2018 Annual Luncheon

The Salvation Army of Greater Houston is excited to announce our Annual Luncheon on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at River Oaks Country Club. This year we will honor Ann and J. Hugh Roff, Jr. for their support and dedication to the mission of The Salvation Army.

Our luncheon will kick-off the Season of Giving and your participation in this event will support those who need housing, emergency shelter, rehabilitation services, disaster relief, social services and Christmas assistance. It is through the generosity of supporters like you that help The Salvation Army touch countless lives across Greater Houston for those who need it most.

Wanda Durant, Keynote Speaker

Wanda Durant, affectionately known as Mama Durant, and “The Real MVP”, will serve as our keynote speaker.  She is the mother of two sons: businessman, Anthony (Tony) Durant and National Basketball Association Champion and 2017 Finals MVP player Kevin Durant.  As a strong leader, advocate, entrepreneur and philanthropist, her passion is to inspire underserved children, single mothers and communities to move beyond their immediate circumstances and to aim for higher heights in life.

Reserve Your Table

Reserve your table now for an opportunity to join us as we honor Ann and J. Hugh Roff, Jr., and welcome Wanda Durant.  Please find below the different sponsorship levels:

$50,000 Major Sponsor Table
Preferential Seating for 10 guests • Private VIP Reception with Wanda Durant for 10 • Private Meet & Greet with Wanda Durant • Distinguished Program Acknowledgement

$25,000 Major Underwriter Table
Preferential Seating for 10 guests • Private VIP Reception with Wanda Durant for 8 • Distinguished Program Acknowledgement

$15,000 Underwriter Table
Preferential Seating for 10 guests • Private VIP Reception with Wanda Durant for 6 • Distinguished Program Acknowledgement

$10,000 Benefactor Table
Preferential Seating for 10 guests • Private VIP Reception with Wanda Durant for 4 • Distinguished Program Acknowledgement

$6,000 Patron Table
Preferential Seating for 10 guests • Private VIP Reception with Wanda Durant for 2 • Program listing

More Information

To learn more please contact Alexis Thompson, Director of Development, at 832.201.8016 or via email alexis.thompson@uss.salvationarmy.org.

Running and Recovery with The Salvation Army

From Addiction to Recovery

A prescription pill addict, I knew I needed help but had nowhere to turn to for help. Hopeless but desperate to turn my life around, I came to The Salvation Army. The Salvation Army welcomed me with open arms and provided me with a place to stay and a path to get better.

During my six-month stay at The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC), I began a journey that would change my life forever. I figured out who I was and what kind of person I wanted to be. Through Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and church I found that I could be whoever I wanted to be, it just required focus and commitment.

On a New Path

After I finished the ARC program I began working as a Family Store donation pickup driver and then was promoted to store manager. During this time I was asked by The Salvation Army if I would like to participate in the 2016 Chevron Houston Marathon’s “Run for a Reason” half marathon, in order to help promote great work The Salvation Army does. I humbly accepted.

I trained with a co-worker from the ARC, who had also gone through the program, and I am proud to say that I completed the Run for a Reason half marathon. I had such a great time racing that I knew I had to continue. After that race, I was set on a new path. This path has shaped my life and given me more focus than ever before. I absolutely fell in love with the sport and haven’t looked back.

From Half-Marathoner to IRONMAN

One year after participating in the Run for Reason half marathon, I completed my first full marathon (and ran four more marathons since). Continuing to challenge myself, I decided to do a triathlon -swim, bike, run- which I completed three months later. Not wanting to stop there, I decided to tackle a full IRONMAN triathlon: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, 26.2 mile… consecutively, with no break and under 17 hours. The task was daunting, and it didn’t come easy, but I did it. I can now call myself an IRONMAN, having completed it in 12 hours and 58 minutes.

Completing the IRONMAN has been my life’s greatest achievement, considering that three and a half years ago I couldn’t even get out of bed without taking a handful of pills. I give The Salvation Army credit for all of my achievements because without their help there’s no telling where I would be today.

Why I’m Running my Second Christmas in July 5K

On July 7, 2018 I will be running my second Christmas in July 5k. Why do I participate in a 5K when I am doing marathons and triathlons? I participate in this race, and will do so for as long as I can, to honor the organization that has given me a second chance in life.

