While Most Stores See Red…

Story Courtesy of NBC 5 Chicago

In the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, one chain of retail stores in Chicago is doing a booming business.

“My experience is that when business is good for the thrift store business, the economy is kind of in a rough way,” said Major Mark Anderson of the Salvation Army. “Individuals are looking at their checkbook. They’re looking at how much they’re able to spend.”

Business has never been greater for the Army’s 26 Chicago-area Thrift Stores, and many are first-time customers.

“We’re seeing people come into our stores that we haven’t seen before,” said Anderson. “I will tell you that it is a tough step when you’re out of funds, you’re laid off, things have gotten rough. It’s a tough step to ask for help.”

Click here to read more

Elgin Salvation Army Thrift Store Closing During the Winter Due to Slump in Sales

Story courtesy of CBS 2 News CHicagoOctober 20, 2009ELGIN, Ill. (CBS) ―In these tough economic times, department stores aren’t the only shops taking a hit. Thrift stores are taking a beating, too. As CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports, a thrift shop in Elgin has seen such a slump, it’s closing for the season.The Salvation Army Thrift Store in Elgin makes between $40,000 and $50,000 each year. Last year, the store made only $14,000.More clothes are also being given away to those in need, rather than being sold. The store also lost $4,000 in profit last year.”Because of the economy and everything, no jobs, people are trying to hang on to what they have because they can’t afford to buy anything new,” said Mae Adams, a sales clerk at the Elgin store.Adams said there are less high-end donations that bring in more money.This will be the first Salvation Army Thrift Store to close during the winter months. The shop, offering everything from housewares and handbags to clothing and shoes, is giving more clothes away to those in need, than they’re selling.   Read more | Donation Drop Off Locations


US Open Draw Announced

The draw for the biggest and best US Open ever has been announced.

The executive board of the US Open Brass Band Championships announces the results of the draw for position for this year’s contest to be held on November 7 at the Norris Center in St. Charles, IL The order of performance will be:1. Ohio Brass Band2. Madison Brass Band3. Eastern Iowa Brass Band4. Prairie Brass Band5. Milwaukee Festival Brass6. Weston Silver Band of Toronto7. Brass Band of Central Florida8. Fountain City Brass Band9. Motor City Brass BandThe bands will be adjudicated by an experienced panel of judges, using the Open’s system of ranking and rating every band, first through last, utilizing a criteria-based reference system for both the music and the entertainment qualities.This year’s judging panel will be headed by noted conductor and adjudicator John Phillips from Toronto, Ontario. He’ll be joined by Bill Himes, conductor of the Chicago Staff Band of the Salvation Army and internationally renowned composer. Rounding out the group will be Dr. John Bell, from Southern Illinois University.All three adjudicators have extensive brass band experience as well as a rich background and training in adjudication techniques. Says Clark Niermeyer, president of the US Open,“:We are thrilled to have this caliber of adjudication available for the bands, given that this year is both the largest field of bands and all indication point to the most competitive year ever.”For further information, including how to secure tickets to the event and the awards banquet, please see www.usopenbrass.orgOriginal Article found at: http://www.4barsrest.com/news/detail.asp?id=10560

Ladies'Home Journal Challenges Agencies

Doing good can be contagious — and, thanks to Ladies’ Home Journal’s new Do Good Agency Challenge, it can be competitive, too. The magazine’s Julie Pinkwater explains.I’m proud to be the publisher of Ladies’ Home Journal, the magazine that adopted the forward-thinking “Never underestimate the power of a woman” slogan almost a century ago. I’m even prouder that we practice what we preach. Together with my partner, Ladies’ Home Journal Editor in Chief Sally Lee, we brought a “Do good” philosophy to the magazine earlier this year.This means more editorial coverage of ordinary women changing the world; more volunteer opportunities and ways readers can get involved; more group activities for our staff members (yes, that was us collecting shoes outside the Kellie Pickler concert at Madison Square Garden on behalf of Soles4Souls); and more awareness for brands and their philanthropic efforts.In April, we introduced the Ladies’ Home Journal “Do Good” stamp. Each quarter, we’ll award the stamp to corporations and brands that are committed to doing good and that are an inspiration to all of us. The stamp is valid for two years and can be used by companies on their brand packaging and marketing materials to raise awareness of their philanthropic efforts. Be sure to check out our December/January issue where our first Do Good stamp recipients, chosen by an independent advisory panel, will be unveiled.We have found that doing good is contagious, and that’s why we created the Ladies’ Home Journal Do Good Agency Challenge, which we kicked off last week. Mediavest, Mindshare and Optimedia in New York; MPG in Boston; and Starcom in Chicago are just a few of the agencies on board with us for this eight-week challenge that involves volunteer activities and donation drives.The first donation drive will focus on the theme of “Doing good for the hungry,” and we’re asking agencies to collect canned and packaged goods (such as soups and pastas) to benefit Boston Rescue Mission, New York’s City Harvest and the Greater Chicago Food Depository. We’ll also promote volunteer opportunities on a robust microsite we created to support this initiative. Ladies’ Home Journal and employees of our corporate parent, Meredith Corp., will also take part to help us reach our collective goal of 1,500 items donated and 3,000 volunteer hours served over eight weeks.Other collection opportunities will be centered on children (benefiting Children’s Aid Center in New York, Cradles to Crayons in Boston and the St. Vincent De Paul Center in Chicago); animals (benefiting Alive Rescue in Chicago; Animal Care and Control and Animal Medical Center in New York; and MSPCA Angel in Boston) and the homeless (benefiting the Salvation Army). On lhjdogoodchallenge.com, we’ll be blogging and posting “Do Good” photos of the week to keep everybody fired up. Agencies will be able to see how they stack up against the competition.What’s everyone competing for? Besides bragging rights, of course, the agency with the most goods donated and volunteer hours served will win a holiday happy hour celebration.The winning agency will be announced the week of Dec. 7. But when doing good is involved, aren’t we all winners?Original Article found at: http://adage.com/goodworks/post?article_id=139626