According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 43.1 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.
During his presidency, Dwight D. Eisenhower stated, “Among Americans, The Salvation Army has long been a symbol of wholehearted dedication to the cause of 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 all."
The week of November 18 – December 4, 1954 was declared by the United Stated Congress and proclaimed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to be the first National Salvation Army Week. Today, the dates have changed, but the work of The Salvation Army that was recognized has not – to serve those in need without discrimination.
The Salvation Army operates more than 7,500 centers in communities 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.
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.
When the United States entered World War I, The Salvation Army was ready to assist. The Salvation Army established a War Board and began programs in U.S. Army camps and canteens across the country. Food and beverages were provided for the soldiers, along with books, writing supplies and opportunities for recreation. Overseas, The Salvation Army workers moved with the American Expeditionary Forces across France making donuts, pies, cakes and other home-baked goods for the soldiers.
The soldiers were given a home away from home and had the opportunity to sing, read, write letters and attend church services. The Salvation Army donut girls would use the limited rations provided and an open stove to make donuts for the soldiers. Only 150 donut were made on the first day in 1917, but once the donut assembly line was created, up to 9,000 were made daily.
Along the front lines, the donuts became a symbol of The Salvation Army’s will to bring a touch of home to the soldiers. A small token of sweetness, it has remained in the public’s mind for many years as a symbol of warm friendship and service to those in need.
During National Salvation Army Week in Syracuse, we partner with Tops Friendly Markets to deliver donuts to our supporters as a symbol of friendship. In addition, we provide donuts to Veterans who have bravely served our country. Thank you to Tops for providing over 100 dozen donuts for this special week. We also thank Amy Robbins from 93Q's Ted & Amy in the Morning, for helping spread the word about our work during this week of celebration.