KOKE FM Presents Rock the Red Kettle Austin

For 2016 Rock the Red Kettle ATX, Click Here.

Rock the Red Kettle Austin presented by KOKE FM

KOKE FM Presents Rock the Red Kettle Concert to Benefit The Salvation Army of Austin

Headliner Cory Morrow and Guest Speaker John Paul Dejoria Highlight the Event

AUSTIN, TX (November 14, 2014) – Musicians will soon band together to Do the Most Good for the Live Music Capital of the World’s locals in need. KOKE FM announces the first Austin Rock the Red Kettle Concert, a night of feel-good music on November 30, benefiting the local Salvation Army serving the growing number of women and children who are experiencing homelessness in the Austin area. The concert will feature country music artist Cory Morrow, as well as other artists to include Shane Smith, John Baumann, Owen Temple, Carter Beckworth and The Rankin Twins, who will perform in the benefit concert at Midnight Rodeo.

It all started with Morrow, who is passionate about helping others in our community, especially women and children in Salvation Army Area shelters. Once other artists heard about the concert plans, the artist volunteer list started growing. Things didn’t end there though, In addition to the musician star power, the event will include the kickoff of the annual Salvation Army Red Kettle fundraising campaign with Texas Hall of Fame’s Bob Cole as emcee and local icon John Paul DeJoria sharing the moving story of when his support of The Salvation Army first started, as well as Major League Baseball players planning to be onsite to sign autographs!

“KOKE FM is proud to bring this concert to Austin,” says Bob Cole, owner of KOKE FM. “We want to shine a light on the growing number of women and children experiencing homelessness in this community. No one does more to help these women and children than The Salvation Army.”

Top-of-the-bill performer Morrow is Texas born and bred and is a regular on the Texas country music scene. “The Salvation Army helps those who need it most,” Morrow says. “I’m honored to be a part of this 125-year tradition of doing the most good to the most people in the most need right here in Central Texas.”

“We are proud of the heritage and 125 year history of The Salvation Army in Texas,” said Lt. Colonel Henry Gonzalez, The Salvation Army Commander of the Austin Area. “If going to a great concert is good, then going to a great concert and also supporting women and children who are homeless in our community is doing the most good.”

Tickets for this family-friendly evening are $12, and free for kids 12 and under. The family area will be open at 5:00 pm including photos with Santa, face painting and crafts along with music by The Salvation Army band. Cory Morrow and friends take the stage at 6:00 pm. Barbecue plates will be available for purchase. A silent auction will include Major League Baseball and Texas Red Dirt Music memorabilia.

Visit KOKEFM.com or SalvationArmyAUSTIN.org to purchase tickets or to learn more about all programs serving our local community. People who are not able to attend the concert can donate online and find many holiday volunteer opportunities at SalvationArmyAUSTIN.org.

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. 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. 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.


KOKE-FM (99.3 and 98.5 FM and AM 1490) is Austin’s Country Alternative and the flagship station of the Austin Radio Network, which includes The Horn 104.9. The Fringe 105.3 and The Word AM 1260. KOKE FM can trace its roots the original KOKE that gave rise to the Outlaw Country movement of the early 70’s with names like Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings.  The current incarnation went on the air July 9, 2012 with long time Austin radio hosts Bob Cole and Eric Raines.

NHHAW National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week 2014

NHHAW National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is held each year the week before Thanksgiving. This is a time for us all to start to think about what we are thankful for, and a perfect time to share our compassion with our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness.

This year, National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week is November 15-23, 2014.

The Salvation Army Austin is participating in National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week not only to bring greater awareness to our community, but also to help to promote the national endeavor to end hunger and homelessness. The plight of those without a home, or those living in poverty, can be both lonely and difficult.

Women and Children Experiencing Homelessness

Did you know that more than 65% of the people The Salvation Army Austin serves who are experiencing homelessness are women and children? Women and children are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in our community.

Below are two ways that you can make a difference for these women and children – and others in our community during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.

