The Salvation Army of Austin Ready for Storm Response


Volunteer, Randy O'Dell leads the Salvation Army Austin disaster services canteen and volunteer team

AUSTIN, TX (May 11, 2015) – Even as storms continue to threaten the region, The Salvation Army Austin Area Command has a disaster response team and mobile feeding unit (canteen) ready to respond should they be needed. The State Operations Center in Austin has been activated and a Salvation Army Liaison is at the center and available to coordinate with other State Agencies and Voluntary Agencies in multiple response efforts.

Across the State of Texas The Salvation Army is providing care in multiple locations which have sustained damage due to tornadoes and flooding in the last several days.

You can support the work of The Salvation Army in Travis and Williamson Counties by making a donation or by volunteering. Please visit, call (512) 634-5902, or mail your donation to PO Box 1000, Austin, Texas 78767. Please follow us at, and for additional information.


The Salvation Army Response Across the State of Texas

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Philip Burn, Communications Director: (214) 956-6243

The Salvation Army Provides Critical Services to Multiple Communities in North Texas Following Severe Weather

Dallas, TX (May 11, 2015) – After a weekend of damaging weather in North Texas, including tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, high winds and flash flooding, The Salvation Army is providing assistance in several communities and stands ready to respond across the state. The State Operations Center in Austin has been activated and a Salvation Army Liaison has been available to coordinate with other State Agencies and Voluntary Agencies in multiple response efforts.

Sunday, May 10, saw response from Salvation Army disaster teams in Abilene, Corsicana, and Tyler. The Abilene Corps was called to provide assistance in Cisco, Texas by the local emergency management agency at 9:00 AM. Staff provided emotional and spiritual care, meals, hydration and snacks to first responders and survivors. The disaster canteen (mobile kitchen) remained on the scene on Monday morning and will stay as long as necessary.

In Corsicana, The Salvation Army was requested to open an emergency shelter by the local Fire Chief at 10:00 PM. The Corsicana Corps provided shelter, snacks and emotional and spiritual care for 16 people following extensive flooding in the area and remain on stand by for this evening. “We opened up the Fellowship Hall as a shelter after receiving the call to help,” said Sgt. Toby Romack, Corps Officer in Corsicana. “There were a number of stranded motorists who had been caught on flooded roads and several other people who were flooded out of their homes and had nowhere else to go. The Salvation Army is here to provide help to those in our community when they need us most.”

A tornado struck the East Texas city of Van late on Sunday evening destroying several homes and forcing some residents to evacuate due to a gas leak. The Salvation Army in nearby Tyler has activated its mobile kitchen and is providing support to first responders and survivors in Van.

With the continued threat of severe weather forecast for the upcoming week The Salvation Army remains on standby and ready to respond where needed.

If you are interested in learning more about The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) in Texas, or to become a local disaster volunteer, please visit:

For the most up-to-date emergency disaster services news from The Salvation Army in Texas, please visit: and follow latest updates on Twitter @SalArmyTXEDS and Facebook at

About The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services
“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 Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.” While every disaster is unique and creates its own special needs, the core of The Salvation Army’s disaster program consists of several basic services. And while these services address many of the typical needs of a disaster survivor, Salvation Army disaster relief is also flexible. Our services are adapted to the specific needs of individuals and communities and scalable according to the magnitude of the disaster.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 126 years in the Austin area. Locally more than 400,000 people receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, to relief for disaster victims, rehabilitation for the addicted, clothing and shelter to those experiencing homelessness and case management to help people move from crisis to stability. Eighty-two cents of every dollar The Salvation Army Austin spends is used to support those services in Travis and Williamson Counties. For more information, go to, and


The Salvation Army “Doing the Most Good” Luncheon Raises More than $190,000


Lt. Colonels Henry and Dorris Gonzalez pose with Grammy-award-winning luncheon entertainer Michael W. Smith and event co-chairs Sherry McGillicuddy and Regan Morton along with Regan’s daughter, Samantha.


