What is Salvation Army?

What is Salvation Army – Overview

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

The Salvation Army has more than 1.7 million volunteers working through its military-style hierarchy. Volunteers in the TSA are called “soldiers”, “officers” and “adherents” who are altogether known as “Salvationists”.

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 beneficial to the society or the community of mankind as a whole”.

What does the Salvation Army do?

The Salvation Army runs several prominent charitable operations, including:

What does the Salvation Army do

What does the Salvation Army do


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

Usually, the Salvation Army churches are also referred to as “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. The money is raised by selling donated used items, including toys, housewares and clothing.

The clothing donated to the Salvation Army is not usually sold in its thrift stores. These are usually sold to wholesalers on the global second-hand clothing market.

When someone buys an item from a Salvation Army thrift store, a portion of the amount 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.

The Majority of ARCs are men-only.

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

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

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 been significant in providing 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 Missing Persons Service, also known as a Family Tracing Service, is also offered by the Salvation Army.

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

This program by the Salvation Army has helped tens of thousands of people to trace and get back 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, 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 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 word furniture in good structural condition. However, you cannot donate ready-to-assemble furniture made of pressed wood.

On the other hand, you can donate fabric or leather upholstered furniture in clean and 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 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 dropbox for after-hour donations.

To find the location of the nearest Salvation Army store or shop, you can 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.

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