Madison House of UVA collects over $50,000 in holiday donations to Help Salvation Army

Madison House’s Holiday Sharing program brings the UVA and Charlottesville communities together by collecting food and gifts for families in need referred by the Charlottesville Salvation Army. Coordinated by Madison House, the student volunteer center at the University of Virginia, and in partnership with the Salvation Army of Charlottesville, the Holiday Sharing program believes every person should be able to enjoy the holiday season.

This year, with the support of donors ranging from Charlottesville residents, to UVA alumni nationwide, Madison House volunteers fundraised $17,000 in monetary donations that they will use to purchase holiday gifts on behalf of donors—more than double the monetary donations fundraised last year. The students collected another approximately $34,000 in donations of food and gifts, which will soon be distributed to 130 local families.

Friday, December 1, from 12:00pm – 3:00pm, Holiday Sharing invites local media to Madison House (170 Rugby Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903) to interview, photograph and record the student leaders running this University- and community-wide effort.

“We have seen an incredible amount of generosity from our sponsors and donors,” said Holiday Sharing Head Program Director and UVA fourth-year Lee Williams, who oversees five Program Directors and 60 Madison House volunteers in the program. “It really takes the entire community’s support for this program to succeed, and we can definitely say we had that this year,” Williams said.

“The Salvation Army will never be able to adequately thank Madison House for their help in making a Christmas to remember for so many homes and families,” said Susan Shiels, Salvation Army of Charlottesville Advisory Board Commander. “Every opportunity we get to work side by side with the outstanding leaders of Madison House while serving our community is a win for The Salvation Army staff and volunteers.”

“Madison House’s 3,000 students are always looking for ways to strengthen ties between the University and our surrounding community, and in doing so they gain incredible learning experiences year-round,” said Madison House Executive Director Tim Freilich.

“Madison House’s Holiday Sharing program gives our students a chance to show their appreciation for the community by working to brighten the holidays of local children and families in need,” said Freilich. “In the process of coordinating donations from departments across the University, our Madison House Holiday Sharing leaders gain important skills. They learn firsthand how to budget, manage volunteers, communicate effectively with stakeholders, and track donations,” Freilich said, “all while helping share some love for the holidays!”

Join UVA students at Madison House Friday, December 1 from 12:00pm – 3:00pm as they prepare thousands of donations for low-income families.

Musicians hope to help keep doors of Salvation Army homeless men’s shelter open

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) –

In two weeks, the doors of The Olde Towne Civic Center in Petersburg will be open for a night of music for a fundraiser to save the Salvation Army Homeless Men’s Shelter on Commerce Street.

The shelter has been open since 1997, but the Salvation Army says the costs are too high to exclusively run the shelter, so officials plan to close the doors on Dec. 31.

“We’re worried about keeping power on for these people,” said Todd Mobley.

Mobley is a blues musician from Chester, but considers Petersburg home because he frequently plays there as a part of the Triple B Blues Band with his childhood friend Scott Billings.

Their time in the entertainment district has allowed them to fall in love with Petersburg, but also shown them the harsh realities of poverty in the city.

“Money is the problem, and that’s what we’re trying to do, raise money,” said Billings.

Billings says 100 percent of the proceeds from the concert will go to the shelter. This concert is just one of several benefits the band plays for throughout the year because outreach is a part of their nature.

“This is just another way we heard the call and everybody answered the bell,” he explained.

They are hoping music will move people to give, with no definite fundraising goal. They hope people will be driven by compassion to keep the doors of the shelter open.

“A hot meal and a place to stay is worth everything and I think every body needs a hands up not a hand out,” said Mobley.

Just a few feet away from the men’s shelter is the Hope Center, which feeds hundreds of people in Petersburg. Executive Director Scott Fisher recognizes the need for places like the homeless men’s shelter and is hopeful for the fundraising efforts.

“We have some cold winter months coming up and we need to keep people warm. We don’t need them out in the streets freezing to death. It’s tough enough already,” said Fisher.

