Lodi Salvation Army

Lodi Salvation Army graduates 20th culinary arts class in 10 years

Friends and family gathered at the Lodi Salvation Army’s Hope Harbor Center on Tuesday evening to congratulate their loved ones who have completed the Salvation Army’s four-month culinary arts program, marking the 20th class in the program’s 10 years of existence.

Snacking on bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with almonds and miniature beef Wellingtons, consisting of morsels of filet mignon topped with pureed mushrooms inside of a flaky puff pastry, the graduates and their families mingle with alumni from the class, past and future employers of some of the graduates as well as the program’s teacher, Chef Barry Crall.

Before enrolling in the class, prospective students must first graduate from the Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) in Sacramento, according to Crall. Once they have completed that program, the students become eligible for the 16-week culinary arts training, which Crall finds deeply rewarding.

“I love seeing the light come on and watching them get a job, so they don’t have to fall back on what they did in the past. It’s an opportunity to change their lives,” Crall said.

The program also provides the students with opportunities to serve others while improving their own lives, such as donating meals to those affected by fires in Butte, Jackson, Napa and Yuba over the years, according to Crall.

“We served 750 meals twice a day in Jackson, breakfast and dinner, cooked here in this kitchen,” Crall said.

Since the program’s inception, 132 students have graduated, with 92 percent of them finding work at restaurants such as Wine and Roses, Coco’s, Richmaid and more. Joe Yaskovic is one such graduate, who completed the program’s sixth class in November 2010 after being referred by ARC Sacramento, where he now works as the kitchen supervisor.

“I loved the actual book learning, getting to know all the technical aspects of cooking. It was great having such an experienced instructor who knows all the ins and outs of restaurants, Barry Crall is an integral part of my success at ARC. I worked in franchise restaurants for several years before I came here, and now I’m the kitchen supervisor at Arc in Sacramento, in charge of feeding 90 men in rehabilitation. If you have a passion for it, follow it, it’s very rewarding and the passion will pay off,” Yaskovic said.

Raymond Luna, one of the four most recent graduates, enjoyed every aspect of the program, learning culinary techniques and terminology, different types of cuts, plate design and more. Although he has not found a job yet, he is currently exploring multiple options. He expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to succeed, and offered a bit of advice to those considering enrolling in the class.

“Stay focused, be clear in your decisions on what you want to do. Enjoy the experience and treat it as an opportunity for life learning. You only get out what you put into it. Thank you to the Salvation Army for the opportunity they gave me and the encouragement they provided, and of course thank God. It’s a whole new direction in life, so of course I want to thank God for the opportunity,” Luna said.

Brian McRavin, another graduate, learned about the program after graduating from ARC in Paris, Calif., and enjoyed learning proper cooking techniques, as he said he has always had a passion for cooking.

“I make a mean burger, I love cooking steak, smoked chicken, that sort of thing. One of my favorite dishes is cheese pork medallions, which I made for dinner tonight. If you have the passion for it, if you want to do it, then do it. Don’t hesitate,” McRavin said.

As Hope Harbor’s kitchen staff put the final touches on dinner, Maj. Mark Thielenhaus explained that similar culinary arts classes have begun in Napa and Sacramento, before Pam Kludt, who volunteers with both fundraising and the program’s steering committee, approached the podium to address the guests.

“We are so pleased to have another graduation this evening. It’s unbelievable for us on the committee to think that we’ve had this program for 10 years, it’s amazing,” Kludt said.

After Kludt’s introduction and prayer of invocation, Salvation Army volunteer Patricia Fehling offered her own words of congratulations and encouragement to the graduates.

“It’s such an exciting time for us. You’d think that after 10 years and 20 classes, we might be a little ho-hum about this, but, believe me, it’s never ho-hum around here, and that’s because of our students. I really congratulate every one of you. I’ve been with you, I’ve seen your struggles, I’ve seen your successes. My hear is so full of joy for each of you, and I know that your hearts are full of joy as well,” Fehling said.

Following the meal of cheese pork medallions with a mustard horseradish sauce, fingerling potatoes and oven-roasted butternut squash, Thielenhaus began the graduation ceremony. He thanked God for the success of the program and its students, before reflecting upon how often food and fellowship are referenced together in the Bible, from the first Passover to the Last Supper, as well as how often the Salvation Army eats during its meetings.

