The Indiana War Memorial is a stately building known far and wide for its beautiful limestone exterior, Ionic columns and marble interior. The museum and monuments inside honor Hoosiers who fought for freedom, liberty and the rights of people at home and abroad. It was the perfect setting for The Salvation Army’s first William Booth Society Reception honoring those in our community whose generous support helps us fight poverty, hunger, homelessness and addiction in our community.

On March 6, The Salvation Army recognized individuals, corporations and organizations in Central Indiana that gave gifts of $5,000 or more to The Salvation Army in 2013. Jay Ricker, Chairman of the William Booth Society Committee, led the evening’s presentations with a “Top 10” list of fun facts about The Salvation Army. (Who knew that The Salvation Army has been depicted in 140 feature films, including Titanic and King Kong?)

Indiana Divisional Commander Major John Turner spoke about the history of The Salvation Honor and its founder, William Booth. Duke Haddad, Executive Director of Development, explained just how far $5,000 could go.

“What can The Salvation Army do with $5,000?” asked Haddad. “We can feed an entire family of four for 165 days. Now that’s stretching a dollar!” He went on to explain that the same amount could also send 100 kids to summer day camp or provide shelter for a family of four for 50 nights.

After each of the 2013 William Booth Society members in attendance had been recognized, guests had a chance to visit to The Salvation Army Doughnut Girl exhibit in the Indiana War Memorial Military Museum The exhibit commemorates the women who joined soldiers in the trenches and on the front lines during WWI, preparing hot doughnuts and coffee for the weary and grateful soldiers.

Today The Salvation Army continues to serve in a great variety of ways, ensuring that more than 82 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to services. As Major Turner told the group, “Our motto, ‘Doing the most good,’ isn’t a boast. It’s a promise that we make to donors and volunteers that we will always use our resources in the most efficient way possible.”

As the William Booth Society continues to grow, we are thankful that so many members of the Central Indiana community are committed to helping those who struggle the most find their way to a better life.

While women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight; while little children go hungry, as they do now, I’ll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight-I’ll fight to the very end!

-William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army