Give a Little Extra to Help Fill Kettle Gap

The Salvation Army National Capital Area is asking for the community’s help to fill a gap in Red Kettle Drive donations before the campaign ends on December 24.  The much-needed money will support services provided to those most in need living throughout greater Washington DC. Red Kettle fundraising is down 13% across the region in a year-to-date comparison along with sluggish donations by mail.

The Salvation Army uses Red Kettle and year-round donations to help struggling families, individuals, and veterans with emergency assistance; provide addiction treatment; give youth a safe space to learn and grow, and offer young homeless mothers with children a chance for a better future.  The Salvation Army Grate Patrol provides hot, nutritious evening meals to the homeless living on downtown DC streets every night of the year and even through frigid weather.

National Capital Area Commander for The Salvation Army, Major James “Chip” Hall stated, “We are not sure why kettle donations are off this year. It could be as simple as fewer people carrying cash. Whatever the reason, our fundraising efforts have been affected, and we are asking the public’s help by donating a little extra when they see our kettles. There is no amount too small. Every penny, quarter, dollar, check, and credit card donation helps.”

Major Hall believes The Salvation Army will meet its goal of $1.4 million with help from the community while noting the importance in donating, “The Salvation Army makes the most of each donation we receive. More than 80 cents of every dollar donated directly gives hope to our neighbors in need. The donations we receive change lives in the people we serve.”

Major Hall said noted the many ways the public can pitch in, “Each of our red kettles accept cash, checks, jewelry, gold, and precious coins and at more than 250 locations around the region including most Giant, Safeway, and Walmart stores.”  Additional donation options include calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769), visiting clicking the DONATE button on our website (, or mailing a donation using the envelopes received at home.  In Loudon, donors can text LOUDON to 91999.

The Red Kettle Campaign Drive ends next Saturday, December 24.

The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command assisted 80,744 people last year through a wide array of services. We offer emergency rental, utility, and food assistance, a homeless nutrition program, transitional housing for young mothers and their children, comprehensive substance abuse treatment, disaster relief, and youth enrichment through music and arts education.

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




On-going Volunteer Opportunities in D.C.

Area Command Main Office:

  1. Development Department Assistant
  2. IT Intern
  3. Major Gifts Assistant

Please click here to learn more about the above volunteer opportunities at the National Capital Area Command.

Turning Point:

  1. Childcare Assistant
  2. Custodial Assistant
  3. Job Readiness Instructor
  4. Legal Adviser
  5. Outfit an apartment with new supplies.
  6. Paint an apartment so a new family can move in.
  7. Provide pro-bono healthcare services to families.

Please click here to learn more about the above volunteer opportunities at Turning Point.

Grate Patrol:

  1. Help cook and serve dinner to the homeless by volunteering with our mobile meal program
  2. Host a donation drive (clothing, shoes or toiletries) that will benefit our Grate Patrol friends

Please view our Grate Patrol One-Pager, to learn more about the above volunteer opportunities with the Grate Patrol program.

Harbor Light Center:

  1. Clinical Assistant Intern
  2. Community Gardener
  3. Computer Lab Assistant
  4. Fitness Instructor
  5. Health Instructor
  6. Interior Painting Group
  7. Job Readiness Instructor
  8. Life Coach
  9. “Share-Your-Hobby” Instructor
  10. Tutor

Please click here to learn more about the above volunteer opportunities at Harbor Light Center.

Sherman Avenue Corps:

  1. Food Giveaway Assistant
  2. Meal Program Assistant
  3. Music Instructor

Please click here to learn more about the above volunteer opportunities at Sherman Avenue Corps.

Solomon G. Brown (SGB) Corps:

  1. Childcare Assistant
  2. Homeless Outreach Assistant
  3. IT Instructor
  4. Kitchen Assistant
  5. Nursing Home Visitor
  6. Performing Arts Instructor
  7. Tutor
  8. Youth Program Leader or Assistant

Please click here to learn more about the above volunteer opportunities at the Solomon G. Brown Corps.

Contact Information:

Angela Soriano
Volunteer and Donation Drive Manager
Office: 202-756-3906

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.