Local partners support National Salvation Army Week

The Salvation Army of Springfield is so much bigger than simply a handful of staff members, says Ryan Ray.

It includes the organization's partners, donors and the entire community.

“We're blessed to be working every day with the best of the best,” says Ray, who is the group's development director.

Some of those best are on display this week. National Salvation Army Week runs through Sunday, May 16, and more than a dozen local businesses and organizations are supporting the group through then by donating a portion of sales, wearing buttons, displaying a kettle or other activities.

“National Salvation Army Week for me is really about highlighting our partnerships and bringing awareness to what we do,” Ray says.

That includes its many programs and services, such as a camp for kids with disabilities as well as assistance with housing, utilities and food. All donations made in Clark County stay in the county, and 83 cents of every dollar given goes into programming, he says.

Donations can be made at the local Salvation Army's website.

Salvation Army has served Springfield since 1885. Ray says that although the community has changed since then, many of the needs remain the same. While 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic presented challenges for the organization, locals remained generous with their donations. Some even signed over their stimulus checks, with notes that said that the donors knew that others needed the money more than them.

Springfielders “dig deeper when the need is bigger,” Ray says. Of everyone the Salvation Army served in 2020, 40 percent came to the organization for the first time. It also saw an increase in need at Christmas, with 3,000 kids receiving gifts from the Salvation Army in 2020, compared to 2,000 kids the year before.

Although the year was difficult for many, the Salvation Army was sustained by support, encouragement and seeing firsthand what people were willing to do and sacrifice, Ray says.

“I've never seen the dynamic we have here in Clark County,” he says. “It really is fuel for us.”

How local organizations are showing their support during National Salvation Army Week, May 10-16, 2021:
  • Young's Jersey Dairy – Salvation Sundae (20 percent donated)
  • Winans and Oats & Doughs collaboration – Auction all week on Facebook
  • Reid Park Golf – 25 percent of retail (food and beverage)
  • Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken – Bag stuffers, buttons
  • Sheriff's Department/GISA – Buttons, Salvation Army-themed spirit week
  • Park National Bank – Wearing buttons
  • Los Mariachis – Buttons, option to round-up your bill
  • Casa del Sabor – Buttons, countertop kettles
  • Greater Springfield Partnership – Newsletter article
  • Salato Deli – Red Kettle meatball subs (25 percent donated)
  • Le Torte Dolci – Red Kettle bakery items (25 percent donated)
  • Walmart, Tuttle – Buttons, fundraiser, activities
  • Courtyard by Marriott – Buttons
  • City of Springfield – Proclamation on May 11

Read more articles by Diane Erwin.