A Homerun with the Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals hosted the first Salvation Army Day at the Nats on July 6. It was a time to celebrated The Salvation Army’s work with youth around the region. Approximately, 500 donors, volunteers, staff, and children attended the game between the Nationals and the Brewers. Washington beat Milwaukee 7 to 4.

Children, teens, and staff from Camp Happyland traveled to the stadium, which is located along the Anacostia Riverfront, to enjoy a great afternoon of baseball. For many of the children, this was the first time attending a major league baseball game. Young musicians from enrolled at the James Anderson  Summer Music Conservatory at Camp Happyland performed a pre-game concert on the main plaza and played the national anthem just before the game began. Ten lucky DC children were “anthem buddies” and stood next to a Nats player.

The Nationals presented the Spirit Award to The Salvation Army and our new Area Commanders Majors James “Chip” and Leisa Hall and Advisory Board Chairman Tim Osburne accepted the award. Major James Hall also took part in the line-up card ceremony.

The children of Captains Janice and Karl Dahlin held the finish line tape during the President’s Race, which took place before the start of the 4th inning. President Taft won.

A portion of each ticket sold through a special link will be donated to The Salvation Army to help a child to attend Camp Happyland. Donations to The Salvation Army helps hundreds of kids all year round.

Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer and his wife Erika made a generous $10,000 donation to The Salvation Army last Christmas following a break-in at our DC Angel Tree warehouse.

The Salvation Army is grateful to the Washington Nationals for a great day at Nationals Park!

Pictures from the day can be found on our Facebook page located at www.facebook.com/salarmynca.




The history of the Donut Lassies

If you’re a fan of the crispy, sweet confection known as the donut, you have Salvation Army Adjutant Helen Purviance and her crew of “Donut Lassies” to thank.

Helen, her comrade Ensign Margaret Sheldon, and nearly 250 other lassies delivered kindness to WWI soliders on the front lines in France by mending their uniforms, playing music on the Victrola, handing out writing tablets, and distributing chocolate bars and other confections.

What’s the connection to donuts, you ask?

In the opening pages of his book, Donuts: An American Passion, food historian John T. Edge explains:

At a time when the Salvation Army was searching for ways to brand itself as American, operatives in World War I France seized upon the donut. Soon, comely Salvationists in tin hats were smiling for the cameras and tending vats of roiling lard. As they dipped donuts for their boys, they dispensed motherhood. By the close of World War I, the Salvation Army was among the strongest charitable forces in America — and their chosen totem, the donut, was an ingrained symbol of home.”

Those “comely Salvationists in tin hats” were none other than Helen Purviance, Margaret Sheldon, and the other lassies!

Here’s how Edge describes the action:

Though contemporary accounts differ as to how and why, there is no doubt that their decision to fry donuts would transform fried dough from a vaguely foreign food, loosely associated with the Dutch, into a symbol of American home and hearth, a gustatory manifestation of the ideals for which the soldiers fought…One account has the Lassies frying the first batches in a galvanized trash can; another says it was a soldier’s helmet. No matter the variation in the telling of the tale, there can be no doubt that in a very short time donuts became central to The Salvation Army ministry.”

In this unedited letter home to her family, Helen tells them what a typical — and grueling — day was like for her and for the other lassies:

“At 8 we commence to serve cocoa and coffee and make pies and doughnuts, cup cakes and fry eggs and make all kinds of eats until it is all you can see. Well can you think of two women cooking in one day 2,500 doughnuts, eight dozen cup cakes, fifty pies, 800 pan cakes and 225 gallons of cocoa, and one other girl serving it. That is a day’s work in my last hut. Then meeting at night, and it lasts for two hours.”

Adjutant Helen Purviance, credited with introducing the donut to American servicemen during WWI.

Since 1938, The Salvation Army has celebrated Adjutant Helen Purviance and her smiling contingent of donut-frying lassies with National Donut Day on the first Friday in June — this year it’s on Friday, June 3.

National Donut Day was originally started by The Salvation Army in Chicago to honor the donut lassies, but also to raise funding to help care for the men and women struggling through the Great Depression.

On June 3, you can eat a donut (or two!) knowing that you’re not just enjoying a delicious piece of WWI history, you’re honoring the brave US soldiers who fought for victory, and the lassies who freely dispensed deep-fried comfort.