April 30, 2015

Jan Gunter,
Communications and Community Relations Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Direct: 512.634.5910 Cell: 512.944-0572

Local celebrity Emcee Bob Cole and Grammy Award winning Musician Michael W. Smith Lead Crowd of 500 in Supporting Neediest in Area

AUSTIN, TX (April 29, 2015) – From the crisp and genuine opening by Texas Hall of Fame’s Bob Cole to the final number by Grammy award-winning performer, Michael W. Smith – who left the crowd wanting more – The Salvation Army “Doing the Most Good” Luncheon, underwritten by the Cain Foundation, was a crowd pleaser. More than 500 supporters filled the Hyatt Regency Zilker Ballroom April 24, enjoyed music from the world-renowned Harbor Light Choir and The Salvation Army Texas Divisional Band, heard compelling client stories and raised more than $190,000 – a 23% increase over last year’s luncheon – to support programs that provide basic needs services in Travis and Williamson Counties.

Event chairs, Sherry McGillicuddy and daughter, Regan Morton, highlighted the high demand for services and invited attendees to “open the eyes of their hearts” to the needs of those in our community. Emcee Cole pointed to the reality that donations raised locally support local needs and noted that there were 367 women and children on the call-back list for shelter at the time of the luncheon, underscoring the growing need for funding and support from the Austin area community.

The lunch crowd was moved by two local recipients of Salvation Army services. Tarrytown United Methodist Church Pastor, Rev. Bobbi Kaye Jones shared Kimberly B.’s dramatic story. Kimberly lost one of her two jobs which caused her to get behind on rent and quickly led to eviction for her and her three children. That’s when she came to The Salvation Army Austin Shelter for Women and Children. Kimberly and her children received the hope and support they needed to eventually get back into a place of their own. Today Kimberly works as a security guard and pursues her culinary arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Academy and her children have laughter in their lives again. Kimberly dreams of having her own restaurant where one day a week she will serve those experiencing homelessness.

Bob Cole of KOKE FM shared the story of Clayton S. who found himself on the doorsteps of The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) when his addictions had become too much for him to bear. He was broken, homeless and in despair, and through the free rehabilitation program supported 100% by Salvation Army Family Store sales, Clayton says he has “learned how to be a father, to commit to things, to be a man of my word. I get to be the father that my father never was.” He says, “I’d like to give back that hope that was given to me … when I see people on the street corner I can tell them I know what they’re going through and there is a place that can help.”

“We are honored to have the generous support of many leaders in the Austin community,” reflected Lt. Colonel Henry Gonzalez, The Salvation Army Austin Area Commander. “For 126 years we have been meeting human needs in the Austin area through the generosity of our local supporters. This support is helping us build a foundation for the future as we work hard to keep up with the growing needs of the most vulnerable people in Travis and Williamson Counties.”

Luncheon Photos

As they arrived at the luncheon, supporters were entertained with live music from The Harbor Light Choir from Houston and then from the Salvation Army Texas Divisional Band which included a number of local musicians. Michael W. Smith’s piano-playing and singing delighted the guests, as many people had come specifically to hear him perform songs such as “Open the Eyes of My Heart” and “Place in This World” which he dedicated to the two Salvation Army clients who were in attendance and whose stories were shared at the luncheon. Those at the Meet and Greet prior to the luncheon were also able to snap a keepsake photo with him. (See luncheon photos here:

You Can Support the Work of The Salvation Army

You can support the work of The Salvation Army in Travis and Williamson Counties by making a donation or by volunteering. Please visit, call (512) 634-5902, or mail your donation to PO Box 1000, Austin, Texas 78767.


Pray for Nepal - Salvation Army Relief Efforts

The Salvation Army Responds to Devastating Earthquake in Nepal

Pray for Nepal - Salvation Army Relief Efforts

April 27, 2015 – 12:40 PM EDT

Lora Marini Baker
(206) 310-5708
Alexandria, VA (April 26, 2015)- The Salvation Army is mobilizing emergency response personnel and supplies after a devastating 7.8-magnitude Earthquake in Nepal that flattened homes and buildings, causing widespread damage across the region and killing more than 2,000 people.