During my addiction, I really didn’t do much of anything. But during my time at the ARC I started getting back in shape, I started lifting weights and I started running. I made a complete 180. I learned to let go and let God in. Ever since I put my faith and trust in Him, my life changed…and the blessings just keep coming.


If you’d like to learn more about our Christmas in July 5K, please click here.

About the Author

Bryan Kelley was born and raised in Santa Fe, Texas, a town 10 miles from Galveston. After graduating from high school, Kelley served for a year and a half with the U.S. Navy. In 2009, he graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science from College of the Mainland.

Kelley came to The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) in 2014 due to a prescription pill addiction. After six months, he completed the program. While at The Salvation Army, Kelley worked as a donation truck driver and was promoted to Store Manager. Today, Kelley is an operator at Oiltanking Texas City.

The Life of a Soldier and the Struggles of Returning to Civilian Life

The life of a soldier is one of sacrifice. When serving their country, soldiers relinquish opportunities with family and friends and the “normalcy” of the everyday routine living in America. They make this commitment to protect our country and our freedoms, ones that many of us take for granted.

As the mother of a former soldier, I can tell you that military service offers many opportunities for personal growth and achievement, physical and mental challenges, and life lessons one may never experience in any other setting. However, it can also leave emotional scars and physical ailments, making the reentry into the civilian world as equally challenging as anything they may have faced while serving their country. Making the transition from the military, securing employment and creating a positive future once released from duty, can come with its own unique challenges.


As the Employment Specialist within The Salvation Army’s HOPE (Heroes Obtaining Permanent Employment) Veterans Program, my focus is to assist these brave men and women and their spouses to not only survive, but thrive. The Veteran population we serve are those with limited or no income, who are experiencing homelessness, at risk of becoming homeless or who have a history of homelessness. Additionally, they may also be working through the difficulties of healing from mental health issues and/or addiction.

Through the screening process, which includes assessments to discover their strengths and interests, we explore training opportunities for certifications in industries where the Veteran will be able to begin a new career and secure employment.  From instruction in computer software to resume writing, overcoming the obstacles of professional interviewing, as well as assistance with transportation and specialty work clothing, we strive to meet the needs of our Veterans as they work diligently to create a positive future for themselves and their families.

Meet Eure Benson

One of the Veterans I have worked with through this program is Eure Benson.

After graduating with an Associate’s Degree in Commercial Art, Benson served in the Marines from 1990 to 1996. After his return from service, he worked in the chemical industry, which took him all over the country. He settled in Houston, in 2000, with his wife and children. Everything changed after Hurricane Harvey. The family lost the house they were renting along with all their possessions, and these hardships took a toll on his relationship. For a month, he was living in his truck, but knew that at least his children were safe with family. After learning that The Salvation Army offered programs for veterans, Benson came to the Harbor Light Center and Red Shield Lodge in October 2017.

Not having to worry about where his next meal would come from, and on the path to independence, Benson put his talent on canvas and painted several pieces during his stay at our shelter.  I must say, he is a very gifted artist! I encouraged him to continue painting and recommended pursuing a vocation in welding, which requires the same hand/eye coordination needed to for painting. Benson was excited about the opportunity. We created a plan for him, which included fire retardant clothing for safety in class as well as bus passes for transportation to and from the classes. I am proud to share that he recently completed his 280 hours of training. The future looks promising; this week he’ll be moving into his own apartment and he has a welding job lined up for next month.


Since December 2017, The Salvation Army has assisted and guided Veterans in their journey to independence. Currently, we are serving our seventy-fifth Veteran, with the goal of doubling that number by December 2018. Of that number, 92% have desired additional education for the potential of higher earnings, with the majority registering for certifications in welding, forklift, Nurse’s Aid or obtaining their Commercial Driver’s License.

The dedicated staff members of The Salvation Army Veteran’s Programs are privileged to partner with Veterans who have sacrificed so much for all Americans. It is an honor to serve them, and working together we will create a brighter future for them and their families; one assessment, one certification and one job placement at a time.

About the Author

Since November 2017, Susan King has served as the Employment Specialist at The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center & Red Shield Lodge. King has worked in three different Salvation Army facilities in Houston. She began her Salvation Army career as an Administrative Assistant at the Adult Rehabilitation Center from 2002 to 2006. In 2013, she returned to The Salvation Army as an Instructor/Statistician at our women’s shelter Sally’s House, where she remained until she moved to her current position at the Harbor Light Center.

