadened our services to those that couldn’t be conceived in ’54.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 40 million Americans live in poverty, and millions more live near the poverty line. Approximately half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and one-third of adults between 18 and 64 live in low-income households. And after a year of devastation due to the COVID pandemic, the need is greater than it has ever been.
The Salvation Army operates more than 7,500 centers in communities like yours across the United States, each of which collects high-quality data on a wide variety of poverty-related social services. The first multi-dimensional measure of human need based on objective data from a nonprofit on the front lines of providing social services, the Human Needs Index serves as a powerful tool to track basic human need, with different indicators and less lag time than conventional government data.
There are many ways to give to The Salvation Army to help sustain crucial services in your community, including:
Learn more about the level of basic need in America with the Human Needs Index. You can help out by spreading awareness and signing up to become a volunteer in your local community.
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