National Salvation Army Week was declared by president—President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954, a mere 74 years after the Army arrived in the U.S. It begins the Monday after Mother’s Day—always the second Sunday of May—and runs through the following Sunday.
National Salvation Army week is a celebration steeped in nostalgia, but it is also an opportunity to highlight The Salvation Army’s relevance in the United States & in our local communities today. In his speech acknowledging National Salvation Army Week, President Eisenhower noted: “Among Americans, The Salvation Army has long been a symbol of wholehearted dedication to the cause of human brotherhood. In time of war, the men and women of this organization have brought to those serving their country far from home, friendliness and warm concern. In the quieter days of peace, their work has been a constant reminder to us all that each of us is neighbor and kin to all Americans. Giving freely of themselves, the men and women of The Salvation Army have won the respect of us all.”
We often wonder what it would have been like to be working for The Salvation Army at that time and to receive such a public acknowledgement from a sitting U.S. President. I imagine as a public relations professional for the Army, it would have been exhilarating and humbling. And even though the declaration may seem dated and dusty, we can still take advantage of it to celebrate the work of The Salvation Army, especially here locally, and those volunteers, donors, & supporters who have been part of the Army’s journey since the start.
“Five Days of Facts” – National Salvation Army Week 2023
Day 1 – May 15 History of National Salvation Army Week – began in 1954
Day 2 – May 16 The First Red Kettle – San Francisco in 1891
Day 3 – May 17 History & Founders of The Salvation Army beginning in 1865 & in US in 1880
Day 4 – May 18 The Salvation Army today worldwide & recently impacting in and around Ukraine
Day 5 – May 19 Our local Decatur Salvation Army since 1888