Please consider sharing your efforts on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, using #NHHAW and tag @SalArmyAustin or Facebook.com/SalvationArmyAustin.

Diaper Drive for the Homeless

The public is invited to donate diapers for families who are experiencing homelessness. Diapers can be donated at The Salvation Army Downtown Shelter and Social Services Center at 501 East Eighth Street on Thursday, November 20, from 9 am to 4:30 pm. OR donate at any of the four Salvation Army Family Stores in Austin or Round Rock on Thursday, November 20. See our Family Store page for locations and store hours: http://bit.ly/FamilyStore . Each person who donates will receive a coupon to our Austin Salvation Army Family Stores.

Food Drive for the Hungry

Wolf Ranch Chick-Fil-A in Georgetown will be accepting donations of canned goods all day Monday, November 17 for The Salvation Army food pantry in Williamson County. Those who donate three cans of food will receive a free Chick-Fil-A sandwich. A special family time from 5-7 pm will include a visit by the Chick-Fil-A Cow and the Baby Cow along with a performance by The Salvation Army brass band.

10 Reasons featured image

10 Reasons to be a Volunteer Bell Ringer this Christmas!

by Emily Alvarado
Sign up to be a volunteer bell ringer this Christmas!

We need you this Red Kettle season

This year’s annual Red Kettle campaign starts November 26th and we need you to be a volunteer bell ringer! Red Kettles have been a trademark of the Salvation Army for more than 100 years. Christmas shopping wouldn’t be the same without the greeting of a Salvation Army bell ringer. It’s one of the many traditions that make Christmas special – for us, and for those who will benefit when we drop our donation in the Red Kettle. Learn more about how you can get involved here.

10 Reasons you should be a Bell Ringer this Christmas

 1. It’s fun! This is a great way to celebrate the holiday season. You get to be right in the midst of the holiday bustle. Get creative – dress up, sing songs, bring your friends!

2. You’ll spread Christmas cheer. The Red Kettle bell is an iconic sound of the season. You’ll put people in the Christmas spirit! If you’re up for it, you can even use the time to check caroling off your list of festivities.

3. You’ll be part of changing lives. The Salvation Army in Austin provides food, clothing, shelter and other social services to those in need. Last year the Salvation Army served more than 400,000 people – that’s about 1,100 a day.

4. The money you raise directly impacts your community. All donations made in Austin stay in Austin. The Salvation Army is the largest provider of basic needs services to those experiencing homelessness in Williamson and Travis Counties. By helping raise funds through a Red Kettle, you’re a neighbor helping neighbors.

5. It’s easy! No experience required. It takes as little as two hours on a Saturday. Sign up here!

6. It’s the perfect opportunity to wear a tacky Christmas sweater. After hanging in your closet all year, it’s time for the annual debut. Dressing up makes bell ringing more fun, and might get some extra smiles out of Christmas shoppers.

7. “Make new friends, and keep the old.” You’ll get to meet lots of new people as you invite them to donate to your red kettle. Add to the fun by asking friends and family to ring a bell with you. You can even make it a new tradition!

8. Channel your competitive side. For you goal-oriented types, it’s easy to see how your work is paying off as your Red Kettle fills up! See how many people you can convince to give to your Red Kettle.

9. Take advantage of the cool winter air! It doesn’t stick around for long. Dust off those winter coats and sip on some cider or hot cocoa.

10. Be part of a legacyThe Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign has been a Christmas tradition since 1891. Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee set out a kettle to raise funds to feed the hungry in San Francisco. Now Red Kettles can be found all over the world in places like Japan, Chile and countries in Europe.

Ring a bell for Red Kettle this Christmas!

Red Kettle Season is Almost Here!

by Emily Alvarado

Ring a bell for Red Kettle this Christmas!

Red Kettle 2014

The 2014 Red Kettle campaign kicks off soon. It begins November 26th and goes through Christmas Eve.

