Our Donors

The Salvation Army has been around in Nashville for 125 years, and there are a lot of circumstances, blessings, and reasons we are still going strong after all this time. First and foremost, we are still here because there is still a need. As long as poverty grips the lives of our brothers and sisters, The Salvation Army will be present, lending a meal, a bed, a listening ear, or a hand.

We also recognize that there is no way we would be able to accomplish our work without the consistent and faithful support of our donors. Each day, we are blessed to receive the gifts that the faithful citizens of Middle Tennessee so generously bestow upon this very grateful organization. It is important to our staff that we personally thank as many of our donors as we possibly can. It is a blessing to be able to speak to those who support us and find out why The Salvation Army means so much to them. One lovely lady explained just recently that The Salvation Army was “her Christmas as a child,” and for that reason, she continues to give. Generous veterans remember the work of The Salvation Army during wartime, and want to give back whether they have plenty or little. Many appreciate The Salvation Army’s reputation for being able to pour $.82 of each dollar directly into programs that help our neighbors.

We are very encouraged by our donors who inspire us to remember the good that was done to us and to continue passing it on as long as we are able. While many of our donors wish to remain quiet and anonymous, just know that we know who you are, you know who you are, and we wish we could thank you all a thousand times over day after day for lifting us up with your gifts and contributions.

With each gift from our donors – whether it is $25 or $25,000 – a major investment is being made into the lives of those in poverty who come through our doors.

If you have not yet made such an investment, but feel called to, we encourage you to give as the Lord enables you to. We encourage you to partner with us with your resources to give one of your neighbors a second chance. Please visit www.morethanakettle.org to become a part of our generous community.

Monthly Events: Talk & Tour


If you’re a fan of free lunch, stories that pull on your heartstrings, programs that inspire, and making new friends, then we highly recommend you join us for our Talk & Tour where you can take part in all of these things.

Talk & Tour happens every third Thursday of the month at our Center of Hope location, and in our efforts to raise awareness of the programs of The Salvation Army, we offer a tour of our facilities and a broad overview of our programs.

We have met some great friends through Talk & Tour, and have been privileged to create new relationships and partnerships that have allowed us all to do some great work together for Nashville.

For our donors, this is a great way for you to see just what your money is supporting. You will get to meet and hear from clients who have benefited from our Transitional Housing, our Life Skills Learning Center, and many other services we offer as we work alongside our community’s most vulnerable to unleash the strength and possibility that has always existed in each of them.

For our volunteers, it is a wonderful opportunity to get a deeper look at all of our programs, beyond that which he or she may normally assist. After-school tutors can get a look at our food pantry program. ESL assistants can take a peek at our comfortable residential rooms. Soup Wagon-ers can explore our community center.

For our community leaders and fellow nonprofits, we hope these events will allow us to work more together to bring about change for the better for all of Nashville’s citizens.

Most importantly, for our clients, Talk & Tour provides a space for some of them to share their journeys through life and how The Salvation Army has helped each of them to realize their own dignity and self-worth. As poverty continues to invade this great and growing city, The Salvation Army is working harder than ever to fight this war on poverty. Read any recent articles or statistics on Nashville, and you will find that people everywhere absolutely LOVE Nashville – and for good reason, too. But one of the reasons this city is so beloved is because of how giving its people are. The Salvation Army is always ready to come alongside those in the most need with the help of our Nashville community to make change in our world. Come see what our work is all about, come meet the people who are the reason we do what we do.

Talk & Tour is a wonderful time of fellowship and forming new relationships. Let’s work together to see what we can best offer to each other for the good of Middle Tennessee. If you’d like to attend our next Talk & Tour event, you can register here. The events take place each month at 631 Dickerson Pike 37207. We hope to see you in April!