About author John T. Edge:

John T. Edge’s work has appeared regularly in Gourmet and Saveur and has been featured in the 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 editions of Best Food Writing. He is currently the director of the Southern Foodways Alliance at the University of Mississippi. His cookbook, A Gracious Plenty, was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award. In 2003, he was named “One of Twenty Southerners to Watch” by the Financial Times of London, and he was a finalist for the 2004 M. F. K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award from the James Beard Foundation.

(Thanks to The Salvation Army Western Territory Digital Creative Team for this great information!)

6,000 Free Donuts in honor of National Donut Day

This Friday, June 3 beginning at 7:00 am until they run out, The Salvation Army is giving away more than 6,000 FREE donuts at 5 Metrorail stops in downtown DC during the morning rush to celebrate National Donut Day. Stop by and grab a tasty treat on your way to work!

Metrorail locations for FREE Donuts on June 3:

Capital South
First & C Sts. SE

Metro Center
NE corner 12th and G Sts. NW

Foggy Bottom
NW corner 23rd & I Sts. NW

L’Enfant Plaza
Exit – D St. between 6th & 7th Sts.

Union Station
East side of First St., NE and entrance to Amtrak Terminal
(under pavilion, In front of Metro Escalator outside of Chipotle)

About National Donut Day

The Salvation Army first celebrated the first National Donut Day in Chicago in 1938 to help the
needy during the Great Depression and to commemorate the work of the “donut lassies” who
served donuts to soldiers during World War I.

In 1917, The Salvation Army began a mission to provide spiritual and emotional support for U.S. soldiers fighting in France during World War I. About 250 volunteers traveled overseas and set up small huts located near the front lines where they could give soldiers clothes, supplies and, of course, baked goods.
After discovering that serving baked goods would be difficult considering the conditions of the huts and the limited rations, two volunteers – Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance – began frying donuts in soldiers’ helmets. These tasty treats boosted morale and won the hearts of many soldiers.
Nicknamed “donut lassies,” the women who served donuts to troops are often credited with popularizing the donut in the United States when the troops (nicknamed “doughboys”) returned home from war.
The donut now serves as a symbol of all the social services The Salvation Army provides to those in need. The Salvation Army still serves donuts, in addition to warm meals and hydration, to those in need during times of disaster.

National Donut Day occurs on the first Friday of June.


The Women of The Salvation Army: Catherine Booth

March is Women’s History Month. Throughout the rest of the month, we will be uplifting the accomplishments of many remarkable women whose hard work and influence has played a significant role in the good work performed daily by The Salvation Army.

Catherine Booth

Catherine Booth, known as the “Mother of The Salvation Army”. She worked along side of her husband, William Booth, as founded The Salvation Army in London, England in 1865. Catherine Booth paved the way for women for taking a more active role in society and the church and she believed in the social equality of men and women.  Catherine Booth was commitment to The Salvation Army and her role as an advocate for social reform. She was truly an inspiration to woman then, and now.


Working, Hungry, and sometimes Homeless

For 10 years, Beverly worked in the childcare field. She loves her job, especially the children. However, it does not pay well. So over the years, Beverly learned to stretch her funds as much as possible to make ends meet. There were times when it all fell apart and nearly everything was lost.

Beverly was homeless on and off over the years, though the people she worked with did not know.

During her tough times, Beverly knew she could count on The Salvation Army for a meal. It kept her from going hungry. She visited the Grate Patrol where she was welcomed with open arms to receive a free evening meal.

Beverly, like many others, depend on the service. Though, everyone is not homeless, the Grate Patrol is open to everyone in need of something to eat.

Grate Patrol brings freshly prepared, nutritious food every night of the year. More than that, the volunteers and staff bring fellowship to those in need throughout downtown DC. The program’s full-time Outreach Coordinator meets with clients to provide case management and referrals.

About 150 people visit Grate Patrol on any given night.

Recently, when Beverly enrolled into a child development program at a local community college, the Outreach Coordinator helped with school supplies, clothes, and transportation. Beverly continues to receive guidance and referrals to help her to meet her goals.

Beverly is counting her blessings today, thanks to your support. She can finally look toward a more secure future.