King’s nonprofit career also includes positions with Prison Fellowship Ministries, the Bair Foundation Child & Family Ministries, Impact for Life Campus and Trinity Episcopal Church.

King is the proud mother of Kathryn Taylor Ellis, a former U.S. Army Specialist, and Christopher, who recently celebrated his fifteen-year anniversary with Kroger.

History of National Donut Day

The First “National Donut Day”

The Salvation Army in Chicago celebrated the first National Donut Day in 1938 to help those in need during the Great Depression and to commemorate the work of the “Donut Lassies,” who served donuts to soldiers during World War I.

In 1917, The Salvation Army began a mission to provide spiritual and emotional support for U.S. soldiers fighting in France during World War I. About 250 volunteers traveled overseas and set up small huts near the front lines where they could give soldiers clothes, supplies and, of course, baked goods.

Despite discovering that serving baked goods would be difficult considering the conditions of the huts and the limited rations, two officers – Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance – began frying donuts in a small pan. These tasty treats boosted morale and won the hearts of many soldiers.

Nicknamed “Donut Lassies,” the women who served donuts to troops are often credited with popularizing the donut in the United States when the troops (nicknamed “doughboys”) returned home from war.

The donut now serves as a symbol of the comfort that The Salvation Army provides to those in need through its many social services programs. The Salvation Army still serves donuts, in addition to warm meals and hydration, to those in need during times of disaster.

National Donut Day is held annually on the first Friday in June, and The Salvation Army celebrates the work of the original Donut Lassies by delivering donuts to those in need and to donut lovers across the country.

A Recipe from the Front Lines




Donut Lassies

Salvation Army Texas Brass Bands visit Greater Houston

The Salvation Army of Greater Houston was proud to welcome the Texas Brass and Lonestar Brass bands of The Salvation Army’s Texas Division of Music Arts.

The bands had two special performances on Saturday, May 26, 2018: the first at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center at 3 p.m. and the second at The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center & Red Shield Lodge at 7 p.m.

On Sunday, May 27, the brass bands also visited two of our Corps (churches). The Texas Brass Band performed at our International Corps in Alief and the Lonestar Brass Band performed at the Pasadena Corps. Their musical tour came to an end in Galveston, where they performed at Menard Park.

About the Texas Brass and Lonestar Brass Bands

The Texas Brass and Lonestar Brass bands are part of the Texas Divisional music program of The Salvation Army. Lonestar Brass consists of around 30 young people from across the state and is an intermediate level brass ensemble. Texas Brass is the premier youth brass ensemble of the Texas Division. It is made up of approximately 30 members, ages 14-30.

Texas Brass has been privileged to have the opportunity to minister in many places, sharing the gospel message through concerts, parades, and music camps both in the USA and abroad. Previous international trips include Trinidad, Chile, Canada, Brazil, England, Norway, Russia, Fiji, Paris and most recently it supported The Salvation Army in Mexico in its 80th Anniversary celebrations.  Each member also sings in the Divisional Youth Chorus.

For more information about the Texas Divisional Music program, visit TexasMusicAndArts.com.

Bissonnet Family Store is Home to Three New Murals

On Saturday, May 26, 2018, the Mayor’s Citizens’ Assistance Office (a Division of the Department of Neighborhoods), along with UP Art Studio, proudly unveiled three community-based murals at The Salvation Army Family Store located at 6150 Bissonnet Street, Houston, 77081.

This community-based mural engaged many in the Gulfton community.  The Chicago artist Rahmaan Statik, who painted one of the murals, visited Braeburn Elementary and included the art of several students in the mural’s design.  The artist also merged various media styles into the mural, including spray paint, acrylics, and gessoed cloth.

The scope of the project also included two additional murals painted by Gelson Danilo Lemus aka w3r3on3, a Guatemalan-born Houston resident street artist who is a well-known for his distinctive style, and Denial, an internationally-recognized pop artist.

About the Project

The event commemorated the completion of the communal mural, following UP Art Studio’s accomplishment of securing two grants for the realization of this project. Grants were received from the Play Everywhere challenge by Target + Kaboom! of $20,000 along with an APG grant from the Houston Art Alliance of $10,000 via UP Art Studio’s fiscal sponsorship relationship with Fresh Arts. Other sponsors and supporter’s instrumental in this project included Hotel Ylem, Jerry’s Artarama, Akzo Nobel, Neutex Lighting, and Richard Rodriguez.