“My mother-in-law has a saying about the Salvation Army: ‘We’re not meeting if we’re not eating.’ Some of you may know from one of our songs, ‘With sword and shield, we take the field,’ well, sometimes with fork and shield we take the field,” Thielenhaus said.

Thielenhaus then read a passage from John 6, in which Jesus fed approximately 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish, sharing lessons he learned form the Bible passage with the graduates such as using the resources available to them, sharing what they have with others and making relationships a priority before helping Crall present graduation certificates and medals with red and gold ribbon to the four graduates.

Kludt then concluded the ceremony by thanking the City of Lodi for its generosity, as well as the Cortopassi Family Foundation for donating $250 to each graduate, as well as $1,000 to the program for each person that graduates.

Secret Santa Donates $10,000 in Red Kettle

Secret Santa Donates $10,000 in Salvation Army Red Kettle

Some Secret Santa just dropped $10,000 in cash into a Salvation Army Red Kettle outside a Hollywood neighborhood grocery store.

The Salvation Army officers said Thursday the donation was made sometime Wednesday, Dec. 6, at a kettle outside the Fred Meyer store at 3030 N.E. Weidler St. The donation was in $100 bills and is the largest cash contribution in a single Red Kettle bucket in the Portland area.

“Whoever did this knows the good that will come of it,” said Salvation Army Capt. Marcos Marquez, officer of The Salvation Army’s Moore Street Corps. “And while we do not know who put the money in the kettle, since the money was all in cash, they should know that we are very grateful to have received such a generous donation.”

The Salvation Army’s annual six-week fundraiser campaign usually provides enough money to fund about 40 percent of the its services. The religious organization said it had raised a little more than 30 percent of its $750,000 goal.

Group officers said that it was not unusual to find a single $100 in a kettle or two during the campaign. In the past few years, The Salvation Army has reported getting gold coins as donations. But $10,000 in cash in one kettle is unusual, according to the organization.

Gold coin worth more than $1,300 Dropped in Red Kettle

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WJLA) – Bells will be ringing and George Hairston will be the joyful man to wish you happy holidays at the Flower Hill Giant Food Store in Gaithersburg.

It’s what he did last week when he noticed something different.

“That day, I noticed this man with a hospital mask on his face. And he had this big thing,” said Hairston, who has been a ringing the bell at the red kettles for the Salvation Army for three years. “And it took time for him to put it in there. You can see the hole is not that big,” he said.

A card was wrapped around a gold coin.

“It says ‘Glory to God in the highest and on Earth, peace, goodwill towards men’,” said Capt. Karl Dahlin with the Salvation Army.

So far, the man in the medical mask is anonymous.

“We’ll be using all of these funds to support our programs that are with emergency assistance programs,” said Dahlin.

The coin says $50 on it, but the real value is in the weight. It’s one ounce of pure gold and it could be worth more than $1,300.

The Salvation Army will hold onto it until after Christmas to see if the donor comes forward. If not, they will cash in the value.

It’s happened before, but this one comes at a good time.

“The statistics say we’re down 13% percent over the same day last year,” said Dahlin.

People dropping in donations are learning about the generosity and hoping others are inspired.

“When someone does something like this, it tells people even the little things matter,” said Luis Orozco, a donor.

SweetFrog Partners with The Salvation Army

SweetFrog Frozen Yogurt Joins Salvation Armys Kettle Drive Campaign

SweetFrog Frozen Yogurtthe nation’s leading frozen yogurt chain, named America’s Best Frozen Yogurt by The Daily Meal, and a Top New Franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine, is proudly ringing in the holiday season with a festive feel-good collaboration with The Salvation Army, the organization synonymous with emphasizing the reason for the season.

Throughout the month of December, sweetFrog will join in The Salvation Army Central Virginia’s world renowned Red Kettle campaign. The Kettle Campaign raises funds that support important services in the Greater Richmond area, including shelter, nourishment, youth development programs, homeless prevention, and case work. Lovable mascots Scoop and Cookie will join other energetic sweetFrog volunteers at multiple Kettle locations to promote the Christmas spirit and spearhead support of the Salvation Army’s Kettle Campaign.

sweetFrog’s CEO, Patrick Galleher, is overjoyed that sweetFrog and The Salvation Army, two organizations whose principles perfectly align, are uniting to help improve the lives of families throughout Richmond.

