Each year, National Salvation Army Week serves as an opportunity to celebrate our volunteers, donors and program beneficiaries who have enabled us to serve those in need around the world for 154 years. This week is observed immediately following Mother's Day in May and was first declared by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954 – 74 years after The Salvation Army arrived in the U.S. In his speech, 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’re thankful for this opportunity to recognize the 3.5 million volunteers who give their time and talents to The Salvation Army each year in order to help us do the most good for those in need.

Meeting The Need in America

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 43.1 million Americans live in poverty, and millions more live near the poverty line. Approximately half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and one-third of adults between 18 and 64 live in low-income households.

The Salvation Army operates more than 7,500 centers in communities across the United States, each of which collects high-quality data on a wide variety of poverty-related social services. The first multi-dimensional measure of human need based on objective data from a nonprofit on the front lines of providing social services, the Human Needs Index serves as a powerful tool to track basic human need, with different indicators and less lag time than conventional government data.

How We Measure Need

Learn a Little. Help a Lot.

Learn more about the level of basic need in America with the Human Needs Index. You can help your community by spreading awareness and signing up to become a volunteer, or making a gift that will fund life-changing programs for your neighbors in need.