Click on the picture below to view more pictures.


Ford Motor Company Donates Vehicles for Salvation Army On-going Disaster Relief Efforts

On Friday, May 11, The Salvation Army, along with seven other local nonprofits, joined Houston-area Ford dealers at the Houston Food Bank for a “Texas is Family” community event to mark Ford’s continued support of ongoing recovery efforts in southeast Texas.

The Ford Fund granted The Salvation Army a total of $500,000, which enabled us to purchase five Ford Edges and four Box Trucks in support of the on-going work of The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services in Texas.


To view photo album of event, click here.

The Ford Edges are being used by Salvation Army caseworkers who travel across the state to provide assistance to individuals and families impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

After experiencing the damaging effects of Hurricane Harvey in Port Arthur, TX, the Johnson Family were at wit’s end. They had lost their home, which led them to move into a trailer. “Though we had the dwelling, we didn’t have the essential items,” said Marion Johnson, mother of four. Fortunately, with the help of The Salvation Army and Ford Motors the road to recovery for the Johnson Family will not be as challenging.

Marion connected with The Salvation Army and one of our regional recovery managers who helped provide basic-items for their new home. “When I saw the Ford Edge stop in front of my home I was excited,” said Marion. The vehicle was filled with household items such as linens, dishes, bedding, and much more. “It was jam-packed from top to bottom, and front to back,” she said. The Ford Edge gave The Salvation Army manager the capacity to transport much needed household items straight to her home.

Our regional managers travel across the state to work with local community groups and churches to assist families impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Ford’s donation allows The Salvation Army the flexibility to meet with clients such as Marion.


The Box Trucks are assigned to Salvation Army distribution centers, which receive and deploy donated food and products to affected communities. The Salvation Army responded to Hurricane Harvey with mass care and bulk distribution in 35 Texas Counties, serving over 900,000 meals with 105 canteens (mobile kitchens) in operation during the response phase. The added Ford Box Trucks now give the department the ability to dispense to the 9 distribution centers located in the affected areas of Hurricane Harvey.

Currently, more than 16 caseworkers have seen 16,000 clients and have provided more than $6,146,000 in direct assistance.

Thank you, Ford Fund, for your support of The Salvation Army and our on-going relief and recovery efforts.

If you would  like to become an official Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) volunteer, please click here.

Salvation Army Pasadena hosts Texans Care Volunteer Day

On Saturday, April 28, 2018, The Salvation Army Pasadena Corps Community Center welcomed the United Way of Greater Houston and the Houston Texans for their sixth annual Texans Care Volunteer Day. The Texans Care Volunteer Day took place at seven locations across the Greater Houston community, including The Salvation Army.

This annual event offered Texans fans the opportunity to volunteer around the city alongside the Texans Cheerleaders, TORO, Texans staff and Houston Texans players.

Beautifying Pasadena Corps

At The Salvation Army Pasadena Corps Community Center, volunteers, including Texans players Stephen Anderson and Zach Coque, mulched flowerbeds and the playground area, power washed sidewalks as well as re-painted rooms throughout the building. The Mayor of Pasadena Jeff Wagner and Pasadena First Lady Ginny Wagner were also on hand volunteering.

Over 2,000 volunteers, including Texans players, cheerleaders, ambassadors and fans, helped make a difference and gave back to the city.

The other participating organizations included the Houston Texans YMCA, the Houston Food Bank, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston, the Houston Zoo, the Santa Maria Hostel, and the Avondale House.

Remembering Former First Lady Barbara Bush

Like you, we were heartbroken to hear about the death of former First Lady, Mrs. Barbara Bush. As the country mourns the loss of a remarkable woman, The Salvation Army also mourns the loss of one of its fiercest advocates and most loyal friends.

Mrs. Bush wrote in 1993 that “George Bush and I have been the two luckiest people in the world, and when all the dust has settled and all the crowds are gone, the things that matter are faith, family, and friends.”

Connection with The Salvation Army

Mrs. Bush’s connection with The Salvation Army was forged at birth. She born in 1925 at a Salvation Army hospital in New York City, delivered by a family physician who volunteered at the hospital.