Men’s Services: Car Donations & Operation Bootstraps

Did you know that The Salvation Army accepts car donations? bootstraps2 Better yet, did you know that proceeds from the sales of car donations go straight into our Operation Bootstraps program? If you’re not familiar with Operation Bootstraps, it is long-term transitional housing program specifically for men. Each resident has his own living space for up to one year, though typically transitions between 6 to 8 months. Participants are highly motivated individuals who are homeless, and have been drug and alcohol-free for at least 30 days. All residents are given opportunities to be equipped with necessary tools to obtain a job within their first two weeks, and are assigned to a case manager to assist them with job readiness, money management, and other classes (such as GED completion) through our Life Skills Learning Center. Rent is paid on a sliding scale, according to ability to pay. By evolving from a shelter into a long-term transitional housing program, we expect a higher rate of long-term success for participants to live independent and satisfying lives. Car donations offer you a unique way to help your community. Whether these gentlemen are newly released from prison with nowhere to go, eager to end lifelong dependence on alcohol or drugs, or victims of any one of the many and complex issues that can lead any of us to homelessness, these are men who are ready to make a change for their futures and the futures of those they hold dear, and your vehicle donations are helping us to help them accomplish that. Car donations begin with a donor who simply needs to get rid of a vehicle of which they are no longer in need. After delivering the vehicle to The Salvation Army, these donations are then taken to our partner, Colson Auctions, to be sold on the first or third Thursday of the month, and the proceeds from those sales come directly back to Operation Bootstraps. Donors are then provided with a receipt for the gross proceeds from the sale.

Do you have a vehicle you need to get rid of? Now you can take care of just that while also helping someone else along! Click the image below to find out how you can donate the road ahead for men transitioning to a better life. banner_300x250[2]

The Stranger

The child was ill. The doctor came

With every-ready skill,

With quickened hand and tender heart,

His mission to fulfil,

His fingers moved with feverish speed,

For Christ within had urged the need.

A widow poor in this world’s goods

Shared from her meager store;

Enough to know her neighbor’s need

Her kindness to outpoor;

It was the Christ within her heart

Constraining her to do her part.

The bombs were falling all around,

Where dead and dying lay,

The chaplain heeding not his life

Rushed in to help and pray;

‘Twas Christ inspired his worthy deed,

Gave strength and courage for the need.

A friendless boy lay very ill,

A stranger came one day

And brought him pretty flowers and fruit

To cheer his lonely way,

The stranger then so kindly smiled,

“Sir, are you Jesus?” said the child.

Thus shall the Christ be seen in us

When He doth there abide,

Our service quickened in His name,

For He will be our Guide,

We shall be fired with fervent zeal

For other hearts our hearts to feel.

— “Sir, Are You Jesus?” by Irena Arnold, More Poems of a Salvationist, 1945

In the early weeks of the year, things seem a little quiet for The Salvation Army. The kettles are gone, the angels have been tended to, and all around, things tend to settle for a spell over here. But it’s in our quietest seasons that the most planning happens, and The Salvation Army is working as hard as ever to see more people’s needs met this year. 2014 was a great year, and we expect 2015 to be even better. Our annual report is soon to be released, and it’s always encouraging to see numbers of those who are fed, sheltered, educated, and most importantly, loved. However, it would do us well to remember that behind each number is a person, a face, and a precious & sacred story.

Stories are what we’re about here. Stories are what keep us coming to work each day. Stories help us to remember that it’s all about the people.

The holidays are a very heavy time for us. So much of our work comes to fruition during those last eight to ten weeks of the year when The Salvation Army’s name is most visible. It is also a very heavy time emotionally as we see firsthand the impact of so much hard work. But the truth is, it is only our donors who lift us up with resources, time, and prayer to accomplish anything at all. Angel Tree just flat-out can’t happen without volunteers giving their time tirelessly every day to provide some kind of Christmas joy to a child. Any service we provide to feed or shelter is only possible because of our donors who work so hard at their jobs and then give of their paycheck to help someone else along. The Nashville poverty rate is astonishingly high, but the Nashville community is astonishingly giving. The Salvation Army is proud to serve such a generous community for 125 years.