Ford Transit Converted to Mobile Kitchen Helps The Salvation Army Serve Meals to Homeless in DC

A Ford Transit van specially customized with a sink, refrigerator, food preparation space, service window and cabinets is helping to serve mobile meals to Washington, D.C.’s homeless as part of The Salvation Army’s Grate Patrol program.

The program, which runs every night of the year, delivers an average of 150 nutritious meals, snacks and hydration a day to men and women at multiple locations throughout downtown D.C.

Ford is among the primary contributors to The Salvation Army’s campaign to fund the custom meal service van project, and Ford volunteers helped serve meals from the Transit during its first night in service.

“Ford is proud to support The Salvation Army’s mobile meals program as part of our commitment to help build strong communities everywhere our employees live and work,” said Janet Lawson, director, Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. “Transit – America’s best-selling commercial van – has the size and flexibility that make it the right vehicle for this program.”

The high-roof, extended-wheelbase Ford Transit 350 HD with 3.5-liter V6 engine replaces Grate Patrol’s previous van that was retired last summer after 10 years in service. Ford Transit is the successor to Ford E-Series, continuing Ford’s 36 years as America’s commercial van leader.

The Salvation Army distributed more than 1.3 million meals to the homeless and others in need of something to eat since Grate Patrol began more than three decades ago.

“The Salvation Army is grateful to Ford Motor Company for its generous donation to our Grate Patrol van campaign,” said Major Lewis R. Reckline, area commander, The Salvation Army. “Ford’s gift – along with contributions from several other community members – will help us to continue serving the homeless for years to come.”

The Salvation Army assisted more than 77,000 individuals last year by providing a diverse range of services. Full-time outreach coordinators connect clients to needed services including referrals for medical, mental health and addiction treatment; assistance with employment and permanent supportive housing applications; and transportation funds for job interviews.

Individuals can make a donation by visiting SalvationArmyNCA.org or calling (800) SAL-ARMY.

(This release was prepared by Ford Motor Company.)

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan, manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 195,000 employees and 66 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.

 About The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command

The Salvation Army assisted more than 77,000 individuals last year by providing a diverse range of services. Employees and volunteers provide compassionate care to everyone in need of help without discrimination. We offer meals and services to the homeless and emergency assistance to individuals and families (rent, utilities, and food). The Salvation Army provides transitional shelter for mothers and their children; addiction treatment for adults; emergency disaster relief, and youth enrichment through music, arts, and education. Make a donation by visiting SalvationArmyNCA.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Connect with us and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube using keyword SalArmyNCA.

Divisional and Regional Headquarters will Remain in DC

The Salvation Army announced plans to keep its National Capital and Virginia Division and National Capital Area Command headquarters offices where they currently are – at 2626 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, in downtown Washington, DC.  The announcement came earlier this week by the new Divisional Commander, Lt. Colonel Mark H. Israel, during an employee assembly.

“The Salvation Army has been approached several times within the last two years about selling this property,” said Lt. Col. Mark Israel. “While we carefully evaluated each inquiry, after much consideration, we determined it was in The Salvation Army’s best interests to keep our headquarters right where they are.”

“This is welcome news,” said National Capital Area Commander Major Lewis R. Reckline, who noted that several factors went into the decision to stay at our Foggy Bottom location.  “We believe maintaining our headquarters within the District of Columbia is the right thing to do. The Salvation Army history in the nation’s capital is strong. It’s a relationship that dates back about 135 years.”

Major Reckline also noted that staying in the District of Columbia is mutually beneficial for both, the National Capital Area Command and National Capital and Virginia Division, since the two share office space. Approximately 60 employees and officers work out the five-story office building located in the Foggy Bottom section of the city.

“We are grateful to have a strong presence here in the nation’s capital and for the support we receive from the community every day,” said Major Reckline. “The Salvation Army feeds and shelters those individuals and families in the most need.”

Ford brings Van Campaign to Successful End


The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command Grate Patrol Van Campaign came to a successful close in June, thanks to a generous donation from Ford Motor Company. Now, The Salvation Army can move forward with the purchase a new Ford Transit van for its homeless mobile meals program.

The campaign also received major funding from The Rotary Foundation of Washington, DC, Mark and Lyn McFadden, and regional electricity provider Pepco.

“The Salvation Army is grateful to Ford Motor Company for its generous donation to our Grate Patrol Van Campaign. Ford’s gift, along with contributions from several other community partners, will help us to continue serving the homeless for years to come,” said Major Lewis R. Reckline, Area Commander for The Salvation Army.

