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The Salvation Army


Donations spent on officers, not the needy

Complaint Rating:  71 % with 17 votes
71% 17
Contact information:
The Salvation Army
Roanoke, Virginia
United States
Salvation Army, Roanoke:

Salvation Army officers lie about helping others, help only themselves. Here is how:
Corps Officer base salary, free house to live in, free vehicles including all
gas and maintenance, for him and his wife, all Federal, State, and Social
Security taxes paid, all utilities paid, free laptop for each of them, many
meals paid for him and his family, free college tuition for his children at any
university in the country, top of the line cell phone, free medical insurance
for his family, an allowance for each child he has, all life insurance and
retirement paid for. A $ 30, 000 base salary quickly turns into $ 120, 000!
Roanoke also has an Assistant Corps Officer, and he makes about half that
number. All of this is paid for by Roanoke donors.
The Salvation Army claims that 88% of all donations stay local.
However, a very small portion of that actually goes to help people of the
Roanoke Valley. The division that covers Roanoke includes over 30 local Corps.
Multiply the above dollar amounts by 30, and you will see that the largest
portion of donations goes to take care of the officers and their families, not
the needy. This division has about 12 officers at its headquarters in
Washington, DC. They make more than local officers. There are over 40
Salvation Army divisions in the United States. For most of the time that I was
at the Roanoke Salvation Army, most of the people who came to us for help were
turned away and told that "no funds were available." It is not hard to
understand why. And they got rid of me to save money. Increased giving means
more money for the officers to use for themselves. Also, for the five Christmas
seasons I spent at The Salvation Army, all Christmas Kettle donations went to
division headquarters in Washington, DC, none of them stayed in Roanoke. That was around one
million dollars for the five years. Part of it went to pay for extravagant
Christmas parties for all Virginia officers and their families. They all spent
one week at The Kingsmill in Williamsburg. Donating to The Salvation Army is a
bad idea. The officers are scum. The Salvation Army motto is "Doing the Most Good." It should read
"Doing the Most Good for the Officers." This is only the tip of the iceberg. There is much more. Please feel free to
share this information with others. Thanks.
Complaint comments Comments (15) Complaint country United States Complaint category Non-profit Organizations


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 20th of Aug, 2012 by    -1 Votes
So you got fired and now you are showing "sour grapes." You MIGHT have worked there for five years, but I think you are highly exaggerating and don't know everything that you think you do. Why would the fact the the Salvation Army Captain and his family have a free house be any different than any other pastor and their family having a free house------which no matter what denomination a pastor belongs to I don't think it is right for them to get fee housing. I would be willing to bet the vehicles that the Captain and his/her spouse drive have Salvation Army markings on them. I have worked in different non-profit offices and it is a well known fact, and when people would call wanting to make a donation we would tell them how to make out the donation so that most of the donation stayed local. The national non-profits like Easter Seals, Red Cross, etc. have to collect enough donations to pay the rent for their local office and the equipment in them. They don't get any help from national for these expenses. I have also worked in a Salvation Army Thrift Store, and when people come in to ask for help, if there isn't anything left to give them, they can't get anything.

Exactly what position did you hold at the Salvation Army that makes you think all that you posted is true.

In past years I used to get a lot of help from the Salvation Army and I was never turned down for food. I now live in a larger town and here when people go to the Salvation Army for food, they are referred to the local Food Pantry. I also know the amount of help that you get depends on your appearance. At the same time I was getting this help, my sister-in-law was going through a brief period of hard times and was working as a secretary, and one day during her lunch break she went and asked for food, while dressed in her dressy office clothes and complained to me that she only got one small bag for she and her daughter, while I had been getting a couple large boxes of food for myself and my daughter. You just can't go begging in your dress up clothes. Than another time a friend of mine just going through a divorce and hadn't worked for several years needed food and she was so hard up she had to drop the insurance on her car, so I picked her up and took her to the Salvation Army, but as she started to get out of my car, I noticed she had all of her rings on her fingers and they were good Black Hills Gold rings, and I told her it might be a good idea if she took them off and put them in her pockets, which she did and she got a good sized box for one person. When I worked in a thrift store, anybody that came in with a voucher for free furniture and clothes, got the items if we had them. To get the voucher you have to go to the office, which is usually in the same building as the church. Sometimes it is in the same building. I never heard of anybody getting any actual financial help. You would be hard put to convince me that the "kettle" donations at Christmas go to the National Headquarters, because in order to do what they do for the needy, they have to use it to shop for the food and gifts that they give out. When I was getting help from them, I got a large Thanksgiving box of food, including a turkey and the same for Christmas, plus there was nice gifts for myself and my daughter.