This year marks the 124th year of The Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign. Last year donors across the country gave almost $136 million, which provided more than 30 million people with food, shelter and social services. Donors in Austin raised $229,000, which helped serve more than 400,000 people in Travis and Williamson Counties.

Holiday donations make up the majority of funds used to provide services to people in Austin year round. Red Kettles make change happen, so this year the Salvation Army needs your help.

Four Ways to Get Involved

1. Drop a donation in one of the Salvation Army’s Red Kettles at stores or companies across Austin between November 26th and Christmas Eve.

2. Sign up to be a volunteer Bell Ringer! Make a difference by giving just two hours on a Saturday. You can sign up with friends and family, and throw on your favorite ugly Christmas sweater! Check out our bell ringer page for more information.

3. Spread the word! Tell people why you’re giving to a Red Kettle this Christmas. Use the hashtag #RedKettleReason. See what others are saying, and join the conversation at RedKettleReason.org.

4. Host your own Red Kettle – online! Use email and social media to invite friends and family to donate. You can sign up individually or with a team. Start your online Kettle now: OnlineRedKettle.org.

Salvation Army Red Kettle


Roxanne Strong at The Salvation Army Austin

The Salvation Army Gave Roxanne a Place to Start

by Mary Rosewood

“I’m just so grateful to the Lord. I’m grateful to The Salvation Army. The Salvation Army gave me a place to start.”

Roxanne Strong at The Salvation Army Austin - A Place to Start

“Salvation Army, where we’re doing the most good. How may I direct your call?”

Roxanne cheerfully answers the phone at the downtown Austin shelter with these words. When a person in crisis walks through our shelter doors asking for help, Roxanne is the first calm, caring person they meet at The Salvation Army. She stays busy: filling out paperwork for new clients entering the shelter, creating badges for them, answering questions, providing directions, giving out sack lunches, handing over the clipboard for laundry sign-up.

“I am proud to have this real, normal job. I work for The Salvation Army, Monday through Friday from six to three,” Roxanne says.

“I love my job. I LOVE it. I love it,” she adds. “I’m right in the hub of the building. It seems like everybody comes to me for all kinds of help. I try to encourage clients. My experience might be the one thing that helps that person or gives them some strength to go on.”

Grateful for Her Job

Roxanne does not take having a job for granted.

“It was the bottom of bottom” is how Roxanne describes her life in 2007 when she arrived at the shelter after spending ten years as a homeless drug addict.

At age 15, Roxanne began smoking marijuana. Within two years she was using cocaine and speed, then smoking crack.

As her addiction tightened its grip, Roxanne walked out on her six children, thinking that she was protecting them. But this decision led to years of living in cheap hotels, sometimes on the street, then in the woods.

Roxanne struggled to be sober. She tried different treatment centers. She attended Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Cocaine Anonymous. The programs would work for a while, but she just wasn’t getting what she needed.

One day she ran into her now-grown son; unsure of what his mother might do, he stayed in the car and showed Roxanne her one-month-old granddaughter through the window.

“I had been praying and praying and praying for God to help me find some kind of direction to get out of that mess,” Roxanne says. “And at that moment, I felt like that was my open door.”

Roxanne did not want her new granddaughter to experience what she had put her children through. She felt a strong need to go somewhere to straighten out her life so she could be a good grandmother.

Starting Over

“Literally, I just jumped on a bus,” Roxanne recalls. “I didn’t know where I was going, I had no clue I would end up at The Salvation Army. I had nothing with me, no clothes – nothing. I just kind of ended up there. I thought The Salvation Army was just some place you ate. When I got there, that’s when everything began to change for me.”

Over the next few months doors opened one after the other. Roxanne followed her caseworker’s suggestion to volunteer in The Salvation Army kitchen. Soon she was being paid for this work, and then promoted: dishwasher, kitchen assistant, cook. She hadn’t done honest work for sixteen years; she started to feel like a human being again.

“All I had to do was open myself up and be willing to do the next right thing,” Roxanne says. “Through The Salvation Army and through God, my entire life changed in a matter of months, I mean rapidly.”