During her husband George H.W. Bush’s presidency, Mrs. Bush’s directive to staff was that “Each day we should do something to help others.”  She believed that everyone deserved an equal opportunity to succeed in life, and she used her considerable influence to advocate for the homeless, veterans, children and adults.

Saving the Red Kettle

She once singlehandedly saved The Salvation Army’s red kettle campaign in Washington D.C. During her first Christmas as First Lady, Mrs. Bush learned that several area malls were banning The Salvation Army’s annual fundraising campaign. She very publicly donated $10 to the campaign and effectively ended the ban. By the time that she rang the bell at Gallery Furniture in 2006, Mrs. Bush was a veteran. Of those that carried out the ministry of The Salvation Army, she said, “They’re the best, the most sacrificing people we know.”

Love of Literacy

Of course, Barbara Bush’s favorite cause was literacy. She believed that many of society’s social problems – crime, addiction, hunger, and homelessness – were rooted in illiteracy. She understood that by providing opportunities for more people to learn to read and write, many of these challenges could be alleviated. Her love of literacy and legacy for serving those in need lives on in the lives of her children and grandchildren, who also work tirelessly to promote equal opportunity for all.

Promoted to Glory

Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Bush Family. May they be comforted in knowing that the matriarch of their family made a positive impact on millions of lives and her legacy will never be forgotten. In The Salvation Army, we do not say that a person has died, but rather that they have been Promoted to Glory.  We salute Mrs. Bush for a life lived well and dedicated to serving others. We will never forget her words that “Working for God may not pay much, but the retirement benefits are out of this world.”

2018 Chic Boutique Four-Day Sale

The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary of Houston is preparing for the 2018 Reflections on Style fundraiser.  This is the 14th year of this fabulous event!  Beautiful clothes and accessories are donated from some of Houston’s best dressed women.  The money raised from the fashion show and showroom sales supports the work of The Salvation Army in Greater Houston.

Reflections on Style event

The theme of the 14th annual Reflections on Style Luncheon, Fashion Show and Chic Boutique is Destination Fashion. The event is taking place on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 11 a.m. This year’s event chairs are Diana “Stick” Delaup and Rhonda Jones. The honoree is Betty Hrncir, Contributing Life Member of The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary and President of the Barbara Bush Ladies for Literacy Guild.

Tables of 10 start at $6,000. Individual tickets are available at $600 and $1,000. Tables at the $10,000 level and up and individual $1,000 tickets will enjoy Priority Early Shopping in the Chic Boutique for the best selections.

Chic Boutique Four-Day Sale

The day after the Reflections on Style event, the Women’s Auxiliary will be hosting the Chic Boutique’s Opening Night on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 from 5 to 8 p.m. A $20 donation at the door will give you the opportunity to shop for the greatest deals before the Boutique opens to the general public the following day.

Second Chance shopping will be on Thursday, April 19 and Friday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Your Last Chance to shop will be Saturday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Click here to print flyer.

Doing The Most Good by Shopping!

The money raised provides help and hope to our neighbors in our community, served by The Salvation Army.   In the past years funds have been provided to our Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs for computer labs, music classes, dance classes, cheer classes, football and basketball uniforms, sports equipment, scholarships for summer day camp and summer camps.

Funds have been provided to our homeless shelters and recovery programs for: mattresses, washers and dryers, computer labs, and fitness equipment.  Two years ago, six (6) 12-passenger vans were purchased for six of our Salvation Army Corps Community Centers.  The projects that are sponsored help men, women, young adults, older adults, babies, children and teenagers.

Women’s Auxiliary’s support after Harvey

Each Christmas, The Salvation Army provides toys to over 20,000 children in Houston through our annual Angel Tree program. After Hurricane Harvey, our Christmas Warehouse was flooded and we lost our complete stock of toys.  Thanks to the Women’s Auxiliary’s $65,000 donation we were able to purchase toys for last year’s Angel Tree. The Women’s Auxiliary is our main supporter of this program.

These are some of the reasons this event and sale are so important!

The Salvation Army makes a promise to the community to do the most good, to the most people in the most need.

The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary helps us fulfill that promise.

Questions & Inquiries

For more information about these events and to learn more about The Salvation Army’s Women’s Auxiliary, please contact Sara  Zachry at 832-201-8023 or sara.zachry@uss.salvationarmy.org.