“sweetFrog was founded on an everlasting commitment to serve our community, not just the best soft-serve premium frozen yogurt, but in the broader sense of being a stalwart supporter of our local charities and organizations,” says Galleher. “The Salvation Army, like sweetFrog, is a group whose mission is motivated by the love of God. It makes perfect sense for us to team up with The Salvation Army Central Virginia, man the Kettle locations, and assist in the effort to generate revenue for the vital programs the Army sponsors all year long.”

In the spirit of the season, sweetFrog will also be in the giving spirit. sweetFrog volunteers manning the Kettle Drive will distribute coupons that will offer guests discounts at participating Richmond-area sweetFrog locations.

In addition to the Kettle Drive, sweetFrog will also promote donations in stores with Kettle Cutout. Guests can purchase Kettle Cutouts at the register, add their name to the provided space, and tape the Cutouts to the yogurt walls. 100% of proceeds go to support The Salvation Army Central Virginia’s efforts.

“I’m proud and extremely excited about this wonderful opportunity with sweetFrog, a company that is so in line with our beliefs and compassion,” says Matt Pochily, Development Director, The Salvation Army Central Virginia. “The cyclical aspect to this partnership, of seeing sweetFrog at Salvation Army Kettle locations and then seeing The Salvation Army in sweetFrog stores, is inspiring. We hope folks greet the sweetFrog kettles with open hearts and support The Salvation Army as well as sweetFrog. I’m grateful of sweetFrog’s openness to this concept.”

For more information about sweetFrog Premium Frozen Yogurt and all menu options, please visit www.sweetfrog.com.

To learn more about sweetFrog Frozen Yogurt franchise opportunities, as well as acquisitions and re-brands, please visit http://sweetfrog.com/franchise.

About sweetFrog Frozen Yogurt:

sweetFrog (http://www.sweetfrog.com) is the fastest growing self-serve frozen yogurt restaurant company in the country. With a wide selection of premium frozen yogurt flavors and fresh toppings choices, sweetFrog was named Best Frozen Yogurt in the USA by The Daily Meal in 2014 and 2016. sweetFrog has over 340 locations and mobile units including retail, mobile trucks and non-traditional locations (such as sporting venues) in twenty-seven states in the U.S, Dominican Republic and Egypt. The company was founded in 2009 and is based in Richmond, Virginia. sweetFrog prides itself on providing a family-friendly environment where customers can enjoy soft-serve frozen yogurt, ice cream, gelato and sorbets with the toppings of their choice. The company was founded on Christian principles and seeks to bring happiness and a positive attitude into the lives of the communities it calls home.

Sheetz For The Kidz has partnered with The Salvation Army

For the past 25 years, Sheetz For The Kidz has partnered with The Salvation Army to host Christmas parties and make the holiday season brighter for more than 100,000 underprivileged kids across the Mid-Atlantic. Sheetz For The Kidz is a 501 (c)(3) employee operated charitable organization that raises funds through in-store campaigns during the months of July and December, proceeds from Sheetz For The Kidz bottled water sales and the annual “Sheetz For The Kidz Golf Classic,” as well as, other fundraising events throughout the year.

This holiday season, each of Sheetz’s 564 stores will support 16 children from their local communities by partnering with The Salvation Army to receive wish lists from local families. Sheetz employees volunteer their time to shop, wrap and host holiday parties for the children and their families. At the holiday parties, Santa will greet the children and present them with new toys, clothes and other basic needs purchased specifically for them. The children and their families will enjoy food, crafts, games and an opportunity to take pictures with Santa.   In total, 9,300 children will be impacted by Sheetz For The Kidz this December.

“Sheetz employees are committed to giving back to their communities and they wholeheartedly embrace our corporate charity,” said Sarah Piper, Executive Director of Sheetz For The Kidz.  We are also so grateful for our customers who, year after year, support our July and December in-store campaigns.  Their contributions help make the holiday season a bit more cheerful for their local communities.”

During the month of December, customers can donate at checkout at all Sheetz store locations across PennsylvaniaNorth CarolinaWest VirginiaVirginiaOhio and Maryland.  100 percent of customer donations go directly to supporting the children in our communities.