Today Roxanne works as the ground floor receptionist at the downtown Austin shelter, a job she loves because she is able to share her story of hope with people coming in off the street.

Roxanne Strong interviewed by Lauren Petrowski of FOX 7 - A Place to Start Over

Roxanne had the opportunity to share her story with Lauren Petrowski of FOX 7 Austin last year.

The Blessing of Her Family

Now her children are in her life again, and she finds delight in spending time with her granddaughter. Her second grandchild was born in October, and Roxanne is delighted to be able to spend time with and enjoy her grandbabies.

“It is truly God’s miracle that my life is where it is today,” Roxanne says.

You can help people like Roxanne with your donation to The Salvation Army today. Click here to make a donation.

“What I am today, and who I am today, and what I have today has nothing to do with me, other than being willing to be open to what God has for me, what God’s plans are for me, and just stay sober. God is the one who keeps me sober, and he has allowed my life to be where it is today. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m just so grateful to the Lord. I’m grateful to The Salvation Army. The Salvation Army gave me a place to start.”


Thanks to freelance writer, Mary Rosewood, for writing this story. Mary enjoys capturing the stories of memorable people and events. Find her website at rainydayrose.com .

Be a Salvation Army Bell Ringer

Ring a bell at The Salvation Army red kettle

Volunteer to be a Salvation Army Bell Ringer this Christmas

You can help a lot of people simply by being a bell ringer. Every day people come to The Salvation Army for assistance in meeting the emergencies of life. By bell ringing at a Salvation Army “Red Kettle”, you can help raise the funds that are needed to provide these necessary services at Christmas and throughout the New Year. All donations stay right here in Travis and Williamson Counties, which make us simply neighbors helping neighbors ~ 365 days a year.

With as little as two hours of your time and the wonderful support from stores in Austin, Round Rock, Georgetown and Cedar Park, you can be part of our Salvation Army Bell Ringing Team! You can be a volunteer bell ringer on Saturdays from November 26 through December 24, or groups may sign up for weekdays or Saturdays at the following locations: The Domain, Barton Creek Square Mall, Lakeline Mall, Sam’s Club or Hobby Lobby at La Frontera, and Wolf Ranch in Georgetown.

Ring with a Group – Your Family, Church, Organization or Company

Encourage “Red Kettle Days” for your business, civic organization, church or neighborhood and make a difference in the lives of real people in our community. You can also be a virtual bell ringer and host your own on-line red kettle as a business or individual.

Virtual Bell Learn More copy

Back this year by popular demand are red kettle sponsorships where individuals, businesses or organizations can sponsor a Red Kettle for a day or more. You can also use our Paper Kettle program at the point of sale for your business and offer your customers a convenient way to donate to The Salvation Army, especially during the peak holiday season.

Sign up Today to be a Bell Ringer!

If you are interested in volunteer as a bell ringer, please see our red kettle volunteer opportunities or email Donna_Clendennen@USS.SalvationArmy.org. Volunteer bell ringer shifts will be added soon, and if you don’t see a shift on the volunteer page that works for you, check back soon because we will be adding more opportunities.

Recipe for Biscuitwiches for disaster

Try this Delicious Recipe from our Disaster Services Cookbook


Today we are sharing with you this blog post from The Salvation Army USA blog with a few local notes. Enjoy!

Disasters can strike suddenly, anytime and anywhere. While each event is unique and requires its own special response, the core of The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) program is targeted to meet the most basic needs such as food and shelter.

In the midst of almost every disaster you can spot a Salvation Army “canteen” (a “kitchen on wheels”) which provides and serves up to 1,500 meals a day for disaster survivors, first responders, and emergency personnel.

As part of Disaster Preparedness Month, we would like to share a delicious recipe from The Salvation Army’s EDS Cookbook.

Nothing says comfort more than a hardy breakfast. In the aftermath of a disaster, the relief of a hot familiar meal can help give the energy and comfort needed to get back on your feet. It’s hard to go wrong with eggs and cheese served between a warm biscuit!