The above poem shares a common perception that those who give, help, donate, volunteer, or share are in fact being the hands and feet of Jesus in the world. And that is true, but it would do us well to remember that the face of Jesus exists in the marginalized. The homeless, the hungry, the incarcerated, the sick. We are to visit Jesus when he is in prison or when he is ill. We are to feed Jesus when he is hungry. We are to clothe Jesus when he is cold. Jesus may not always look like us or think like us or talk like us or even believe like us. Jesus doesn’t necessarily make as much money as we do, or go to the same schools. But Jesus does exist, even in THAT part of town, or in THAT part of the world. Jesus can be a child fleeing for his life across national borders because of violence in his home state (in fact, he was – Matthew 2:13-23). Jesus can be a single mom struggling to pay off debt, rent, childcare, and utilities while working three part-time jobs with no education. Jesus can be a young man just released from prison, completely lost on how to start over and reclaim a life in the real world. Jesus can be a veteran, struggling to pay his medical bills or that sweet lady in the nursing home that receives no visitors.

To our donors, whether you have given of your time, your resources, or your connections, you have realized the face of Jesus in those who are in the most need. It is your service that opens The Salvation Army as a path toward healing, recovery, and second chances to our society’s most vulnerable. Thank you for locking arms with us and we hope to accomplish great things with all of you in 2015.

‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

-Matthew 25

The Nashville Salvation Army Annual Thanksgiving Feast to feed more than 100 of city’s homeless population

The Salvation Army Nashville Area Command will hold its annual Thanksgiving Feast 11 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 27 – Thanksgiving Day – at The Salvation Army Center of Hope, 631 Dickerson Pike, Nashville, TN.

Each year, 100-150 members of Nashville’s homeless community are picked up and bused in to and treated to a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. Clients will be served by gracious and willing volunteers providing them with a full dining experience.

Who: Members of Nashville homeless community and Nashville Salvation Army volunteers
What: Annual Thanksgiving Feast, hosted by The Salvation Army, Nashville Area Command
When: Starting 11 a.m, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014
Where: The Salvation Army Center of Hope, 631 Dickerson Pike, Nashville, TN 37201

Donations by the community help support The Nashville Salvation Army year-round programs, including: Christmas Angel Tree, three neighborhood worship centers, disaster services, emergency assistance and transitional housing for families.

About The Salvation Army Nashville:
The Salvation Army, a faith-based non-profit serving Nashville since 1890, extends assistance to individuals and families in greatest need, enabling them to lift themselves from crisis to stability. Nearly 40,000 individuals in the

Nashville community receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a broad array of social services that range from emergency services, disaster relief for victims, outreach to the elderly and ill, transitional housing for the homeless, opportunities for underprivileged children, Angel Tree Christmas assistance and much more. Seventy-eight cents of every dollar spent is used to directly support our programs and services in our community. For more information, visit http://www.salvationarmynashville.org

Entertaining Angels


The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree season is upon us here in Nashville and as shoppers shuffle through crowded malls, they may see our tall booths, manned by dedicated volunteers encouraging them to “adopt” an angel.  These angels reflect the needs and wishes of children and senior citizens throughout Middle Tennessee who would otherwise have little to nothing this Christmas.  The gifts that are purchased then delivered to our warehouse, end up in a red or silver bag, as seen in the photo above.  Each bag represents a family in the program and when gifts arrive, they are matched with the family bag by name and assigned code.  On distribution day, we will serve 100 families every 30 minutes for 3 days with the help of hundreds of volunteers who will collect the bags from the warehouse and bring it out to the families who sit patiently for their name to be called.

Where do these families come from?  Who are they?  Let me explain.  They are your neighbors, your co-workers, IMG_3603someone you go to church with, someone you walked past at the grocery store, someone who stands and waits patiently for the bus in frigid temperatures, someone who waits on you at a restaurant, someone who fields your phone call at an office, someone whose high paying position was eliminated due to downsizing, someone who took ill suddenly and drained their savings paying extensive medical bills and the list could go on and on.

If you were to look into the eyes of each person who registered their family for Angel Tree, you would have the opportunity to catch a  glimpse into their world.  Deep within the recesses of their blue, green, brown or hazel eyes, you would see sadness, pain and hopelessness, isolation, abandonment and loss.  You would see frustration, anger and fear  but if you would continue to stare, you would also see a glimmer of belief that someone, somewhere out there cares for them and their many struggles are temporary.  Many of these families, we have had the honor of holding their hand and praying with them as their tears silently fall.  They clutch our hands so tightly with a grip that so desperately seeks reassurance and love.  We are able to smile and let them know that God has them in the palm of his hand and even though they may be walking through a desert, soon enough, an oasis of relief will appear, they just need to remain faithful and trust.  For you, the donor who adopts an angel and purchases items for these families, you are providing them with a light at the end of their darkened tunnel.  You are showing them extraordinary levels of compassion and love for someone you’ve never even met.  This is a life changing event and is never forgotten by the thousands of families served.

