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Each year more than 30 million people in the United States receive services provided by the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army serves all those in need regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.
The basic social services developed by William Booth exemplify the Army’s strong religious principles. In addition, new programs that address contemporary needs have been established around the world.
The Salvation Army has been active in Broward County since 1926. Ft. Lauderdale pioneer Ivy Stranahan was active in the formation of The Salvation Army in Broward County and was one of the original board members.
The Salvation Army was founded by William Booth, a Methodist minister, in London in 1865. Booth worked with the poor and homeless in the East End of London, providing "soup, soap, and salvation." The Salvation Army came to the United States in 1879 through the work of a teenage girl in Philadelphia and expanded into New York in 1880. Within five years, The Salvation Army was operating in Canada, India, Switzerland, Sweden, Sri Lanka, South Africa, New Zealand, and Pakistan and today is active in over 125 countries throughout the world.
During World War I, Salvation Army "Doughnut Girls" served coffee and doughnuts to soldiers battling on the front lines. The Salvation Army was instrumental in forming the USO in 1941 in response to a request from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt determined it would be best if private organizations handled the on-leave recreation needs of the rapidly growing U.S. armed forces. Roosevelt's call to action led The Salvation Army and five other civilian agencies to coordinate their civilian war efforts and resources to form a new organization - the USO (United Service Organizations).