Cheese ‘N Egg Bisciutwiches

6 eggs

1 TBSP   milk

1 TBSP chopped green pepper

1 American cheese slice

10-oz can buttermilk flakey biscuits

1/8 tsp pepper if desired

Heat oven to 400°. Prepare biscuits according to package directions. In medium bowl, combine egg, milk, green pepper and pepper; beat well. In large skillet, melt butter; stir in egg mixture. Cook until set but still moist, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Cut cheese into 20 triangles. Place biscuits on ungreased cookie sheet. Split each biscuit in half crosswise. Spoon eggs onto bottom ½ of biscuit. Top with 2 cheese triangles; replace top ½ of biscuit. Bake at 400° for 2-3 min. Or until cheese is melted. Serve right away.


September is Disaster Preparedness Month

September is disaster preparedness month. Is your family ready?

Governor Rick Perry has declared September as Disaster Preparedness Month in Texas. This coincides with National Preparedness Month across the United States.

Disasters in Texas

The Lone Star State encounters at least one major disaster nearly every calendar year. Texans regularly face floods, wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes and other severe weather. September is traditionally dangerous hurricane season along the Gulf Coast. It is time to get prepared.

We encourage everyone to assemble a disaster supply kit of important emergency supplies including a first aid kit, a NOAA Weather Radio or battery-operated radio, flashlight, medication, non-perishable food items, and bottled water. Be aware of where the nearest storm shelter is located, know where you and loved ones will go if an evacuation is necessary, and develop an emergency plan for communicating with family and friends.

The Salvation Army in Times of Disaster

The Salvation Army of Austin has an active emergency disaster services team in Williamson County – the only fully volunteer-led team in the State of Texas. We are working to build an active team in Travis County. We are currently recruiting volunteers for this team. Click here to learn how you can join our active disaster response team and make a difference for others during times of disaster. Join our team today.

For the latest emergency disaster services news, please visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org and follow latest updates on Twitter @SalArmyEDS. Interested parties may also visit www.salvationarmyAUSTIN.org, Facebook at www.facebook.com/SalvationArmyAustin, and follow us on Twitter @SalArmyAustin

For more information about Disaster Preparedness Month, please visit the following websites:

DoD Plays Key Role in Disaster Response, Official Says

TDEM website


The Salvation Army Family Store sign

Behind the scenes of the Family Stores

The Salvation Army Family Store sign

by Rebecca Reap, Intern
Photos by Teodora Pogonot

You’ve probably seen or heard of The Salvation Army Family Stores. You may have even shopped there to find pieces for a do-it-yourself project or costume. However, I doubt you know all that goes on behind the scenes of the Family Stores and the impact you have when you shop there!

As an intern here at The Salvation Army this summer, I toured the Family Store Warehouse and Adult Rehabilitation Center. It was an eye opening experience that showed me not only all the work that goes into each item being sold at the Family Stores but also the lives that are shaped and changed by every purchase.

Our tour began at the Adult Rehabilitation Center. Prior to this visit, I had no knowledge this Center existed let alone had anything to do with The Salvation Army and its Family Stores. I quickly learned it has everything to do with it! The Adult Rehabilitation Center is a center for men who have chosen to seek help in overcoming their addictions. On our tour we visited the dorm-like rooms where the men live during their treatment.

The men at the Adult Rehabilitation Center sleep in dorm-like rooms.

The men at the Adult Rehabilitation Center sleep in dorm-like rooms.

We stopped by classrooms where clients attend life skills classes and the library filled with a variety of books and a supply of blank greeting cards for them to write to their loved ones. Our tour guide planned to introduce us to a social worker, counselor, and chaplain who worked at the center but all three were in the midst of their duties, providing guidance to their clients.

Dining room of the Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) in Austin

Dining room of the Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) in Austin

Along the tour we visited the recreation room and dining area where we saw men busy at work, cleaning and cooking. Our guide explained to us that part of the program includes work therapy and these clients’ duties are to maintain these areas within the center. Outside, we saw where most clients are assigned to participate in work therapy – The Family Store Warehouse.

The Salvation Army Family Store Warehouse on South Congress in Austin.

The Salvation Army Family Store Warehouse on South Congress in Austin

Some load and unload items, sort and divide by “good condition, poor condition, needs repairs” and others inside the warehouse actually clean and refurbish items that are delivered.

I had assumed that when the community dropped off items, they were just sent to the nearest store but in fact, each item goes through a series of processes to make it as new and improved as possible. Some of the men working there rebuild chairs and furniture as well as polish and upholster it. Others repair bikes, electronics and jewelry, sorting and prioritizing sale of these items.

It was amazing to see all the people here, working together to build a better life for themselves and taking pride in their work, knowing that every item sold will go to helping them and others conquer their addictions. We ended our tour in a Salvation Army Family Store on South Congress Avenue.


Clothing in the Salvation Army Family Store on South Congress Avenue in Austin

Clothing in the Salvation Army Family Store on South Congress Avenue in Austin

It was quiet, shoppers strolling by, their eyes scanning the shelves and racks. The shoppers were unaware that every one of these items and their purchases are saving another person from a life of addiction.

My passion for The Salvation Army and my own work here has grown immensely since my visit. Not only will I be shopping at the Family Stores now that I know about the treasures inside, but, like the men at the ARC, I will take pride in what I do and remember that it is about more than just a store or a sale. It’s about helping another person and making a better life.


Learning to Give at a Young Age

Since the age of six, Kayla has been utilizing her birthday celebrations to collect gifts for charity.

Kayla is a part of the “small but growing group of children and teenagers who are engaging in charitable giving… at a time when most children their age are focused on sports, music or just themselves.” (Sullivan, The New York Times).

A few weeks ago Kayla Rogers celebrated her 12th birthday. Just like most kids her age, Kayla threw a party with friends, games, and gifts. However, the gifts her friends brought were not for her.

Kayla chose to collect and donate items to The Salvation Army Summer Camp Supply Drive. After hearing about the drive to help local children of homelessness and poverty from a family friend, Kayla prepared her party invitations, including a description of The Salvation Army, the purpose of the supply drive, and a list of items to be donated. Kayla, with the help of her friends, collected a number of sleeping bags, blankets, washcloths, toothbrushes, shampoo and deodorant, all to be donated to The Salvation Army. In the past, Kayla has donated items to the Williamson County Animal Shelter and a medical mission trip to Honduras in which her father and sister participated.


According to Paul Sullivan‘s article, “Learning Young the Gift of Helping Others,” most times, the desire to give stems from family and parents as is the case with Kayla.

Kayla’s inspiration to serve others began with her sister, who, as well as participating in the aforementioned mission trip, was a volunteer for the Georgetown Ride On Center for Kids (R.O.C.K.) which provides therapies and activities for disabled persons through interaction with horses. Kayla learned that there are others who do not have the same things as her and she wanted them to make a difference for them. This idea led to Kayla’s decision to forego birthday presents for the past six years in order to support others in need.

As well as being active in the community, Kayla enjoys participating in the Gateway College Preparatory Volleyball team, Honor Society, and UIL Oral Reading. In addition to collecting items for The Salvation Army, Kayla celebrated her 12th birthday by the pool with friends and playing kickball and volleyball. Kayla plans to maintain her birthday tradition in the years to come and continue serving both animals and humans alike, just like The Salvation Army’s mission to serve without discrimination.


The items Kayla donated are with the kids at summer camp right now! Thanks to her donations, they are able to have a fun camp experience this summer and from the looks of it they taking full advantage of the opportunity! Thank you Kayla for your help and we hope you continue Doing the Most Good.

Sullivan, Paul. “Learning Young the Gift of Helping Others.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 04 July 2014. Web. 14 July 2014.