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In May of 1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared the first National Salvation Army Week in recognition of the organization’s dedication to the welfare of Americans since its arrival in the United States in 1880. Each year, during the second week of May, we celebrate National Salvation Army Week and the life-changing work being done across our country in communities large and small. During his speech, President Eisenhower proclaimed,

NSAW16 bAmong Americans, The Salvation Army has long been a symbol of wholehearted dedication to the cause of human 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 us all.

During the last 136 years, The Salvation Army has attended to national disasters on the world stage and personal disasters in the privacy of a living room or church pew. In every zip code in the U.S., people in need and crisis know that The Salvation Army is there to offer food, shelter, prayer, and a path to healing.

General William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army, often spoke about the role his organization had come to play in the lives of those without hope. In 1904, he wrote,

The Salvation Army stands for hope, that when every other light is extinguished, and every other star has gone down, this one gleam shines steadily and clearly out in the darkened sky. “If only I could get to The Salvation Army, they will do something for me.”

NSAW16-cWe’re thankful for the thousands of volunteers and donors who make The Salvation Army’s work in Indiana possible, whether by ringing a bell or serving food at a shelter, or by adopting and Angel from an Angel Tree or leaving a legacy gift for future generations.

Throughout the week, watch for stories and videos shared on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #NationalSalvationArmyWeek. From the villages of Alaska to the bustling cities of the East Coast, Salvation Army locations across the country will be telling the stories of the people they serve and our friends who join us in our mission “to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”

As we celebrate National Salvation Army Week, we remember the millions for whom The Salvation Army is their last gleam of hope and renew our promise to continue to do the most good in America and around the world.