He says churches continue to answer the call as well, helping feed and clothe those in need. The Salvation Army says they have been meeting with local churches about how to move forward, even speaking with the city of Petersburg about options to continue to meet the needs of the community once the doors close.

Mobley, Billings and so many others hope it doesn’t get to that point at all, holding on to hope, that people will open their hearts.

“Hopefully we’ll buy another 30 days, maybe somebody can buy another 30 days, and next thing you know we’re back in to the spring and things aren’t quite as bad,” said Billings.

The concert will be held from 5 p.m. until midnight Dec. 14 at the Olde Town Civic Center on River Street.

Tickets are $10 and you can either buy them at the door or in advance by calling 804-733-8344.

The Salvation Army Central Virginia

The Salvation Army Central Virginia receives a $150,000 grant to support its Christmas Distribution

In the company of Santa and Mrs. Claus and dressed in holiday red, Ann Parker Gottwald helped usher in the holiday season at The Jefferson Hotel during its 31st annual tree-lighting festivities on Monday night.

Flanked by her husband, Thomas E. “Teddy” Gottwald, and four of her five sons and their wives, Gottwald is the 2017 Richmond Christmas Mother, which means she leads fundraising efforts for needy families throughout the holiday season.

The Richmond Christmas Mother Fund is a decades-old tradition sponsored by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which absorbs the administrative costs. From the fund, The Salvation Army Central Virginia receives a $150,000 grant to support its Christmas Distribution Center, though upward of an additional $100,000 is awarded to various holiday assistance programs, thanks to a partnership with The Community Foundation.

High spirits and holiday music moved throughout the expansive hotel, though further cause for celebration included an announcement from Gottwald earlier in the day that a special challenge grant has been created to encourage local businesses to contribute to the Richmond Christmas Mother Fund. An anonymous local foundation will match all area business contributions to the fund up to a total of $64,000.

“I’m very excited that this local foundation has come forward to encourage businesses to participate,” Gottwald said. “All donations from local businesses, large or small, will be matched until we reach $64,000.”

“This is a real boost for the fund,” she added, “and it means that more needy children in our community will have a brighter Christmas.”

Thomas A. Silvestri, president and publisher of The Times-Dispatch, called challenge grants “rare” and thanked Gottwald for her efforts.

“We are so thankful for this commitment,” said Silvestri, noting that the grant “is a special way of generating donations that also help dozens of nonprofit organizations doing good deeds throughout the region as part of the Richmond Christmas Mother campaign.”

Watching the festivities unfold from the packed staircase above the hotel’s ground level, 8-year-old Haley Moore peeked through the crowd in front of her for glimpses at the parade of characters — including members of Richmond Ballet and Richmond Flying Squirrels mascots Nutzy and Nutasha — that preceded the tree’s illumination.

She sang along to “Here Comes Santa Claus” as the big man himself and Mrs. Claus made their way down the stairs toward the switch that turned on the tree’s lights.

Her mother, Terry Moore, said this was their first time to The Jefferson for the holiday event. Her husband, Chuck Moore, was a member of the band Offering, which played during the festivities.

“She heard there was hot chocolate and cookies,” Moore joked about her daughter’s intentions.

Upstairs from the tree, executive pastry chef Sara Ayyash stood guard near the large confectionery creation of Santa in an airplane. Each year during the tree-lighting festivities, the hotel reveals its gingerbread creation, and this year’s is made from 200 pounds of baked gingerbread, 150 pounds of royal icing and at least 100 pounds of decorative candies.

She explained the story behind Santa’s flying vessel — “this year Santa’s reindeer are sick” — and then joked with a patron about having a sweet tooth this time every year.

“My dentist loves me,” she said.

Salvation Army Lynchburg Bell Ringers

Bell ringers needed in APX

The Salvation Army of Greater Lynchburg has kicked off the 2017 Red Kettle Campaign with a plea for volunteers.