Ways customers can support Sheetz For The Kidz:

  • Donate at check out throughout December.
  • Purchase a Sheetz For The Kidz water, with 25 cents of every bottle sold supports the charity.
  • Shop on AmazonSmile and select “Sheetz For The Kidz” as the charity of your choice.  Amazon will donate .5% of your purchases to Sheetz For The Kidz.
  • Go to www.sheetzforthekidz.org to donate online today.

This also marks the 13th consecutive year of Sheetz For The Kidz partnering with Make-A-Wish to grant wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.  The charity sponsors one child per Sheetz operating district, totaling 55 children this year.

About Sheetz For The Kidz
Sheetz For The Kidz is a non-profit organization, designated as a 501(c) (3) charity, independent of the Sheetz Corporation. The organization was created in 1992 by local store employees wanting to help local children.  The mission of the charity is to provide support, hope, joy and happiness to children in need within the communities in which Sheetz operates.  To date, the charity has raised more than $22.9 million and helped more than 100,000 children! 

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Approximately 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar donated to The Salvation Army is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). For more information, go to salvationarmyusa.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

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.

Salvation Army Bell Ringing Brings Hope

How a Salvation Army Bell Ringer Brings Heart to the Job

To hear Bruce Bachman tell it, he’s just a guy with a bell, a red apron and a heart to serve who gives a little of his time during the holiday season in North Richland Hills, Texas.

He’s just one of the thousands of volunteer bell ringers who keep alive a 127-year tradition that the Salvation Army traces to Capt. Joseph McFee, who set out a large, iron kettle in 1891 to collect funds for a Christmas dinner in San Francisco. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, the change, bills and occasional large checks and gold coins that Americans drop into about 25,000 kettles from coast to coast amount to roughly $150 million, said Lt. Col. Ron Busroe, the Salvation Army’s national community relations and development secretary.

Some bell ringers wish passers-by a heartfelt “Merry Christmas” — and hope the kettle fills. But many others, like Bachman, have honed strategies and routines to make the most of the uncompensated work — for the Salvation Army and for all who come within earshot.

Just before 10 a.m. on a busy shopping day, the 61-year-old consulting engineer arrives at a Hobby Lobby arts and crafts store with a mailbox-sized stereo, a box of Christmas CDs and a plastic baggie full of hard candy.

“I bring the candy to suck on so I don’t have to drink as much water,” Bachman explains. He knows he won’t have time for meals or bathroom breaks, so he tries to be prepared (eating a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon and hash browns ahead of time).

“Christmas bells and Christmas kettles are synonymous with the Salvation Army,” said Busroe, an ordained minister for the group.

He’ll stand outside for eight hours and — as a mix of Bing Crosby, Mannheim Steamroller and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” tunes plays — invite customers to donate to the Salvation Army’s red kettle campaign.

“God bless you!” he tells a woman who pulls money out of her purse. “You have a very merry Christmas!”

“Hello, cutie!” he says in his best Donald Duck voice as 3-year-old Jubilee Longoria approaches the kettle with a handful of coins.

For the preschooler, the kettle and the bell are likely to become visual and auditory markers of the Christmas season, just as they have for generations before her.

Busroe heard one of those bells as he exited a subway station in New York recently, outside Macy’s department store. Some, he noted, believe that sidewalk Santa Clauses and Salvation Army solicitors in New York were the inspiration for the popular Christmas song “Silver Bells,” first recorded in 1950. (One of the song’s co-writers has disputed that.)

“Christmas bells and Christmas kettles are synonymous with the Salvation Army,” said Busroe, an ordained minister for the group, a Christian denomination that claims about two million members around the world and belongs to the National Association of Evangelicals.

The Salvation Army’s mission statement calls for it “to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.” (Though at times gay activists have called for boycotts of the kettle campaigns because the group believes gay sex to be a sin. Busroe blames the controversy on “misinformation and misconception.”)

“It’s all variety of walks of life and professions,” Busroe said of the volunteer bell ringers, most of whom do not belong to the Salvation Army church. “You have service clubs — Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, Optimist — and many of them in a local community will have competitions” to see which can raise the most money.

“Church groups will take a kettle for a day, a week or an entire season,” he added. “It’s all different groups of people, and we’re constantly needing volunteers.”