I just think you feel you weren't treated right and and are trying to make trouble.
 20th of Aug, 2012 by    +2 Votes
This message is in response to redhatterb71:
I was the Financial Controller. I DO KNOW what I am talking about. I saw all financial activities. At Christmas, they do help people with donations that officers, volunteers and employees don't steal. I intend to make all the trouble I can for those scumbags. Perhaps you should get a job and quit expecting handouts from charities.
 20th of Aug, 2012 by    +1 Votes
Jealousy is an ugly mistress.
 20th of Aug, 2012 by    +1 Votes
Ripped, I am 72 years old and retired for 5 1/2 years, due to health problems, and I haven't had help from any non-profit for about 20 years. I still think being you were fired, you are angry and making some things up out of anger. I do know that the executives in non-profits get benefits that other people don't get. Something like politicians. I agree with Brenda, also karma is a *****.
 25th of Sep, 2012 by    +2 Votes
I am a victim of domestic violence that happened in NC. I called Turning Point and talked to a counselor who asked a lot of questions and then said I met the criteria to stay at the shelter. Therefore, I decided to come to Roanoke because I needed the services of Carillon for a broken shoulder and 4 cracked ribs and a lot of emotional trauma. When I arrived at the shelter, I was interviewed and told I did not meet the criteria because I took myself away from the danger. I was then put out in the rain with a bus pass and told to go to the homeless shelter. What a caring and compassionate shelter this is...they have the living room barred from the single women because it is for "Show" for the tours and sponsors". It is definitely no a good example of a DV Shelter for abused women. I hope everyone who reads this will think many times before supporting it and encourage any agency not to donate or support it until it changes the direction it going.
 8th of Jan, 2013 by    0 Votes
The Salvation Army really is just another money spinner, the only thing that sets it apart from other industries is it coattails on the back of poverty and misfortune. Not to mention it pays zero taxes and gets all its goodies for free, which it then sells at Walmart prices. It is a burgeoning poverty industry. I live in Montreal, Canada and i cannot believe the lack of respect with which the Salvation army thrift store managers treat their customers. Piles of broken electronics lie around, people drop them and the staff nonchalantly scrape them off the floor and put them right back on the shelves to be purchased by trusting customers. plugs have been removed from radios and other equipment to prevent the customers from verifying if they do indeed work. Low quality items usually missing their accessories are sold at just below regular store prices. Despite ( or perhaps because of ) the incredible perks the Salvation Army "top brass" enjoy the thrift stores pursue aggressive bait and switch tactics on their customers, throwing womens clothing in the mens section and vice versa, suddenly changing their half price days and setting confusing rules and on what is or is not on sale. All these measures are designed to steal from customers to support the extravagances of the higher ups. The stores' no money back policy on broken or mislabelled merchandise is proof of this "for profits only " policy.
Don't donate to them, you are better off selling your goods at low price on the internet or just having a garage sale or even chucking them on the street to be picked up by others.
 31st of May, 2013 by    +1 Votes
Ripped off in Roanoke, You are a scumbag
 16th of Dec, 2013 by    -1 Votes
I was a member of the local Salvation Army for 5 years as well. I can tell you that this is all true. Each Corps operates off of "mail appeal" (those lovely donation request envelopes that end up in your mail boxes)(175, 000$/Yrs), church tithes (8000$/year), donations, and kettle funds. At the Corps I attended, our kettle goal was 70, 000$. So income is about 253, 000$/yr.