The Red Kettle Campaign comprises on average 20 percent of The Salvation Army’s total budget. Last year, The Salvation Army provided more than 32,000 hot meals, 12,000 nights of lodging and financial assistance to more than 6,000 people. In addition, more than 18,000 gifts were given to children and the elderly through numerous community programs provided by the Lynchburg Salvation Army.

“We are asking as people make their plans for the holiday season, they also include time to volunteer as a bell ringer,” Captain Trey Jones said. “We are blessed to serve in one of the most generous communities in the country whose residents have a heart for helping others. Ringing a bell at a Red Kettle is a long-standing tradition in The Salvation Army, one we would love for the community to make part of their own this season.”

Due to closings and adjustments in individual store policies, The Salvation Army has lost several key bell ringing locations that brought in more than $20,000 last year. Having volunteer bell ringers instead of paid ringers ensures that funds raised in the Red Kettle can be applied directly to local program needs. Families and individuals of all ages are welcomed to ring with most choosing to ring in two-hour time slots, but time can be adjusted to accommodate groups and larger families.

If you would like more information regarding how you can volunteer or how to donate, please call 434-845-5939 or visit www.salvationarmylynchburg.org. The Salvation Army of Greater Lynchburg serves Lynchburg, Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Campbell and Nelson counties and has been a part of the Greater Lynchburg community for more than 112 years.

Salvation Army Hampton Roads Area Command

Virginia Beach-based mattress company donates beds to Salvation Army shelters

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Virginia Beach-based company Leesa replaced 72 mattresses for two Salvation Army homeless shelters.

It’s part of the company’s One-Ten program–for every 10 mattresses purchased, Leesa donates one to someone in need.

In this case, the business replaced all of the mattresses in the Salvation Army’s H.O.P.E. Village community, a community for single women and women with children, as well as their Hope Center, a homeless men’s emergency shelter on 19th Street in Norfolk.

So far, Leesa has donated over 22,000 mattresses to non-profits serving people who seek refuge from homelessness, human trafficking and domestic abuse.

“The unboxing event that took place today will make a major impact on the quality of services The Salvation Army is able to deliver to the people in the Hampton Roads community who seek shelter during the holiday season – and all year long,” a representative for the Salvation Army said.

Salvation Army Harrisonburg Bell Ringers needed

Salvation Army Harrisonburg Seeks Bell Ringers

The Salvation Army is seeking bell ringers for the rest of the month.

Capt. John Blevins, who leads the local corps, said the nonprofit hopes to raise $190,000 for the campaign, which typically accounts for about 20 percent of its annual $1 million budget.

 The organization is collecting donations at several stores in the area, including the Harrisonburg Kroger, Bridgewater Foods Supermarket and Food Lion stores in Elkton and Timberville. After Thanksgiving, kettles will spring up at the four Walmart stores in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.

The campaign runs until Dec. 23.

 Those interested can sign up here.
Salvation Army Petersburg Homeless Shelter

Effort underway to save Petersburg Salvation Army shelter

PETERSBURG, Va. – A grassroots effort is underway to save the Petersburg Salvation Army.

The cost of operating the shelter doesn’t even come close to what the area Salvation Army takes in from donations, leadership said.

So after, 20 years of operation, the Salvation Army has decided December 31 will be the men’s shelters last day.

Closing the doors may benefit other services offered by the Salvation Army.

Capt. Donald Dohmann, Salvation Army area commander, said it costs $380,000 a year to keep the doors to the shelter open, and that the bottom line has been in red ink every year.

Right now, Dohmann said he is making plans to meet with area churches who may be willing to offer either financial support or serve as warming centers in the cold months.

“I’m more than willing to help and I’d definitely like to put something together with some local musicians,” said Matt Via, local musician.

Via is like many who watched the news and heard the shelter may go under.

“I said geez, there’s got to be something that can be done,” agreed Rocking Randall Davidson, a local musician.

