Christian group helps everyone in need
by William Roberts
This year’s Red Kettle Campaign has begun, the annual Christmas fundraiser that helps The Salvation Army collect money to meet human needs in local communities across the country. Each year’s campaign brings heightened media attention to The Salvation Army, particularly regarding its beliefs and practices.
In particular, we face such questions as: How does The Salvation Army help people in need? Are we a church? Perhaps most important, is the organization truly committed to serving all those in need?
The Salvation Army is a Christian organization, founded by a small group of people in London in 1865 to serve those who were suffering. They were fueled by their love of God and their belief that God was leading them to do his work on earth. The only qualification to receive help from The Salvation Army was to have a need. That has not changed in more than a century.
We serve nearly 30 million Americans in need each year, from a variety of backgrounds. We do not pick and choose whom we serve based on religion or any other factor, and no one should ever be turned away in need. The Salvation Army has doctrine and beliefs that help guide members of the church in life and on a daily basis. Many people have questioned why The Salvation Army holds certain positions on issues such as homosexuality.
This issue has created misunderstandings and confusion about The Salvation Army. This in turn has led many to think that the Salvation Army judges others and denies them services or employment. None of this is true.
The Salvation Army believes that all people are equal, regardless of
sexual orientation or any other factor, including race, gender and ethnicity. We firmly oppose the vilification and mistreatment of any
member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, just as we oppose the mistreatment of anyone. Any such incident is in clear opposition to all established Salvation Army policy.
Indeed, this promise is emphatically laid out in our organizational mission statement, which says: “The Salvation Army, an international
movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its
message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of
God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christand to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”
The Salvation Army is founded on Christian values and biblical standards, and those in need receive our assistance each year through a broad array of social services, which include food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter for the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children.
Many wrongly believe The Salvation Army lobbies the federal government to deny equal opportunities to people with beliefs that differ from ours.
For more than a decade, The Salvation Army has not engaged any lobbyists, nor does the organization have any lobbyists working on its behalf nationally to lobby for particular laws or to deny liberties to any American. This is not within The Salvation Army’s moral fabric.
Notably, The Salvation Army employs more than 64,000 people from all backgrounds across the country. Employment for holders of those positions, who include social workers, senior care providers, program administrators, athletic coaches, counselors and chefs, is based solely on how well applicants meet job requirements.
Only for employees within The Salvation Army that hold religious responsibilities, such as the 3,500 Salvation Army officers who are ordained ministers in our church, do we seek those whose faith and values are consistent with our theology. In that, we are no different from any other church in America.
The Salvation Army hires the best candidate for a position and offersemployee benefits to all, equally. The Salvation Army adheres to allrelevant employment laws and provides for domestic-partner benefits accordingly.
We offer benefits to all employees and do so in much the same way that other companies and private organizations provide them.
The people who work for and volunteer with The Salvation Army aim to serve others in need, to work with people and not against anyone. Over the years,
The Salvation Army has demonstrated a consistent ability to work with and alongside individuals and organizations that may not always be in agreement with our theology.
They support us with time and financial resources because of a common cause and commitment to serve people in need.
Like Jesus, we strive to love the unloved and be compassionate to all — even when we disagree theologically. When we serve those in need, we are serving him.
To act in any other way would contradict the very reason The SalvationArmy was founded.
William Roberts is national commander for The Salvation Army.
For most of our household shipping needs, the Post Office, UPS or Fed-Ex delivers. But what do you do when you want to get a motorcycle across the country – without you on it? Antiques from your grandmother’s estate? Or your whole house packed up in boxes?
“That’s where freight shipping comes in as a great, economical alternative,” says Matthew Brosious, president of FreightCenter.com (www.freightcenter.com), a company that brokers freight-shipping, much like websites such as Expedia broker air travel and hotel stays.
“Freight shippers can handle anything too heavy for the standard package shippers, basically anything from 100 pounds to 8,000 pounds,” he says. “For these items, LTL shipping – which stands for Less-Than-Truckload – is the easiest and most economical way to get your big, bulky item moved.’’
Since, for many people, that might be a once- or twice-in-a-lifetime event, Brosious offers some suggestions to ensure your shipping experience is smooth sailing.