Once you account for 15, 000 (single officer base take home salary), taxes paid for the officer, student loan allowance, insurance, reimbursed medical expenses, cell phone credits, clothing allowance, UNMARKED personal vehicle (never more than 10 years old), gas reimbursement, trips etc. (Now at approximately 50, 000$); social worker at 12, 000 a year; program assistant at 12, 000 a year, janitor at 12, 000 a year, their insurance, a 10, 000$ World Services requirement, electric at 1000$/month, gas and water about the same, corps van at 1500/month in fuel. There are also small expenses such as office supplies, 250/kid for camp - minimum 30 kids that the corps must pay for, church dinners, awards, Christmas presents, etc. You are now looking at upwards of 175-200 thousand dollars. And the corps takes in 253 a year? That means that this corps is spending 69% on overhead and "divisional requirements" than on actually helping people. I agree that 78, 000 a year is a lot of money to help with; however, when the church down the road is doing the same thing without begging people for money, it begs the question- why?

Again. I attended (did not work for) the Salvation Army for 5 years and was actually interested in becoming an officer. It so happened that a new officer found it more appealing to be in the office 4 hours a day 4 days a week and prepare a 7minute message with everyone else leading worship; than to actually do her job and "calling". It was and still is very apparent that the money called her more than God.
 2nd of Feb, 2014 by    +1 Votes
Our local Captain in Portland, Australia only looks after the young girls in need of helping out not males looking for help...Not right
 2nd of Feb, 2014 by    0 Votes
Ripped off in Roanoke, I have had experience with several different Salvation Army locations and they have all been willing to help people any time of the year. The type of help a person receives will depend on what is needed and your location. Different locations have many different types of resources available and when you go to one non-profit for a certain type of help and they don't have that type of help they refer you to a different resource. I have yet to hear of any non-profit that helps by giving out cash. I don't know of any modern day churches that help people anymore. If you belong to a church and talk to the pastor, he/she might take up a special offering on Sunday morning to help you, but you have to belong to the church. Taking up that special offering was donations from the congregation. I know several people that have went to churches asking for food or money, car repairs, home repairs, etc., and been turned down flat. . Churches aren't as charitable as they used to be and that is because they are putting more emphasis on fancy buildings and parsonages for the pastor, which every time a new pastor is arriving the parsonage has to be repainted and new carpeting. I can see the new paint, but a lot the time a good professional carpet cleaning should be enough. All non-profits put a lot of money where it probably shouldn't go, but there isn't any thing we can do about it. That being said, they also do a lot of good.
 16th of Mar, 2015 by    0 Votes
It is a fact that they get 15, 009 a base paid a year so they cam say they don't get much.
however they do get a car, house. with almost all bill paid for. almost all officers get there kid in the army. They do a lot of good, but they live very good.
 28th of Feb, 2016 by    0 Votes
The Salvation Army in Racine Wi has to have had the worst officers ever in the last 10 years. They don't do squat. But sure live high on the hog. The only reason they stayed open was because of that white boy they had running the youth centre. He cared so much about the hood, but they couldn't show him any love and let him go. What a waste.
 9th of Mar, 2016 by    0 Votes
Those houses and card belong to The church and are left with the church when those officers leave. You pay 10, 000. To go through the school and are paying that money back while working. Almost all money made goes into outreach programs, feeding homeless and hungry kids, temporary housing for families in trouble and they also pay light bills for people in extreme need. Not to mention the emergency services that go all over the world with canteens.
 9th of Mar, 2016 by    +2 Votes
It truly sicken me to see these people that have no idea what they are talking about spit such hatred out of their mouths. Houses aren't repainted, you get there and do everything you want changed yourself with your own money. The cars are traded in every 6-7 years so they never pay full price and so the car doesn't break down. Every corps only had ONE house for, the officers and some locations you don't have a vehicle . because you have a house and car your pay is low, just enough to cover lights and good on the table. All gifts for events are donations from hallmark or whoever donated, they never buy new things. You are in a budget, your whole corps is and if you go over you can lose your job . also no officer stays in one place longer than 6years . they are constantly moved, with moving orders every year, only time you would not be moved is if your kids are young and in school. I don't believe that the person who started this thread attended this church for five years because if they Had I would not hear such disgusting lies coming out of your mouth
 9th of Mar, 2016 by    0 Votes
ellen, while DV is, on a salvation army building they are goverment funded, and they don't let the army know anything. They make their own choices, they are in control, not the army. If a officer intruded to try and talk some sense into them they could be sued. It is far more, complicated than you think.

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