What is Salvation Army?

What is Salvation Army – Overview

The Salvation Army is also known as TSA in short. It combines an international charitable organization and a Protestant Christian church.

The Salvation Army has over 1.7 million members, including soldiers, officers, and adherents, who contribute to its work. Members are called “soldiers,” “officers,” and “adherents,” collectively known as “Salvationists; “volunteers may also support the organization.

William Booth founded the Salvation Army in 1865 in London. This organization aims to bring salvation to the destitute, hungry and poor.

This is done by fulfilling their “spiritual and physical needs”.

TSA operates in 132 countries across the globe. It offers shelter for the homeless and runs charity shops. TSA also offers disaster relief and humanitarian aid to developing countries.

TSA aims to work for the “advancement of the Christian religion of education, the relief of poverty, and other charitable objects are beneficial to the society or the community of mankind.”

What does the Salvation Army do

The Salvation Army runs several prominent charitable operations, including:


The Salvation Army has established its churches globally, known as the “Salvation Army Corps”. They are usually part of a larger community welfare center.

Usually, the Salvation Army churches are called “citadels” or “temples” by their members and volunteers.

Charity Shops & Thrift Stores

The TSA is most renowned for its incredibly vast network of thrift stores and charity shops. These are called “Sally Ann” stores in the US and Canada.

They may also be called “Salvo Stores” in Australia or “Sally’s” in New Zealand.

These charity shops and thrift stores raise money for rehabilitation programs by selling donated used items, including toys, housewares, and clothing.

The clothing donated to the Salvation Army is typically sold in thrift stores, with unsold items possibly sold to recyclers or in the global second-hand clothing market. These are usually sold to wholesalers in the global second-hand clothing market.

When someone buys an item from a Salvation Army thrift store, a portion goes to the Army’s emergency relief initiatives.

Clothes that are not sold are normally recycled and converted to other items, such as carpet underlay.

The Army also helps employees by hiring ex-felons, as the Army believes in giving everyone a second chance.

The Salvation Army regularly offers numerous job opportunities across the US. Employees at TSA can even make their way up to become managers or work in a TSA corporate office.

Adult Rehabilitation Centers

The Salvation Army also runs several Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARCs) across the United States. Here, men and women can enroll in a 6-month rehabilitation program.

Under this, the enrollees can live and work at the ARC residences. This is unpaid work. However, the enrollees are provided with comfortable rooms and board.

Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARCs) serve both men and women, though some facilities may be men-only or women-only.

This initiative is primarily aimed at combatting substance addiction. The volunteers can work in the residence, store, or warehouse.

This program is also called “work therapy.” As part of their rehabilitation, the enrollees attend classes, twelve-step de-addiction programs, and chapel services.

Disaster Relief

The Salvation Army is also focused on providing disaster relief at an international level. TSA is classified as a non-governmental relief agency.

It is usually among the first teams to arrive at a man-made or natural disaster site. The TSA has worked to offer relief and help people rebuild their lives after a disaster.

The Salvation Army has significantly provided disaster relief after numerous popular incidences.

Their relief work after Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Hugo and other major disasters in the US is truly notable.

Family Tracing Service

The Salvation Army also offers a Missing Person Service, also known as a Family Tracing Service.

This initiative aims to restore or sustain family relationships where contact has been lost recently or in the distant past.

This Salvation Army program has helped tens of thousands of people reconnect with their long-lost families and relatives.

Youth Groups

The TSA also runs several youth groups, including Sunday Schools and the Scout and Guide programs. The Scout and Guide pack is sponsored by the Salvation Army.

The TSA also operates Adventure Corps. This serves school-age boys. It is divided into Rangers (for 6th to 8th Grades) and Explorers (for 5th Grade and younger).


The Salvation Army also organizes summer camps for kids, adult daycare centers and Silvercrest Residencies.

The Army operates through its huge network of international, national and local headquarters.

Some of the other charitable and social uplifting services offered by the Salvation Army include:

  • Residential addiction dependency programs
  • Homeless hostels
  • Homes for the elderly
  • Children’s homes
  • Women’s and men’s refuge centers
  • Mother and baby homes
  • Schools
  • General hospitals
  • After school programs
  • Maternity hospitals
  • Food pantries
  • Cooling stations
  • Overnight warming stations

What can I donate to the Salvation Army

The Salvation Army welcomes monetary donations of numerous kinds. Apart from money, they also accept several other essential items as donations.

The TSA may disallow certain items due to safety concerns or legal restrictions. However, the organization readily accepts most household goods that are in working condition.

These are the things you can donate to the Salvation Army:

Clothing and Smaller Items

The TSA accepts clothing items for men, women, children and infants. It also accepts compact discs, recordings, shoes, jewelry, purses and accessories.

You can also donate books (except for dictionaries and encyclopedias). Besides these, you can also donate small antiques, collectibles, and linens (blankets, bed sheets, pillowcases, and towels).

The organization also accepts donations of commonly used household items, such as clean and usable pans and dishes.

Electric and Electronic Items

You can also donate small electric items to the Salvation Army, including TV sets, radios, and lamps, which are in working condition. However, avoid donating TV sets that are over 5 years old.

You can also donate laptops, computers, cell phones and other electronic devices.

However, make sure to delete all personal information from these before donating. Also, the Salvation Army does not accept CRT-ray computer monitors due to concerns of toxic material.

Furniture and Appliances

The Salvation Army welcomes large appliances, such as stoves, refrigerators, washers and air conditioners.

However, you need to make sure that these appliances are in good working condition and rust-free. The Salvation Army does not accept donations of any type of gas-powered appliance.

The Army also accepts wood furniture in good structural condition.

On the other hand, you can donate fabric or leather upholstered furniture that is clean and in good condition. You can also donate mattresses and box springs that are structurally strong and tear and stain-free.

Other Items

You can also donate your old shelves and counters used for store displays. You can even donate old farm equipment, gardening equipment and tools.

The Army also accepts donations of large-sized exercise equipment, including bicycles and treadmills that are in good working condition.

The Army usually recommends checking the acceptability of exercise equipment, especially ski machines, before donating.

Recreational vehicles, cars, trucks and boats are also accepted by the Army as long as they are in good working condition.

However, local restrictions and regulations may prevent the Salvation Army from accepting donations of certain vehicles.

To find the type of items you can donate to the Salvation Army, you can simply check by calling 1-800-728-7825.

How do I donate to the Salvation Army?

You can donate items at the nearest Salvation Army thrift store or charity shop. Several locations also offer a drop box for after-hour donations.

To find the nearest Salvation Army store or shop’s location, call the toll-free number at 1-800-728-7825 and schedule a donation pick-up.

You can also choose to visit the official Salvation Army website for more such information by clicking at https://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/.


The Salvation Army has been a prominent charity and relief organization worldwide.

For over 100 years, the Army has worked relentlessly to better the lives of the destitute, the poor and the hungry.

It is highly encouraged to donate your old clothes, accessories, furniture, appliances, electronics and other such items to the Salvation Army regularly.

See Also

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How to Negotiate Medical Bills in Collections

Plastic Surgery Charities

Charities that Help With Medical Equipment

Dental Charities for Adults

Charities That Help With Medical Bills

Dental Implant Grants

Current Version
January 8, 2022
Written By
Shubham Grover
March 29, 2024
Updated By
Andrea Morales G.

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