As the end of the first full week of August approaches, it’s hard not to reflect on the action-packed month that just ended.

Christmas in July was a month-long event, or rather series of events, that was created to raise money for Salvation Army programs that provide help and hope to families and individuals affected by crisis, poverty, hunger, isolation and troubled relationships.

Here’s some food for thought: Indiana’s poverty rate was 16.3 percent according to the 2010 census. For children, it was 26.3 percent. Last year, The Salvation Army was able provide homes for 27 families and 10 individuals through its low-income housing program at the Barton Center Apartments in Indianapolis.

Thanks to help from businesses and individuals in the Indianapolis community, Christmas in July was a huge success. A success that will help The Salvation Army’s many programs continue to grow. Let me give you just a recap of the blessings we received:

Casual for a Cause
With help from WZPL and the Smiley Morning Show’s promotions, Casual for a Cause saw so much success that many of the participating businesses, including the Salvation Army’s own Divisional Headquarters, extended the program through August. Jeans and flip flops helped make an almost unbearably hot July all the more comfortable.
A special thanks to all those who participated: Hensley Legal Group•Rawlings House•IU HealthThe HyattDunbar, Cook & Shepard•Salvation Army DHQ

Donate A Dollar
What’s easier than selling and hanging paper kettles? Not a whole lot. Jay Ricker joined Red Shield Radio in early July to share his love of community and the importance of supporting it. Paper kettles adorned the walls of 30 his Indianapolis Ricker’s stores. Pops, stopped by DHQ to present Major John Turner with a check for $3,000. The Gateway Cafe joined Donate a Dollar but didn’t stop at paper kettles. On July 18th, Gateway Cafe hosted an ice cream social to help raise even more money for Christmas in July.

The Westin Indianapolis hosted The Salvation Army glove with a twist. The Westin encouraged visitors to share pictures of themselves with the glove on social media for a chance to win an overnight stay. The hotel donated another night’s stay as a prize for the lucky seat winner during Salvation Army Night at Victory Field.

Speaking of the Indianapolis Indians, if you didn’t make it out to Victory Field on July 26, then you missed Salvation Army Night and a bounce house that caught flight because of a rather fierce wind gust. The weather held off, the night was beautiful and the Indians won. Members of the Bite Back Brigade helped celebrate the win by ringing the Victory Bell.

On July 17, about 15 food trucks parked in Monument Circle for a special Salvation Army Cluster Truck lunch event. The hardest part of the day was deciding where to eat.

Back to School
Christmas in July also covered some very special events aimed at helping Indianapolis children prepare for back to school. It started with a trip to Shoe Carnival where 120 kids each received a new pair of shoes thanks to long-time Salvation Army donor and friend Laura Lewis. Later in July, just as many children went back to school shopping for clothing and necessities as part of the Target School Spree. But kids need backpacks and school supplies as well. Huntington Bank donated 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to The Salvation Army for Indianapolis Public School students.

July may be done, but the need in your community never is. Find out how you can create your own events to support Salvation Army programs year round by contacting Mel McMahon.

 

Money collected will be used for local programs and services carried out by The Salvation Army.  Collections should be directed to the attention of Mel McMahon, Corporate Relations Coordinator,  3100 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208  317-224-1019  mel_mcmahon@usc.salvationarmy.org