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.


Albert Einstein with The Salvation Army Band before the Rose Parade in 1931

Austin Salvation Army band in international video montage

The Salvation Army International Headquarters produced a compilation video of Salvation Army music groups around the world playing “O Little Town of Bethlehem” to the tune of “Met in Thee”. Of course the Live Music Capital of the world was included. The Austin Salvation Army band from the Citadel Corps is the second group featured, and the only one from the United States.

Ben Kazda - Volunteer of the Month Banner

Volunteer of the Month – Ben Kazda

Ben Kazda - Volunteer of the Month Banner

It’s More Than a Tip

Ben Kazda challenges all of his bartender and service industry friends to donate your tips and raise money for The Salvation Army or other charity. And he’ll be at The Dig Pub in Cedar Park, Texas, on December 8th by donating all his tips to The Salvation Army Austin for Christmas gifts for teens living in emergency shelters. Help him reach his goal of $5,000!

Last year Ben raised $3,800. The bar was packed with people and his goal was $1,500. Volunteering his talents and giving to charity is something near and dear to Ben because of the way he grew up. He would like to see other people come out and do the same thing this year.

Thank you Ben for wanting to help teenager’s in need of a fulfilling Christmas and making that dream come true.


Randall’s In-Store Kettle Campaign



The miracle of Christmas is repeated each year through the joy of caring and sharing. You can help make this holiday season brighter for someone less fortunate by donating to The Salvation Army at your neighborhood Randalls’ stores. Simply scan your Red Kettle donation as you check out! Thank you for joining us in Doing the Most Good.


angel tree boy featured image

Today is Giving Tuesday!

#GivingTuesday - The Salvation Army Austin

After remembering all there is to be thankful for and braving black Friday sales and cyber Monday deals to find gifts for our loved ones, today we can be a part of a growing tradition of generosity – Giving Tuesday! Giving Tuesday is a global campaign dedicated to giving back during the holiday season.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Last Christmas,  The Salvation Army provided gifts to 6,800 children through Angel Tree. We also provided special holiday meals for hundreds of people. The Salvation Army is the largest provider of basic needs services – including food and safe shelter – to those experiencing homelessness in the Austin area.

Money donated in Austin, stays in Austin. Your generosity helped us serve more than 400,000 people in 2015. That means your donation could help impact the lives of 1,100 people in the Austin area per day.

How to Give

Donate now, or drop your donation into one of our Red Kettles from now through Christmas Eve at stores across Williamson and Travis counties. Tell us why you’re giving to the Salvation Army today on Facebook or Twitter, and use the hashtag #GivingTuesday.


Salvation Army Red Kettle

Kick Off Holiday Fundraising Campaign

Austin Metropolitan Area Command Contact:

November 25, 2014 Jan Gunter,
Communications and Community Relations Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Direct: 512.634.5910 Cell: 512.944-0572

The Salvation Army to Kick Off Holiday Fundraising Campaign

Red Kettle Kickoff at Rock the Red Kettle Concert Launches Season of Holiday Giving

AUSTIN, TX (November 25, 2014) – The Salvation Army of Austin is announcing an ambitious $2.5 million holiday fundraising goal in conjunction with the launch of its annual Red Kettle campaign Sunday, November 30, at the Rock the Red Kettle Concert at Midnight Rodeo presented by KOKE FM and featuring Cory Morrow and friends. The event will begin at 5:00 p.m. with a family area complete with Santa Claus and activities, with musical performances set to begin at 6:00 p.m. At 8:00 p.m., KOKE FM personality Bob Cole will be on hand along with Cory Morrow, local philanthropist John Paul DeJoria and Lt. Colonel Henry Gonzalez, The Salvation Army Austin Area Commander, to ring the first ceremonial bells for 2014.

“Giving back is so important, and I am looking forward to kicking off the iconic Red Kettle Campaign and getting those bells ringing across the Austin area to help families and children in need,” said KOKE FM owner Bob Cole. “The Salvation Army has been helping people in need in Austin for 125 years, and KOKE FM is honored to support their good work for the people of Austin and surrounding areas.”

The $2.5 million goal represents an increase over last year’s holiday giving in the Austin area reflecting the increase in requests for assistance in 2014. On average 400 women and children are on The Salvation Army wait list for emergency shelter each day. Local donations from the Red Kettle campaign stay in Travis and Williamson counties and support The Salvation Army’s social service efforts throughout the year. These programs benefit more than 400,000 people locally each year, including providing more than 480,000 meals and thousands of nights in safe shelter. More than 300 people sleep in local Salvation Army emergency shelters each night and are provided with case management to help them move from crisis to stability.

“The Red Kettle campaign runs from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve,” said Colonel Gonzalez. “Through the generous support of our community we are able to serve Travis and Williamson counties’ most vulnerable people and ensure that they have a warm, secure place to sleep, hot food to eat and hope for a better tomorrow.”

The Rock the Red Kettle Concert will be at Midnight Rodeo Austin at 2201 E. Ben White Boulevard. For tickets and details, visit SalvationArmyAUSTIN.org.

The Salvation Army Red Kettles will be placed in front of stores across the area, and community members are invited to volunteer to ring the bell and even create their own virtual Red Kettle at OnlineRedKettle.org. To volunteer as a bell ringer, visit the volunteer page of the website. Supporters may also donate at SalvationArmyAUSTIN.org or by mailing a gift to The Salvation Army at P.O. Box 1000, Austin, TX 78767.

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 125 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. 82 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 www.SalvationArmyAUSTIN.org. Facebook.com/SalvationArmyAustin, Twitter.com/SalArmyAustin and Instagram.com/SalArmyAustin


Get ready for Giving Tuesday!



Giving Tuesday is on its way!

After remembering all there is to be thankful for and braving black Friday sales and cyber Monday deals to find gifts for our loved ones, on Tuesday, December 2, we can be a part of a growing tradition of generosity – Giving Tuesday!

Impact the lives of people right here in Austin.

Our holiday events and services will bring Christmas gifts to thousands of children who may not otherwise have them. We’ll be able to serve holiday meals to hundreds of people this Christmas, and provide thousands of gifts to children and families through the Angel Tree.

The Salvation Army in Austin is one of the largest providers of basic needs services to those experiencing homelessness in Austin. Your donation to the Salvation Army can help us feed and shelter more than 400,000 people in need this year. Your gift will ensure that children can be warm, safe and well-nourished.

boy opening gifts - The Salvation Army Angel TreeSalArmy Angel Tree

Donate at a Red Kettle or Online

Donate now, or drop your donation into one of our Red Kettles from now through Christmas Eve outside stores across Williamson and Travis counties. When you give on Giving Tuesday, use the hashtag #GivingTuesday on FacebookTwitter  or Instagram to let people know you’re joining the Salvation Army in giving joy, hope, and peace this Christmas.

volunteer bell ringer