• Pack properly and label each separate package or item. Unless your freight carrier includes packaging in its service, be sure your goods are all carefully and properly packaged, crated or secured to pallets with shrink-wrap or banding. If you’ve never built a crate, there are plenty of companies that will do it for you. If you shrink-wrap your item or boxes to a wooden pallet, start at the base and pull the wrap tightly so it’s secure. Your stack should not wobble when you’re done. “If it’s not packed correctly and something gets damaged, your carrier may not be liable for that,” Brosious warns. “Sometimes, they won’t even transport it.” A sofa wrapped in plastic, for instance, is not considered “packaged.”
• Label each separate bundle or item. Attach a clear, printed label to the top of every box or item in your shipment. The label should include your name and the recipient’s, as well as addresses and telephone numbers for both of you. It should also include the bill of lading number, carrier’s name, and date shipped.
• Provide accurate information about contents, weight, etc. If you guesstimate, you may end up with a bill for more than the price you were quoted! Shipping quotes are based on the information supplied by the customer, but freight companies may choose to weigh your item. If you’re wrong – for instance, if your freight weighs more than you thought – you will likely see a bigger bill.
• Expect to pay more for residential delivery. If you’re in a non-commercial area, residential delivery fees may apply, even if you run a business out of your home. That’s because the streets are usually harder to find and navigate. Residential delivery applies to apartments, farms and houses – and sometimes to schools and churches. You can save money by having your item shipped to an airport terminal and picking it up yourself, if you have a vehicle that can transport it. If you’re having your freight delivered to a limited-access area, such as a military base or a storage unit facility, you might also incur an additional fee.
Freight-shipping is an economical way to move items, Brosious says. He advises people to shop around for quotes, or use a broker to handle that part for you.
FreightCenter.com is a third-party freight logistics company that uses web-based tools to help businesses and individuals with their shipping needs. It has garnered numerous awards, including Best Companies to Work For (2011, Florida Trend); Service Industry of the Year (2010, Pasco Economic Development Council) and Top 10 Websites (2010, BtoB marketing news magazine.) Matthew Brosious and his father, James, co-founded American Freight Cos. – the parent company of FreightCenter – in 1998 to facilitate freight-shipping for one-time, occasional, and small-business shippers. The service enables customers to compare carriers’ rates, book online and track paperwork in one location.
What kind of person does the community need and deserve in the U.S. Senate? Who will represent our needs, our issues, and our interests? These are some of the critical questions we need to ask ourselves less than six weeks before the November 6 election for U.S. Senate.
There are two candidates running, and the facts are clear–one will fight for us on every issue, every step of the way; the other will not.
Take the issue of Medicare. Medicare is a very successful, highly popular program that provides health care to our seniors. Thousands and thousands and thousands of our grandmothers and grandfathers rely on it every day–including many in our community right her in Milwaukee.
Tammy Baldwin has always fought for Medicare, and in the U.S. Senate she will work tirelessly to strengthen and defend this great program. But Tommy Thompson, her opponent, has an entirely different view.
Because of his connections to the huge drug companies and powerful pharmaceutical special interests, Thompson says if elected to the U.S. Senate, he will repeal President Obama’s successful reforms that have improved Medicare coverage.
He actually wants to do away with one of Barack Obama’s greatest achievements.
Instead, Thompson wants to reopen gaps in coverage that Obama closed. This would line the pockets of big drug companies, and increase out of pocket costs for seniors—many on tight fixed incomes.
Thompson also backs an extreme, conservative plan to end Medicare as we know it, and supports a voucher program that makes seniors pay higher health care costs. And when he worked as a senior partner at a powerful DC lobbying firm, he worked to make Medicare more expensive for seniors–while swelling the profit margin for the tycoons running the big drug and pharmaceutical companies.
Thompson even cut a sweetheart deal with the big drug and pharmaceutical companies that cost taxpayers a staggering $156 billion. This unbelievable arrangement was made when he worked for George W. Bush, and it actually made it illegal for Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for seniors.
Thompson received a number of perks for these big giveaways to the special interests. Documents show he earned at least $724,100 from the pharmaceutical industry after leaving the Busch administration.
This is part of the stunning $13 million Thompson raked in over the past few years as a partner at a powerful DC lobbying firm, leveraging his insider connections and friendships with the special interests to get rich.
It is this awful record on Medicare that Thompson brings to the race for U.S. Senate. That’s why it’s essential to answer some basic questions before you go to the polls on November 6. What kind of person does the community need an deserve in the U.S. Senate? Who will represent our needs, our issues, and our interests?
As his record on Medicare shows, it certainly isn’t Tommy Thompson. His history shows he’s NOT looking out for our grandparents, for our community, or for people in Milwaukee working hard to get by in these challenging times.