Major Reckline also thanked as well numerous local churches, businesses and individual donors from across the community, who stepped forward to help The Salvation Army purchase the new van.

The funds raised will cover the cost and customization of a new Ford Transit van with a high roof and extended wheelbase. The Salvation Army retired the Grate Patrol’s previous van last summer after ten years of faithful service. In the interim, the Emergency Disaster Service canteen was pressed into service to deliver meals. The new Grate Patrol van will hit the streets this fall.

The Salvation Army’s Grate Patrol, which runs every night of the year, delivers an average of 150 nutritious meals, snacks and hydration to men and women at multiple locations throughout downtown DC. Local philanthropist and entrepreneur, Muslim Lakhani, CEO of ML Resources Social Vision, has provided sustained program support for Grate Patrol for the last seven years.

The Salvation Army distributed over 1.3 million meals to the homeless and others in need of something to eat since Grate Patrol began over three decades ago. A full-time outreach coordinator connects clients to needed services including referrals for medical, mental health, and addiction treatment; assistance with employment and permanent supportive housing applications; and transportation funds for job interviews.

Starting Over: Greg’s Story

When Greg moved to DC in 2012, he was completely sober. He found a job managing a restaurant, which is what he was trained to do, and life was good. But, being around alcohol in the restaurant led him to fall into old habits: drinking and drugs. When he found himself getting into trouble, he knew it was time to get help. He entered Harbor Light for a 90-day stay.

[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]“They prepare you with the best tools to be successful.” [/quote]

Greg was no stranger to The Salvation Army when he entered Harbor Light, our addiction treatment facility in Northeast DC. He had struggled with addiction before and had previously participated in the Adult Rehabilitation Center through The Salvation Army in Phoenix. After graduating from the Arizona ARC, Greg was offered a job with The Salvation Army helping other addicts through their time of need. He was able to use his own experiences to help others.

When someone first suggested Greg go to The Salvation Army for help, he didn’t understand why. “I’m not homeless; I don’t need a shelter,” he said. In the years since, he has learned The Salvation Army is much more than that. “They prepare you with the best tools to be successful,” he said. He explained the staff at Harbor Light is there because they are committed to helping others. “The help comes from a very genuine place,” he describes.

Having the experience of helping others with their addiction allows Greg to look at Harbor Light with a keen eye and take advantage of all the opportunities provided. When he’s not in class, Greg enjoys playing basketball with the other guys, reading books from the library, and attending church services. With only a little time left of his stay, Greg says he is ready and feels prepared to graduate the program and move on with his life.

He focuses on recognizing similarities between him and the other clients, rather than looking at differences. Unlike some of the others staying at Harbor Light, Greg grew up in good home with many opportunities. He says his story shows how addiction can affect anyone, regardless of race, economic status, or other factors.

The many services The Salvation Army provides, such as Harbor Light, wouldn’t be possible without the generous donations we receive from the community. Donations help us continue to keep doing the most good in our neighborhoods.

Greg says his current stay at Harbor Light has helped re-direct him to the path he was on before and helped show him the way to recovery. He is grateful for the positive influence The Salvation Army has had on his life.

Grand Opening at Harbor Light joins Philanthropy & Community Together

The Salvation Army opened the doors to the brand new $1.2M George Wesley and Harlene Buchanan Education Wing at the Harbor Light Center in Northeast DC. The new education center promises to enhance greatly the transformational work happening every day at the 18-year-old facility, and paves the way for Harbor Light to fill all 136 beds at the facility. The fifth floor space was previously unfinished.

National Capital Area Commander Major Lewis Reckline said, “The new Buchanan Education Wing provides much needed space for additional classrooms and office in a place where our community’s men and women who are struggling to overcome addiction can get the help they need to heal and move forward with their lives. The Salvation Army is extremely grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Buchanan for their kindness and generosity, and for helping our neighbors in need.”

The George Wesley and Harlene Buchanan Education Wing has new offices where Harbor Light’s skilled staff provides ongoing case management to clients at every level of recovery.

Established in 1997, the 136-bed Harbor Light Center provides residential and outpatient comprehensive substance abuse treatment to men and women, with support services for homeless individuals. More than 1,000 local residents received life-changing assistance last year to get their lives back on track.