The annual funds raised enable the Salvation Army USA to provide more than 56 million meals and 10 million nights of shelter as well as youth programs, summer camps and adult rehabilitation services, according to the Alexandria, Va.-based organization.

Read The Entire Article Here…..

The Salvation Army Seattle

The Salvation Army continues to help homeless Vets

Jack Coleman is living proof that homelessness can strike at any time in someone’s life.

Coleman grew up in Los Angeles and joined the Army in 1965 after the Watts riots there that year made it hard for a young African-American man like him to get a job. He spent 27 years in the Army, initially serving in a supply station during the Vietnam War.

In 1981, in his early 30s, he was diagnosed as HIV-positive and watched many of his friends die of AIDS. He would become one of the longest-surviving HIV patients, but the diagnosis was devastating and “changed everything,” he now recalls.

After leaving the service with the rank of master sergeant, he worked for years in retail sales at high-end department stores in New York City. But eventually he was declared disabled because of his HIV status and deemed eligible for federal benefits.

At age 56, he began using crack cocaine with a close friend. He became an addict, he says, after not even being a drinker or smoker his entire life.

 For several years, his life spiraled downward into what he today refers to as the “darkness.”

Out of money, he walked for 3 ½ days from Atlanta, where he had been living, to Birmingham, Alabama, to enter an in-house drug-rehabilitation program. He spent two years there, under the assistance of the Veterans Affairs Department (VA).

About 10 years ago, he moved to Seattle to be closer to a sister.


Homeless, he contacted The Salvation Army at the VA’s recommendation. He was assigned bed number 84 at The Salvation Army’s William Booth Center in Seattle.

He stayed for several months before moving to an apartment for a time and then to San Francisco and Salt Lake City.

In July, Coleman returned to Seattle, again to be closer to family.

Having never forgotten the kindness of The Salvation Army, Coleman says, he went back to them for help. By happenstance, he was initially assigned to bed 84.

 “That was kind of karma. It was like it was meant for me to be there,” Coleman says of The Salvation Army, one of 12 nonprofits supported by reader donations to The Seattle Times’ Fund For The Needy… Read More
USN and The Salvation Army Angel Tree

Naval Academy’s Giving Tree program brings presents to kids in need

The blue, gold, silver and red ornaments hanging from a Christmas tree in Bancroft Hall were masked Tuesday morning by a blanket of 500 paper angels.

On each angel card there is a gender, an age and a Christmas list with wants, needs, and requests for clothing from local families. During the next two weeks students, staff and faculty will pull the cards from the tree and return with unwrapped gifts, fulfilling the requests of the anonymous children in need.

Midshipman First Class Louise Zhou picked a card for a 2-year-old girl, who needs wipes and Minnie Mouse toys and wants a kitchen set, a FurReal pet, a Baby Alive, a doll stroller and a tricycle with a helmet. She wears size 7 toddler shoes, and size 3T clothing.

The 22-year-old from Cincinnati said she picked that card because it reminds her of her little sister, who is four.

“Something like this, that is so small to us, brings a lot of joy to them,” she said.

Over the next two weeks Zhou and other midshipmen will purchase the items on the lists for local children in need, who will receive the presents through The Salvation Army. The campaign at the Academy is called the Giving Tree and it is organized by the 6th Company with support from the Midshipman Action Group. The tradition is now in its 27th year.

The Giving Tree is a part of the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree programThe Salvation Army provided the angel cards hanging from the tree.

The Salvation Army of Annapolis serves Anne Arundel County south of Glen Burnie, and this year will provide gifts for 1,010 children through the program. The Academy is the largest contributor of gifts, according to Salvation Army Commanding Officer Lt. Laurie Ferraez.

“It is because people in the community, people like you, so many children will be blessed this year,” Ferraez said.

The midshipmen, staff and faculty who take an angel card from the tree have until Dec. 11 to place their unwrapped gifts under the evergreen. The Salvation Army will distribute the gifts Dec. 19.

Zhou, who is chief of staff for the Midshipman Action Group, said she works together with her squad to purchase presents. Her squad adopts a child, and they all go out together to shop and otherwise work together to make the gifts extra special. It makes the experience more personal, and also helps unite the squad, which is composed of about 10 people.

“Instead of just doing one or two things off of here, we really go extra,” she said.

It was bare beneath the tree Tuesday, but by Dec. 11 the Christmas tree will be surrounded, said Midshipman First Class Taygan Grundy, a member of the 6th Company who helped organize this year’s event. The 22-year-old from California liked Tonka Trucks and anything outdoors-related as a child she said.

Christmas is a big deal in her family, she said. She considers her family fortunate, that they’ve been able to celebrate the holiday well, and celebrate the holiday together.

“There are a lot of families that don’t get that option, so to me, it is incredibly important to make sure that we support the community that allows us to go to school in their capital, that allows us to represent them on a national level,” Grundy said. “It’s the least we can do to make sure that our nation’s future has a Christmas we got to have when we grew up.”

A ceremony for the Giving Tree was held Tuesday. There Capt. Robert Chadwick, Commandant of Midshipmen, talked more about the Academy’s ties to Annapolis.

“I think we are truly blessed to be parked in the heart of this great city,” Chadwick said. “In my short time here I have seen that the brigade truly does embrace that relationship with Annapolis, and you do that through your generosity.”

The Giving Tree is another example of that generosity, he said, and a personal way to make a difference in the life of a child in Annapolis.

“As good as those angels look up there, I think they’re going to be scarce pretty soon,” he said.

Hanes National Sock Drive Celebrates #GivingTuesday by Donating 225,000 Pairs of Socks to Help the Homeless

In honor of #GivingTuesday (Nov. 28), Hanes is providing some comfort to those without the comforts of home during the holiday season.

America’s No. 1 apparel label has donated 225,000 pairs of socks to organizations fighting homelessn ...

America’s No. 1 apparel label has donated 225,000 pairs of socks and 18,000 pairs of underwear to organizations fighting homelessness across the United States as part of its eighth national sock drive. Since the program began in 2009, the brand has provided more than 2 million pairs of socks to help people experiencing homelessness.

Hanes is partnering with The Salvation ArmyDelivering GoodCovenant Houseand nearly 30 other community-based relief programs to distribute the apparel to those in need. Socks and underwear continue to be the most requested items from relief agencies who work with the homeless. The initiative is part of Hanes for Good, the corporate responsibility program of Hanes’ parent company, HanesBrands (NYSE:HBI).

“Most of us take new socks and underwear for granted, but we know these items bring great comfort to and make a dramatic difference in the lives of those experiencing homelessness,” said Sidney Falken, chief branding officer, HanesBrands. “Access to something as basic as clean, dry socks can literally save lives within our country’s homeless population.”

Each year, an estimated 2.5 million to 3.5 million Americans sleep in shelters, transitional housing and public places not meant for human habitation, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. It is reported that 7.4 million people have lost their homes and are living with family or friends due to economic necessity. And 1 million people who are experiencing homelessness have full-time jobs.

To focus attention on the subject as part of the national sock drive, Hanes is collaborating with Invisible People, a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the story of homelessness in the United States.

“It may be surprising for many to learn that those who are homeless today were much like the rest of us not so long ago,” said Mark Horvath, founder of Invisible People. “I never planned to live on the street, and neither does anyone else.

“It is only by getting up close and personal with the veterans, mothers, children, those impacted by job loss and others who have been forced to the streets by a variety of circumstances that we can truly understand the real challenges of homelessness, as well as possible solutions,” he added. “And that’s why our joint effort to educate the general public about this issue is so incredibly important.”

Working together, Hanes and Horvath provided smartphones to three people experiencing homelessness and asked them to document their personal stories during a 24-hour period. Mary, a single mother, award-winning artist and college student; David, a widower with a Master of Fine Arts degree who is pursuing teaching opportunities; and Manda, the victim of a traumatic brain injury who now takes care of others in her tent community; each share a compelling, first-person account of what a “day in the life” of homelessness really entails.

“Humanizing homelessness is a critical first step to begin solving it, and Mary, David and Manda were incredibly brave to share their stories,” said Falken, who noted that Hanes and Horvath are currently working to assist the three in hopes of making their lives more comfortable.

Visit www.hanes.com/sockdrive to learn more about those experiencing homelessness, get information about the organizations participating in this year’s sock drive and find out how to support homeless-relief initiatives in communities across the country and/or donate directly to Covenant House or Invisible People.