Salvation Army officer lapel

Never Surrender

“God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” – Hebrews 13:5

No matter what obstacles stand in the way, the Lord always prevails. He never gives up. And through His power, neither does The Salvation Army.

As we look back on the previous year, we recognize the soldiers of service – our volunteers, donors, and supporters – who have joined us to overcome obstacles, pursue possibilities, and come to the aid of the most vulnerable members of society.

United we stand in our fight for good. We will never surrender. Because with God, we always prevail.

Salvation Army feeding the homeless

Rising Up

“The waters are rising, but so am I.” – Catherine Booth

The Salvation Army has been working to better combat poverty and assist those imprisoned by it. From developing a deeper understanding of the epidemic to identifying locations and population segments with the greatest need, we’re pushing forward on all fronts. Last year’s most significant advances in the battle against poverty were:

  • Changing the perceptions of poverty: Our 2016 Human Needs Index update revealed that the level of American need rose by 15 percent in 2015, reversing the improvement trend seen from 2012 to 2014. These findings showcase a different version of poverty than most might assume based on otherwise positive reports, such as increased employment and a raise in the national minimum wage.
  • Advocacy meetings with Congress: To assist the record 49.1 million (one in every six) Americans now living below the poverty line, we held advocacy meetings with over 50 members of Congress to educate them on the increased urgency of human need in the United States. These sessions focused on meeting the immediate needs of Americans living in poverty and identifying long-term solutions to help them regain financial stability.

As the threat of poverty continues to increase nationwide, we approach the challenge with the same tenacity as our cofounder, Catherine Booth, resolute in our promise to do the most good.

Girl rock climbing at a Salvation Army summer camp

Standing Strong

In 1891, Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee set out a large iron kettle at the foot of Market Street in San Francisco. His purpose? To raise enough money to fund a Christmas dinner for the city’s most destitute people. Over a century later, this humble act of service has flourished into an iconic holiday tradition that supports nearly 25 million Americans throughout the year. During the 125th anniversary of The Red Kettle Campaign, we celebrated our 25,000 dedicated volunteers and generous corporate partners who helped us achieve:

  • A record-setting year, with $149.6 million raised
  • Christmas dinner on the table and presents under the tree for 3.2 million people
  • 10 million nights of shelter and 55 million meals provided for those in need throughout the year, thanks to holiday donations
  • The continuation and growth of programs such as substance abuse recovery, after-school enrichment, and emergency shelters funded by The Red Kettle Campaign

The Red Kettle Campaign wasn’t the only anniversary we celebrated. 2016 marked a new fundraising record in our partnership with the Dallas Cowboys. Through this continued commitment to making a difference, we have achieved:

  • A tradition that has withstood the test of time to help over 500 million people in need
  • A $2 billion fundraising milestone

Through the dedication and determination of our volunteers, partners, and supporters, we aren’t just continuing to stand strong. We’re making major strides together in the battle for good.

Salvation Army disaster relief worker getting a hug

Fighting to the Finish

Never surrendering means never backing down. So while we’re frequently first responders in times of tragedy, we’re also the last to leave the scene. We stay until the healing is complete, even years later. Whatever it takes. Last year’s efforts to aid those affected by natural disasters included:

  • Gearing up: In 2016, we renewed our agreement with FEMA, updating our collaboration plans for emergency preparation, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation operations when disaster strikes in the United States.
  • All hands on deck internationally: When Hurricane Matthew – the most powerful Caribbean storm in a decade – hit Haiti last September, our volunteer base was already on the scene and able to provide immediate food, shelter, and counseling to those who’d lost everything.
  • Continued presence in Joplin: Five years after the catastrophic tornado struck Joplin, we still have boots on the ground helping with long-term recovery efforts. From rebuilding homes and aiding with social services casework to constructing a new disaster relief facility, we’re continuing to support the community of Joplin – every step of the way.

Just as God continues to stand by our side, we continue to come to the aid of those in need.

Girl looking out of an open window

Prevailing Always

Need never stops. Therefore, neither do we. No matter what challenges we face in serving the most vulnerable members of society, we will never surrender.

Whether it’s continuing long-standing traditions, partnerships, and recovery efforts or leading the charge in a new mission to change the perceptions of poverty or help those in need when disaster strikes, we continue to make strides in the fight for good. We look toward the future and its challenges with optimism. Because with God on our side, we always prevail.