Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Salvation Army Gets Boosts Even Before It Starts Ringing Bells Today
Marty Lyon and Mark George show off the check they presented to the Salvation Army. And, no, it didn't fit in the Salvation Army kettle.
Saturday, November 17, 2018


A few weeks ago 100 Men Who Care exceeded their namesake for the second consecutive time, raising $10,900—their largest gift so far.

And when it came time to gift it they chose …. Drumroll, please…the Salvation Army.

The selection left many scratching their heads.

The Salvation Army? Here in the Wood River Valley?

Turns out the Salvation Army is indeed active in the Wood River Valley. Not only do local volunteers take up bells around the bright red kettles but they then find ways to put the money they collect to use--right here in the Sun Valley area.

Every dollar they raise stays in Blaine County. And the $10,900 the 100 Men Who Care gifted them  enabled the local Army to ramp up its charitable giving ahead of the holidays.

"We try to fill the smaller needs, the social services gaps typically needing between $100 and $300," said Richard Brown, who accepted the 100 Men's Gift on behalf of the Army. "We have, for instance, been delivering wood to those in need in Bellevue, Hailey and Ketchum. And we fed,1,500 firefighters a day during the Castle Rock fire in 2007."

The organization works with organizations like The Senior Connection, NAMI, The Advocates, Blaine County Probation Services and local churches to try to fill social service gaps in the Wood River Valley.

 They’re picking up the tab for new tires provided by The Advocates to a single mother. They’re helping NAMI cover rental assistance for another single mother.

The Salvation Army starts ringing the bell today and will continue through Christmas. That’s when it raises the majority of its funds.

"They're a good charity," said Brown You'll find they have a very large presence in cities and service extension units in small communities throughout the United States."

Brown got involved with the Salvation Army while living in Houston where he served on the board of the Houston Army. He moved to the Wood River Valley four years ago and immediately sought out the local unit to continue his work.

He and others will be ringing the bells this Christmas outside Atkinsons' Market and they'll also have a kettle set up at Starbucks.

"But 100 Men--what a big shot in the arm for us!" he said.

"In addition to the small scale grassroots assistance like dental care, medicine, glasses, utilities help that we provide here, we serve a hundred meals a day in Twin Falls and we operate a high school in Boise for unwed mothers. Internationally, we provide relief to the needy, including those needing help after natural disasters like hurricanes and volcanoes."

Until now, much of the assistance the Salvation Army has provided locally has gone to help seniors. But the Army is receiving more requests for help from single mothers. And with the housing shortage become more acute, it expects to see more requests from families in need.

"Teens can man the kettle by themselves if they're 16 or older. And we encourage children to get involved, as well," said Brown.  "It's great for service hours and it looks good on college resumes.

"We have no expenses and no employees so every penny raised goes to worthy causes."

Want to know more?

Contact Richard Brown, Salvation Army Wood River Service Extension Unit, at 713-818-6856 or


100 Men Who Care has now given $147,150 to local nonprofits, according to Marty Lyon, founder of the grassroots philanthropic gathering. The next meeting will be 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden.


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