With the launch of Believe.com’s of “Operation Gratitude” campaign, you can make someone else grateful this season by donating to a variety of Christian-based organizations. Focusing on six organizations, it’s not too late to make a difference this holiday season. Click here for a listing of links to all Operation Gratitude articles to date and for more information on how you can help.

Today’s featured organization, the third in our lineup, is The Salvation Army.

What The Salvation Army Does

Rest assured, The Salvation Army are not just folks who ring bells outside department stores at Christmas time. This organization, founded in 1865, has been serving the poor for over 125 years.

With an emphasis on their physical needs, their mission statement is: “Doing The Most Good.” As their website so eloquently explains, they “Rebuild broken homes and broken lives. By walking with the addicted, we can lead them to recovery. In fighting hunger and poverty, we can feed and nurture the spirit. And, in living and sharing the Christian Gospel by meeting tangible needs, we give the world a lasting display of the love behind our beliefs.”

The Salvation Army operates 7,546 centers in communities across the United States. These include food distribution, disaster relief, rehabilitation centers, anti-human trafficking efforts and a wealth of children’s programs.

Their work is funded through kettle donations, corporate contributions and the sale of goods donated to their Salvation Army Family Stores. Eighty-two cents of every dollar they spend supports its various missions across the country.

Lives Changed

The Salvation Army, like the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is about transformation. Take James. When he graduated from high school, he began experimenting with drugs, which led to a 10-year meth addiction. In losing himself to drugs, he lost every friend and family member he had.

With no place to turn to, James walked through the doors of The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center.

“The way people treated me when I got here wasn’t the way people treated me on the outside,” James recalls. “People here treated me like a human being again. They loved me when I couldn’t love myself.”

James has now been clean for four years, and he has a purpose in life.

“God had another plan for me,” James continued “He wanted me to go out and tell people about Him.” And along with his wife, he now ministers to others, teaching them about God, as a music evangelist.

Celebrities Love the Army!

Entertainers like Kelly American Idol  Clarkson, readily endorse this organization.

“This is the time of year when people should be thinking about giving back, so it’s a perfect fit for me to be supporting the Red Kettle campaign, which helps so many people at Christmas and throughout the year,” the Grammy award-winning Clarkson  

Even big jokester, Chris Rock, gets serious about giving back.

“When I was a kid, my grandmother and my dad had me in the Salvation Army after-school program and the Salvation Army summer camp,” Rock shared.”Now, I try to help.” 

Donating to the Salvation Army

The Salvation Army’s iconic logo is a big red shield. You, too, can shield people from poverty with your donations here. This link safely accepts online donations.

Volunteering: Be a Ring Leader

One way to donate is to start an online kettle drive. Translation: You would be able to ring a virtual bell and get people to donate money from the comfort of their own home. Real people are always needed, as well, to ring bells and collect money. Check out the volunteer section for more information.

As mentioned above, there will be three more organizations listed throughout the rest of December. Check out our first two organizations, HOPE International and Wheels for the World – Joni and Friends. Stay tuned for more ways to see how you can help!

Andrea’s Blog Look for more of Andrea’s posts on her blog which publishes Monday, Wednesday and Fridays!

* Note: The above link will bring you to the parenting section of Believe.com. Her blog is located on the right side-bar!

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