Entries in Salvation Army (4)


Ring Them Bells - Not! Salvation Army Noise Complaint

PRNewsFoto/The Salvation Army(PORTSMOUTH, N.H.) -- A New Hampshire woman has called the cops on the Salvation Army. Her complaint? Loud bell-ringing.

Sarah Hamilton-Parker, who works in the Portsmouth jewelry store, Lovell Designs, says the Salvation Army has been encamped outside her store every year for the past four. By her calculation, she has been exposed to 1,400 hours of bell-ringing.

"My customers complain about it," she tells ABC News. "They ask me how I possibly can stand it." In fact, she cannot. She has to wear ear plugs in the store to keep her sanity, but even those can't keep out the noise of the four people outside, standing alongside one of the Army's signature red pots, lustily clanging away. The store's huge plate glass windows, she says, only make the noise worse. "They bring it in," she says.

She's been told that the ringers will hold this position for a month. "Is it unreasonable to ask them to move around a little—to go somewhere else so I can get a break?" she asks. In the past, she has tried to beg relief from local Salvation Army leaders; but her calls, she says, have gone unreturned.

This year she cracked, and called police.

Despite her complaint, the bells continue. Police captain Mike Schwartz told Seacoast Online that he appreciates the woman's concern but that the Army has been granted an exemption from the city's anti-noise ordinance.

Hamilton-Parker says the ordinance expressly prohibits noises that are annoying, prolonged, disturbing of the peace, or excessive. "Excessive?!" she asks. "I'm not sure what could be more excessive than 360 hours a year."

Jennifer Byrd, the Salvation Army's national public relations director, says about 25,000 ringers and pot-watchers blanket the U.S. every holiday season, taking up their positions the day after Thanksgiving and laying down their bells on Christmas Eve. They took in $147.6 million last year, she says, up a few percent from the year before.

"We don't actually hear a lot of noise complaints," Byrd says. Most people, she thinks, look forward to the arrival of the ringers every year, since they associate them with Christmas and with giving. But, says Byrd, "we definitely value our relations with our local merchants—the folks that let us stand our kettles in front of their stores. And because we do, we try to work out complaints on a case-by-case basis."

Yet, Hamilton-Parker says that if she fails to get satisfaction from local Salvation Army representatives, her next step will be to write to the city council. Seacoast Online is reporting that a local Salvation Army captain has offered to equip the ringers outside Hamilton-Parker's store with a quieter bell and to reduce their number from four to one.

She's no Grinch, Hamilton-Parker insists, nor does she hate Christmas (as Seacoast Online had quoted her as saying). She tells ABC News she understands the affection many people feel at Christmas time for the red pot and the ringing. "What a world of merriment their melody foretells," she says, quoting a line from the first stanza of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Bells."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Tornado Devastation: How to Help

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A deadly string of tornados that ripped through the South and Midwest turned tightly knit rural communities into apocalyptic war zones, left dozens of people dead in five states and thousands homeless.

Schools were reduced to rubble, businesses were destroyed and families were left homeless by the disaster.

If you want to help, here is a list of organizations that are conducting relief efforts:


Make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to their local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.


Donations can be made online, or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY or by texting the word "STORM" to 80888 to make a $10 donation by phone. Or by mail: The Salvation Army Disaster Relief P.O. Box 100339 Atlanta, Ga. 30384-0339


When you donate to Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, every dollar helps provide eight meals to families struggling with hunger. Feeding America can be reached at (800) 771-2303 (National Office) or online.


National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) is the primary point of contact for voluntary organization in the National Response Coordination Center at FEMA headquarters. They also provide assistance to disaster victims as well as those looking to help.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


‘Poor’ Woman Leaves Close to $2 Million to Salvation Army

Adam Gault/Thinkstock(MODESTO, Calif.) -- She was taught by her mother to never waste a thing. She never purchased a dryer, hanging her laundry on a clothesline in the backyard. She painted her home when it needed a touch-up and mowed her lawn until her early 90s. She refused to go to restaurants, the movies or pay for cable TV.

It could be said she took frugality to a whole new level.

Needless to say, it was a shock when a check for $1,731,533.91 from the estate of Elinor Sauerwein was presented to a California branch of the Salvation Army last Christmas Eve.

“It was a surprise and a blessing,” Capt. Michael Paugh of the Salvation Army in Modesto told ABC News.

Paugh was getting ready to head home for the holidays when he got a call from John Bullock, Sauerwein’s longtime friend and financial adviser, who had power of attorney over her affairs. Bullock was on his way over to present the freshly printed check to the charity.

“She said every dollar I save is another dollar that could go to the Salvation Army. Her goal for years and years was to amass as much as she could so it would go to the Salvation Army,” Bullock told ABC News. “She did an excellent job at it.”

Sauerwein grew her own fruits and vegetables in her meager backyard, and even at age 90 would climb to the top of a ladder to pick them. The extreme frugality certainly paid off:  At the time of her death, Sauerwein had amassed almost $2 million in savings.

Taking the early advice from her mother to heart -- or some might say to extremes -- Sauerwein rarely splurged. She went on vacation only once in her life, dragged to Hawaii by a friend, said Bullock. Once she returned, Bullock said she continued to justify her “spending spree” to him for months to come.

