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Exhibition Join In: Voluntary Assocations in America

Detroit Publishing Company. Remember the Poor: A Salvation Army Christmas Box, ca. 1903. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (115.00.00)

Salvation Army

In 1865, Methodist minister William Booth (1829–1912) and his wife Catherine (1829–1890) created the Christian Mission in London’s destitute East End to fight poverty and to raise interest in the Gospel. The association adopted military-style ranks and hierarchies. Later renamed the Salvation Army, it opened its first U.S. branch in 1880. During the Great Depression, the Salvation Army provided food and lodging for those in need and throughout both world wars its work with the armed forces was noteworthy, earning it recognition as a significant international charity organization. Today, with a presence in 131 countries, its extensive charitable efforts include running charity shops, operating shelters for the homeless, providing disaster relief, and furnishing humanitarian aid to developing countries.