The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army

Mediaman director, Greg Tingle and Savlation Army - Bondi Beach 2008

The Salvation Army is a Christian charity and church that is internally organised like a military service. Its founders William and Catherine Booth sought to bring Christian salvation to the poor, destitute and hungry by meeting both their physical and spiritual needs.

The Salvation Army was founded in London's East End in the year 1865 by one-time Methodist minister William Booth. Originally, Booth named the organization the Christian Mission, but in 1878 Booth reorganized the mission along military lines when his son Bramwell objected to being called a volunteer and stated that he was a regular or nothing. The name then became The Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army is both a charity and social services organization; and a part of the Christian church. One of its stated objectives is:

The advancement of the Christian religion as promulgated in the religious doctrines . . . which are professed, believed and taught by the Army and, pursuant there to, the advancement of education, the relief of poverty, and other charitable objects beneficial to society or the community of mankind as a whole.

The international headquarters is at 101 Queen Victoria Street, London, England, with branches around the world. It is sometimes colloquially referred to as the "Sally Ann" in Canada and the "Sally Army" in the United Kingdom New Zealand and "Salvo's" in Australia.

The Salvation Army operates in 111 countries and provides services in 175 different languages.. For administrative purposes, the organization divides itself geographically into Territories, which are then sub-divided into Divisions. Each Territory has an administrative hub known as Territorial Headquarters (THQ). Likewise, each Division has a Divisional Headquarters (DHQ). For example, Japan is one territory, the United States is divided into four Territories: Eastern, Southern, Central, and Western while Germany & Lithuania together are one territory. Each of these Territories is led by a Territorial Commander who receives orders from the Salvation Army's International Headquarters in London.

The Salvation Army is one of the world's largest providers of social aid, with expenditures including operating costs of $2.6 billion in 2004, helping more than 32 million people in the US alone. In addition to community centers and disaster relief, the organization does work in refugee camps, especially among displaced people in Africa. The Salvation Army has received an A- rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy.

Its claimed membership includes more than 17,000 active and more than 8,700 retired officers, 1 041 461 soldiers, around 100,000 other employees and more than 4.5 million volunteers. Members of the Salvation Army are also the so-called adherents, who do not sign the document to become soldier but who do see the Salvation Army as their church and who do not wear uniform. The truth is that the membership is much smaller, since inactive soldiers are rarely removed from the rolls. It is led by General Shaw Clifton, who has held this position since April 2, 2006 after the 2006 High Council elected him as the next General January 28, 2006. According to the 2006 Salvation Army Year Book, in the United States there are 85,148 Senior Soldiers and 28,377 Junior Soldiers, 17,396 Adherents and around 60,000 employees.

In 2004, the Army in the United States received a $1.6 billion donation in the will of Joan B. Kroc, third wife of former McDonald's CEO Ray Kroc. This donation was among the largest individual philanthropic gifts ever given to a single organization. The donation came with certain restrictions that were met with some controversy.

Disaster Relief

The Salvation Army's first major forays into Disaster Relief resulted from the tragedies of the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. The Salvationists' nationwide appeals for financial and material donations yielded tremendous support, enabling the Army to provide assistance to thousands. General Evangeline Booth, when she offered the services of Salvationists to President Wilson during the First World War thrust Salvation Army social and relief work to newer heights. Today the Salvation Army is best known for its charitable efforts.

The Salvation Army is a prominent non-governmental relief agency and is usually among the first to arrive with help after natural or man-made disasters. They have worked to alleviate suffering and help people rebuild their lives. After the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, they arrived immediately at some of the worst disaster sites to help retrieve and bury the dead. Since then they have helped rebuild homes and construct new boats for people to recover their livelihood. Members were prominent among relief organizations after Hurricane Hugo and Hurricane Andrew and other such natural disasters in the United States. In August 2005 they supplied drinking water to poor people affected by the heat wave in the United States. Later in 2005 they responded to hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Most recently they have helped the victims of the May 2006 Indonesian Earthquake.

In the year since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, The Salvation Army has allocated donations of more than $365 million to serve more than 1.7 million people in nearly every state. The Army’s immediate response to Hurricane Katrina included the mobilization of more than 178 canteen feeding units and 11 field kitchens which together have served more than 5.7 million hot meals, 8.3 million sandwiches, snacks & drinks. Its SATERN network of amateur ham-radio operators picked up where modern communications left off to help locate more than 25,000 survivors. And, Salvation Army pastoral care counselors were on hand to comfort the emotional and spiritual needs of 277,000 individuals. As part of the overall effort, Salvation Army officers, employees and volunteers have contributed more than 900,000 hours of service.

The Salvation Army was one of the first relief agencies on the scene of the 9/11 attacks in New York. They also provided prayer support for families of missing people.

The Salvation Army, along with the American National Red Cross, Southern Baptist Convention, and other disaster relief organizations, are national members of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD).

Also among the disaster relief capabilities is the Red Shield Defence Services, often called the SallyMan for short. The effort that they put in is similar to that of a chaplain, and reaches many more, offering cold drinks, hot drinks, and some biscuits and lollies for the soldiers of the military to have, though, if a SallyMan is on deployment, the locals are offered a share in the produce. Despite this generousity, the RSDS is generally unnoticed because it only works in disaster relief and military actions, not general welfare opportunities.

Red Shield Appeal

The Red Shield Appeal is The Salvation Army's ways of raising money. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets worldwide to participate in the doorknock weekend. Each year, several million dollars are raised in each territory alone.

(Credit: Wikipedia).


The Salvation Army (Australia)

The Salvation Army (international)



Social and Community Entrepreneurs

Mediaman does not represent The Salvation Army, however has participated in a number of Salvation Army initiatives and is a pro active supporter