“Most people around her thought she was poor. Sauerwin’s friends knew she had money, but they just didn’t know how much,” Bullock told ABC News.

By all accounts, the scrimping started early. In the late 1930s, after she’d graduated from college, she taught in a one-room schoolhouse in Crookston, Neb., traveling to her job on horseback. When she arrived, she’d light a fire to warm the room for the schoolchildren, teach, clean the room and hop back on her horse for the ride home.

She soon met her husband, Harold, and they married in 1945 and moved to California, settling in Modesto, where Sauerwein cooked for ranch hands on the ranch where her husband landed a job. She later worked at LM Morris business machines, according to the Modesto Bee.

Harold Sauerwein became a contractor and built their two-bedroom home with his own hands, said Bullock. Harold, said Bullock, was just as conservative as his wife when it came to spending money. When Harold Sauerwein died in 1994, Bullock promised him he would “look after Elinor.”

Elinor Sauerwein continued her husband’s investments -- which started with discounted loans, according to the Modesto Bee. She continued to make money, but no one would ever guess it by her lifestyle, said Bullock.

“She lived like she was poor,” he told ABC News.

When Elinor Sauerwein died on Oct. 30, 2010, Bullock started compiling her funds for the big donation that she’d planned for “years and years.”  By December 2011, everything was in order. The only restriction on the money was that the Salvation Army had to use it in the Modesto community. This posed no problem, said Paugh, and the charity was happy to comply.

“The money will stay in the community. The neat thing is we stick it in an endowment, and her gift will be helping people 50 years from now, even 70 years from now,” Paugh told ABC News.

“Her gift will keep on giving for years to come.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Memphis Flooding: How to Help Flood Victims

Scott Olson/Getty Images(MEMPHIS) -- Thousands of people from Arkansas to Tennessee are fleeing their homes ahead of recording-breaking flooding. The Mississippi River's record crest was 48.7 feet in 1937 and the Army Corps of Engineers expects the river to rise to 48 feet by early Tuesday morning. More than 1,300 homes are under an evacuation order and another 240 have been warned that they might need to leave. Nearly 400 people are staying in shelters. The damage has been extensive in places like Memphis where entire neighborhoods have been swallowed by the water and vehicles completely submerged.

Find out below how to help and donate to the flood relief effort:

American Red Cross: The Red Cross is providing shelter and supplies to those who have been hardest hit. They have more than 400 volunteers on the ground. To make a donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief, visit its online donation page. You can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

United Way: The United Way is collecting donations to support local nonprofit programs that are working to provide immediate and long-term recovery in the Memphis and Mid-South area. To donate to the United Way, visit its online donation page.

The Salvation Army: The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services is responding to the floods and has opened three response stations in the Memphis area. The response stations provide hot food, snacks, drinks, hygiene, and baby supplies as well as emotional and spiritual support. To donate to the Salvation Army's flood relief efforts, visit, click on their donation page and designate "May Floods." You can call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and donors can text "GIVE" to 80888 to make a $10 donation. Checks can be made out to the Salvation Army Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 100339, Atlanta, Ga., 30384-0339.

Hope Presbyterian Church: Hope Presbyterian Church will serve as a donation and distribution hub, collecting donations to supply the shelters. Donations are accepted daily 7 a.m.-10 p.m. If you have any questions, please call (901) 755-7721. To make a donation to Hope Presbyterian Church, visit its online donation section located at the bottom of this page. All donated items must be new and in original packaging. At the request of the shelters, please only bring items from the list below:

Towels and washcloths BIG NEED FOR WASHCLOTHS
Batteries - sizes: C,D, AA, AAA BIG NEED
Ear Plugs BIG NEED
Socks for kids and adults BIG NEED
Flip Flops (for the showers) BIG NEED
Shaving cream/gel BIG NEED
Wal-Mart or Target gift cards BIG NEED
Deodorant Men's/Women's BIG NEED
Shampoo/conditioner (unopened hotel bottles work great) BIG NEED
Hair Brushes
Combs (Wide & Regular Tooth)
Pony tail holders/Hair clips
Body lotion
Hand Sanitizer
Toothbrushes (individually packaged)
Training/Toddler Toothpaste BIG NEED
Children's toothbrushes BIG NEED
General first-aid (band-aids, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, TUMS, rubbing alcohol) BIG NEED FOR RUBBING ALCOHOL & PEROXIDE
Diapers & Pull-Ups (all sizes) 0-3, 6, 2t, 3t, 4t, 5t
Baby/Child Medicine BIG NEED
Teething Medicine BIG NEED
Diaper Rash Cream BIG NEED
Travel size baby lotion & wash BIG NEED
Baby blankets
Baby food
Baby spoons
Baby bottles
Baby pacifiers
Baby Shampoo/Lotion/Wash
Baby bottle brushes
Baby formula (No generics please: Carnation or Gerber "Good Start Gentle Plus")
Vaseline (generic welcome) BIG NEED
Sanitary Pads/Tampons
Depends (NOT Adult Diapers) BIG NEED

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio