Friday, December 20, 2013

Leadership Blog: Looking Back, One More Time!

Dear Friends, 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  At this special time of year, we want to share recent and ongoing news about how The Salvation Army and its supporters are improving the quality of life in the DFW Metroplex:

The Red Kettle Campaign helps
The Salvation Army feed, clothe,
and shelter at-risk families
in the Metroplex.


Did you ever think we'd have an ice storm early in December? Well, neither did we!  But as we all now know, freezing rain and sleet kind of shut things down for a few days. Shortly thereafter, we began to hear about the economic impact. The ice really took a toll on retail shopping, and as you might guess, it had an impact on us too.

Our red kettle drive got behind by $584,000 as a result of losing days to the ice storm combined with getting a later start this year, in large part due to Thanksgiving being so late in the month.

We have just a matter of days left in this year's campaign. Between now and Christmas Eve, we hope people will continue to dig deep and drop in an extra dollar or two -- or even more -- to help make up our red kettle losses. This is so important because funds raised in the red kettles provide services not only at Christmas time, but throughout the year. These services include food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, after-school care for children, and more.

Volunteers (top) and horse riders (bottom)
at the conclusion of
the Cattle Drive for the Kettle Drive.


At the start of the season, we held an event to spotlight this year's kettle campaign. It was the annual
"Cattle Drive for the Kettle Drive" held at Ridgmar Mall in Fort worth. The Cattle Drive helped promote awareness in a unique fashion: with real live cows, cowboys on horseback, a Salvation Army mobile disaster vehicle, and The Salvation Army brass band atop a western-style wagon!


Can’t donate at a Red Kettle location? Donate online at! This online service allows you to donate to the red kettle campaign, or you can become a virtual bell ringer by setting up your own Online Red Kettle page.  After setting up your page, you can then send emails to your friends encouraging them to make a donation. See for yourself at!

WFAA-TV anchor Gloria Campos
delivering her keynote address during
Super Lunch XXI.
The freezing cold on Monday, December 9, couldn’t stop the compassionate Irving community from turning out for Super Lunch XXI at the Irving Convention Center. The event was a fund raiser for our community center in Irving. 

The lunch featured WFAA-TV anchor, Gloria Campos, as keynote speaker. Gloria talked about the importance of giving and of building a legacy of volunteering. “The real 'getting’ in charity is in the giving,” she said.

Thank you Gloria for a wonderful keynote address and to everyone involved in making the lunch possible.

NBC-5 anchor Mark Hayes addressing
shoppers during the Angel Tree parade
at NorthPark Center.
Our Angel Tree program was featured in a big way on the day after Thanksgiving with festive
parades at NorthPark Center in Dallas and Ridgmar Mall in Fort Worth. The parades included costumed characters, The Salvation Army brass band, a drum line, dance performers, and cheerful volunteers.

The Dallas Cowboys, Albertsons, and BNSF Railway donated gifts for more than 900 individuals combined. Employees from PlainsCapital, Ernest & Young, HFF, and Haynes & Boone loaded their Angel Tree gifts onto a truck to be delivered to our Christmas Center in Dallas. The delivery was accompanied by an antique fire truck.

Coca-Cola employees delivered their gifts for 1,200 individuals in three side-load Coke trucks plus a Coca-Cola 18-wheeler.

Once all the gifts from companies, organizations, and donors arrived at our Christmas Centers in Dallas and Fort Worth, hundreds of volunteers began sorting them for distribution to local families. This week, volunteers have been handing out an estimated 250,000 gifts benefiting more than 53,000 individuals and more than 16,000 families.

Here’s news coverage highlighting the Angel Tree program:

We’re thankful for everyone who participated in this year’s Angel Tree program. We’re especially thankful for NBC 5, our Angel Tree partner.  Your efforts will bring lots of smiles to thousands of families in North Texas.

Captain Michele Matthews (left, second row),
with AT&T Pioneers members
On Wednesday, December 4,
members of the AT&T Pioneers Council of Dallas gathered at AT&T headquarters to load up their gifts for the Angel Tree program.

AT&T Pioneers adopted more than 650 individuals this year. These individuals consist of at-risk children and disabled adults whose families would struggle to provide Christmas gifts for them.

Here’s a short clip of AT&T Pioneers loading a Salvation Army truck with their Angel Tree gifts.

Thank you AT&T Pioneers for participating in this year’s Angel Tree program!

Hunter Woodlee (front and center)
with his friends at NorthPark Center
to adopt Angels!
Hunter Woodlee was one of thousands of donors from across North Texas who adopted an Angel from a Salvation Army Angel Tree. But there was something different about Hunter’s participation:
Through social media he convinced nearly 50 of friends to join him in adopting Angels at NorthPark Center.

Here’s NBC 5 covering Hunter’s “Compassionate Flash Mob!”

WBAP's Hal Jay and Brian Estridge
encouraging morning show listeners to
drop off toy donations to stuff Harvey the RV.
In November and December, WBAP News/Talk 820 AM invited their listeners to come out to their remote broadcast locations to help stuff WBAP's "Harvey the RV" with toys for children at Christmas. The effort benefits The Salvation Army and has been conducted at such locations as Louie Louie's Piano Bar in Arlington, Toyota of Fort Worth, and Surplus Building Materials in Farmers Branch. 


2013 has been quite a journey for all of us at The Salvation Army -- a journey we embarked upon humbly with support from people like you. Here at the close of the year, we want to express our deepest gratitude to our donors, partners, and volunteers for doing the most good during 2013.

We wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year!  

Warm Regards,

Captain Michele and Major Ward Matthews
DFW Metroplex Command Leadership

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