“We are initiating a response to meet basic, urgent needs with shelter, food, water, and other necessary relief items. We ask supporters to please pray for the people of Nepal,” said Lieutenant Colonel William Mockabee, Director of The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO).

Donate Now

“Donations from the generous public will help provide basic necessities that survivors desperately need right now,” said Lt. Colonel Ron Busroe, The Salvation Army’s National Community Relations and Development Secretary. “But the effects of this tragedy will be felt for months – even years. We know that emotional and spiritual counseling is equally important for survivors to deal with the gravity of the situation.”

Monetary donations are the most critical need for survivors. The Salvation Army has set up a designated fund where 100 percent of gifts go to relief efforts in Nepal. There are three ways to donate to the fund:

1. Online at:
2. By phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)
3. By mail: Send your check marked “Nepal Earthquake” to Salvation Army World Service Office, 615 Slaters Lane, Alexandria, VA 22314

At this time, The Salvation Army is not accepting in-kind donations from the general public for disaster relief operations in Nepal. It is more efficient for disaster relief agencies to purchase needed resources locally, for immediate distribution with the disaster area. The best way for U.S. donors to help earthquake survivors is to make a cash donation.

Media Contact (Northwest):
Lora Marini Baker, The Salvation Army
206.217.1280 office / 206.310.5708 cell


Doing the Most Good Luncheon 2015 Photos

Here are just a few of the many photos taken by Licarione Photography at the 2015 Doing the Most Good Luncheon. If you would like a print quality version of a photo, please email Jan Gunter at, and she will be happy to send you what you need.

Photo Gallery

EZCORP volunteer works alongside Lt. Colonel Dorris Gonzalez, Associate Area Commander of Salvation Army Austin

EZCORP Volunteers Provide Shelter Facelift

More than 150 volunteers from EZCORP came to The Salvation Army Downtown Shelter March 26-27 to provide a much-needed facelift to three spaces in the shelter: the learning center, laundry room and Safe Sleep Program area. In addition to the volunteer efforts, EZCORP donated $16,000 in supplies including new flooring, paint, furniture and computers. See photo gallery below for some “before” photos, some volunteers in action and some “after” photos.

The Salvation Army is grateful for the dedicated work of these EZCORP volunteers for taking time to brighten this heavily used shelter. The newly updated spaces provide a cheery welcome to more than 242 people who call this shelter “home” each night of the year.

Click here to see the full press release of this fantastic project.



EZCORP Volunteer Project to Update Salvation Army Shelter

EZCORP to Bring 150 Volunteers, and Donate $16,000 to The Salvation Army


AUSTIN, TX (March 25, 2015) – Through a massive volunteer project, Austin-based EZCORP will provide a much-needed facelift to three areas of The Salvation Army Downtown Shelter on March 26 and 27, 2015. The Salvation Army Downtown Shelter provides emergency shelter, hot meals and support services for more than 250 people each night, many of whom are families.

The two-day volunteer blitz includes a complete transformation of the laundry room and learning  center, as well as fresh paint for the Safe Sleep area. Projects include cleaning; painting walls and ceilings; installing new flooring; assembling new furniture; installing  donated TV’s, furniture and computers; making blankets; preparing welcome bags for new families in the shelter; and preparing hygiene bags for shelter residents.

EZCORP’s executive team and corporate office staff will join Lt. Colonels Henry and Dorris Gonzalez, Area Commanders of The Salvation Army Austin, in updating the 27-year-old facility. EZCORP has donated $16,000 of supplies and furniture toward the effort, and 150 EZCORP volunteers will work in teams to complete projects.

“We are very grateful that EZCORP has chosen to work with The Salvation Army to help make this shelter a more welcoming place to those experiencing homelessness,” said Lt. Colonel Dorris Gonzalez, Associate Area Commander for The Salvation Army Austin. “Thanks to active community involvement and generosity like this, we are able to continue our mission of serving those among us who are in greatest need.”  