We have many ways in which you can help this Christmas.  Adopt an angel at one of our local malls, The Mall at Green Hills, Rivergate and Cool Springs Galleria.  You can adopt by calling in to Mix 92.9 at 615-737-0929 or click here to adopt online from now until Dec 9th.

You can also adopt a “Forgotten Angel” at your Middle TN Dailys/TwiceDaily convenience stores or provide food for our Angel Tree families through the Kroger “Food Angel” initiative.

On behalf of our ‘Angels,” we thank you in advance for giving back and taking care of those who need a little help this Christmas.  You are a blessing!

Hebrews 13.2,”Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

Seasons of Love

Retirement-66On a chilly November day, a child was born in a Salvation Army hospital.  As he was placed in his mother’s arms, his eyes opened and he encountered his very first vision of love.  Love from the parents who held him and love from the nurses and doctors who wrapped him in blankets and introduced him to this new world.  Little did the staff, nor his parents know what lay ahead for this young man.  They had no inkling as to the immense impact this one child would have on the lives of everyone he came in contact with.  But God knew……..

This infant soon grew to be a very outgoing and personable child, who never met a stranger, everyone was a friend,  This young boy watched his parents work in a Nashville Salvation Army Community Center and observed the love that each shared with the numerous children who walked through the doors.  He mentally took note of the words that were used, the kind gestures and the absence of judgement.

This child grew into a young man who served heroically in our US Military during Vietnam as a Marine and documented in various articles what was seen and heard amidst the war.  This young man came home, married and soon enough welcomed his own children into the world.  He worked tirelessly to advocate for incarcerated youth, then became head of Buddies of Nashville, now called Big Brothers, Big Sisters.  But, soon enough, where he started, is where he was destined to land and this man began serving at The Salvation Army in Knoxville, cultivating relationships and striving to bring awareness to the many works of “The Army.”

He eventually moved back to Nashville and kick-started the community center where he grew up into the Red Shield Family Initiative and introduced many new agencies to the shield and our mission.  He then moved over to the Nashville Area Command of The Salvation Army and continued his work of sharing the love, mission and ministry of this great Army!

All the while, no matter where he worked or how long he worked, this man always found time to meet a need whenever it presented itself.  Whether it’s driving a bus downtown to pick up those who are homeless and bring them back for a hot Thanksgiving or Christmas meal, or driving a canteen to serve breakfast to members of our street family on Tuesday mornings. Visiting a little buddy at a local elementary school, to help him with homework or just listen to him and encourage him.  Making time for anyone who walked into his office, stopping whatever he was doing, turn around and give his full attention; enabling you to feel heard and understood.  Visiting hospitals whenever he caught wind that someone had been admitted, initiating and managing a daily prayer warrior list and the list could go on and on and on…….

~2697015Now, this man is retiring from his full time work with The Salvation Army but not from serving Others.  On Friday, September 27th, family and friends gathered in the small gym of the local Salvation Army community center to pay homage but not to a career, rather a way of life.  A life that through numerous acts of kindness was able to manifest immense life change in others.  Many people took the podium and shared on how their life was affected by this one man.  Children, who fell under his mentor-ship, now accomplished  adults, wiped away tears as they recalled someone who provided them with hope and let them know they were never alone.

Now, has he stopped working altogether? Is he just relaxing on his back porch, soaking in the early morning sun with a fresh cup of coffee with his lovely bride Jo?  Yes and no.  He is savoring some very special time with his family, but he continues to work part time for The Salvation Army as the Community Relations Director as well as speak on love and hope to inmates at local CCA prisons with his wife Jo.

Full blown retirement is not on Mike’s radar as he feels need is all around us and as long as there is a heartbeat within him, he will constantly seek ways to make a difference and to love the least of these, for Him and Them.

We love you Mike!