So Davidson is trying to organize a local concert as a fundraiser at Life Church in Chester.

The news brought an immediate response to help, either to keep the doors open or help the men brave the winter.

“If it’s by keeping the shelter open through financial means or by giving of donations, we’re going to do that,” Pastor Mike Cherry, Life Church.

If the shelter is going to close, we’re going to do the best we can to help them through tents and coats and boots and everything we can to try to keep them warm,” Cherry said.

The Salvation Army also started getting phone calls.

“I’ve talked to probably a half dozen folks and civic groups and individuals who say, hey what can we do to help,” Dohmann said.

An estimated $75,000 would be needed to keep the doors open through the end of March.

“We says $25,000 each month, that’s kind of on the high end but what we have to remember is our utilities will be on the high end because it’s a bigger building, an older building,” Dohmann said.

While the city is still in financial distress, city leaders are hoping the community can help.

“We have over 140 churches here in the city and many civic organizations that would have loved to come in and help out in any way they seem fit,” Mayor Sam Parham, City of Petersburg.

“Everyone is a fan of the salvation army and I am happy they are starting to mobilize because we have to come up with a plan,” Parham said.

Salvation Army Winchester kicks of Red Kettle

Winchester Salvation Army kicks off Red Kettle Campaign

WINCHESTER — The Salvation Army of Winchester bell-ringers are back in action for the holiday season.

The local nonprofit organization kicked off its annual Red Kettle Campaign on Thursday afternoon at the Apple Blossom Mall. Armed with a bell and a bucket, volunteers will spend the next month soliciting donations at numerous locations around Winchester, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday (no Sundays)….more

 

The Salvation Army's 127th Red Kettle Campaign Raises $144.5 Million

Lynchburg Salvation Army looking to fill $20k hole

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET)– The Lynchburg Salvation Army is looking for ways to bring in 20 thousand dollars they’re afraid they’ll miss out on this year.

They say they lost about 6 kettle locations from last year.

Last year the Lynchburg Salvation Army raised 250 thousand dollars through the red kettle campaign.

This money goes to the shelter, food for the needy and Christmas gifts for less fortunate children.

“We’re tying to shoot for that again this year even though we’re losing several of the stores,” Lynchburg Salvation Army Captain Trey Jones said.

They lost about 6 locations. One from the Macy’s that closed in the mall, a few more from ABC stores because they didn’t work well, and a couple more from a high traffic retailer, which they are still negotiating with.

“This is our biggest fundraiser of the year,” Captain Jones said.

They are also worried about their K-Mart on Wards Road location because of it closing down.

“That could be a significant loss for this year but it’s definitely going to be one for next year.” Jones said.

Jones hopes the Lynchburg community can make up the difference they will feel this year.

He said, “Never experienced such a giving community, and I think everything will work out in the end.”

The Salvation Army is trying to cut back on costs to compensate for the loss.

One way is finding more volunteers to ring the bell instead of hiring people.

Greater Lynchburg Salvation Army in critical need off volunteer bell ringers

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) — The Salvation Army of Greater Lynchburg has kicked off its 2017 Red Kettle Campaign and is still in need of bell ringers.

According to The Salvation Army, the Red Kettle Campaign comprises on average 20 percent of their total budget.

“We are asking as people make their plans for the holiday season, they also include time to volunteer as a bell ringer,” stated Captain Trey Jones.

They say they have lost several bell ringing locations due to the closings and adjustments in individual store policies.

The Salvation Army says having volunteer bell ringers instead of paid ringers ensures that funds raised in the Red Kettle can be applied directly to local program needs.

Families and individuals of all ages are welcomed to ring with most choosing two-hour time slots, but they say time can be adjusted to accommodate groups or larger families.

The areas included in the Greater Lynchburg area include Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Campbell and Nelson counties.

If you would like more information regarding how you can volunteer or how to donate, please call (434)-845-5939 or visit www.salvationarmylynchburg.org.