EZCORP has a long history of serving local community needs through financial support, volunteering and fundraising at 1,400 store locations in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. EZCORP supports families in the neighborhoods where their customers and team members live and work. Since 2010, EZCORP has invested $3.9 million in their store communities.

“We are pleased to partner with The Salvation Army to update the Downtown Shelter to better serve the needs of more than 250 people who rely on the Shelter each night. One of our core values is ‘leadership is service’, and we are proud to bring together our corporate employees to support this critical need in our community,” says Hannah Nokes, Director of Community Affairs, EZCORP.

For more information about The Salvation Army in Austin or to make a donation, go to or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.


About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 126 years in the Austin area. More than 400,000 receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children.  Eighty two cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to, and

EZCORP is a leader in delivering easy cash solutions to our customers across channels, products, services and markets. With over 7,000 team members and approximately 1,400 locations and branches, we give our customers multiple ways to access instant cash, including pawn loans and consumer loans in the United States, Mexico and Canada, and fee-based credit services to customers seeking loans. At our pawn and buy/sell stores and online, we also sell merchandise, primarily collateral forfeited from pawn lending operations and used merchandise purchased from customers. For more information, visit


Jamille Ruebsahm, development director for The Salvation Army Austin, with her son, "Little Man"

What happens when you do not have a village?

By Jamille Ruebsahm

Jamille Ruebsahm, development director for The Salvation Army Austin, with her son, "Little Man"

Click the image above to donate to Jamille’s Amplify Austin fundraising page

My Busy Morning

This morning I woke up at 5:45 am. Not unusual but this morning was particularly busy because I was scheduled for an early morning live radio interview. The topic of the interview was Amplify Austin, the 24-hour online giving event and the LAST thing I needed this morning was to be late. I woke, reviewed my talking points for a radio interview, showered, prepared breakfast to-go for my son and me (I’m seven and a half months pregnant so coffee only doesn’t cut it at this point!) took the dog out, gave the dog food and his medicine, showered, dressed, hair and makeup, woke my son, “Little Man”, dressed him as he was waking up, had the repeated discussion of yes he had to wear shoes and socks and yes he had to wear long sleeves because it was cold outside, grabbed all of our supplies for our one-hour outing and we were all buckled and in the car by 6:30am.

I was headed to KOKE FM for a radio interview to share about The Salvation Army and our role in Amplify Austin. I had to bring Little Man with me because my husband, Ryan, was out of town and our nanny couldn’t arrive that early. So earlier in the week, I had called Peggy McCormick of KOKE FM and asked if she would be willing to hang out with Little Man when I was on the air. Little Man and I arrived, got upstairs, met Peggy, and I went on air with Bob Cole and the morning show. Immediately following the segment on KOKE, I was headed back to meet our nanny, leave Little Man with her, and head into the office.

All of this early morning work of getting myself ready, getting Little Man up, dressed, fed and ready, and pre-planning his care for the morning, suddenly made me realize the truth of how it really does take a village to raise a child – or to do anything important! I am blessed to have a strong support system and to have resources to help her take care of my son – and myself

Will you be her village?

I then thought of another woman who is expecting a baby, like me, has a three-year-old and doesn’t even know where her next meal is coming from. Who supports her? Who is a part of her village? How does she take care of the sweet child she already has and take care of herself and her precious unborn child? This literally stopped me in my tracks and brought tears to my eyes.

We all need a village. We all deserve a village. We all ARE that village. The Salvation Army is that village. You are that village. I was inspired, as I tend to be daily, of how much need there is in our community and how those of us that are blessed have the privilege of supporting those that are in a moment of need.

When you donate today to The Salvation Army through Amplify Austin, your donation becomes part of the village for this mother whom you will never meet. AND your donation will be doubled up to a total of $30,000 through the generosity of a local donor.

Jamille Ruebsahm is the Development Director at the Salvation Army Austin Area Command. She is a proud wife and mother of one with another one on the way. If you want to hear Jamille’s radio interview and SINGING (!) with Bob Cole from this morning, just click this link, and enjoy!

Cory Morrow - Rock the Red Kettle 2014 for The Salvation Army Austin

Rock the Red Kettle ATX

See Rock the Red Kettle 2016 Here

Rock the Red Kettle 2014 Photos by Margaret Licarione

Click here to read the recap of Rock the Red Kettle 2014.

Salvation Army Downtown Shelter Austin

The Salvation Army provides cold weather shelter


Salvation Army Downtown Shelter Austin

Just when we were getting used to sunny and warm days in Austin, we have suddenly been plunged back into winter again. For most of us, that probably means digging out the coats, scarves and gloves, making sure the kids are warm before they head out the door, and perhaps grumbling about having to scrape a little ice off the windshield. Sometimes we might even promise we won’t complain so much about the endless heat later in the year.

For those in our community who are experiencing homelessness, however, it is quite a different story. On a night like tonight, sleeping outside in the bitter cold can be life-threatening. Even if you had a stack of warm blankets, it’s not possible to pile up enough blankets to keep out the chill.

That’s why The Salvation Army teams up with other local public and private groups to provide cold weather shelter  to ensure that no one has to sleep outside in the cold. This collaboration, managed by Front Steps and the City of Austin Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, is prepared to provide shelter for up to 395 additional people each night in local participating churches and recreation centers. Together we are working to ensure that no one has to sleep outside in the cold.

The Salvation Army provides additional space for families on these cold nights – with mats in our chapel. The mothers and children are the hidden homeless – often finding a relative’s or neighbor’s couch to sleep on until they can get into shelter or into their own space. The Salvation Army is there for those families who have no place to go, providing safety, warmth and food.

So while you are snuggled in your warm house tonight, give thanks for your own cold weather shelter. And say a prayer for those mothers and children who are out in the cold, that they will find their way to shelter on this cold night. If you’d like to help provide warmth and shelter for these families, please make a secure donation today or make a donation to The Salvation Army through Amplify Austin. We thank you for your love, prayers and financial support.


Order you Mangia heart shaped pizza now, and one dollar will be donated to The Salvation Army

Heart Shaped Valentines Pizzas Benefit The Salvation Army

Order you Mangia heart shaped pizza now, and one dollar will be donated to The Salvation Army


Order Your Heart Shaped Pizza Today

Looking for Valentine ideas for your special someone, family or friends? Now you can help The Salvation Army Austin by telling your Valentine “I Love You” in the cheesiest way we know how – with heart shaped Valentines pizzas! Mangia Pizza is taking orders January 27 through February 14 for heart shaped pizzas. Pre-order one today for your Valentine by calling Mangia Pizza at Gracy Farms, 512-832-5550, or on Mesa Drive, 512-349-2126. You can order your pizza half baked so you can finish it at home, or fully baked and ready to eat.

Half-baked and fully baked heart shaped pizzas will only be available Thursday, February 12 through Saturday, February 14 until 9:30 pm for dine in, delivery or pickup. So don’t wait until the last minute, call Mangia Pizza and pre-order your heart shaped pizzas now!

Your Cheesy Valentine Gift Will Help Families in Need

Not only will you be a hit with your Valentine, but you’ll be supporting The Salvation Army and helping do the most good for our community since Mangia Pizza will donate $1 to The Salvation Army in Austin for every Heart Shaped Pizza Sold! Mangia Pizza’s goal is to donate $1,000 to help people like Roxanne get a new start at The Salvation Army through this campaign. Every dollar makes a difference, and these donations stay local to help women, children and men on their journey toward a more stable future.

So go ahead, order some pizza for your Valentine, and know that you’re helping a family have hope for a better future! Don’t like pizza but want to help anyway? It’s easy to donate now and help folks like the ones in this video.