Red Cross vs. Salvation Army

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Difference between Red Cross and Salvation Army

Some wonder, which is better; the Red Cross or the Salvation Army. Many people are familiar with both of these organizations, however if you are not, here is some information that you may not already know and some of these facts could amaze you. Here are some things which people should know in order to understand better what they do and how they operate.

Social Services

Both Red Cross and the Salvation Army work to help those who need some help. They are considered to be a part of social services. They don't bill or make people pay for the services that they offer. They are a not-for-profit organization which means that they rely greatly on the donations that they get from individuals as that is how they get a large portion of their funding. Since they are not-for-profit, they can get more government assistance in the form of grants. However, this is a downfall as well due to the fact that if government decides to cut moneys, they are often cut in the sense of social services budgets. Both organizations must rely on those who contribute to fill in where the government can not.

Services Offered

Many people know the Red Cross as the people who draw blood and keep it on supply. The Red Cross helps with natural disasters offering clothing and shelter as well. While they both have many opportunities in which they serve, the Red Cross is more supportive of overseas work when natural disasters strike.

The Salvation Army has community centers which offer day care and church among other services, they take up a collection during Christmas where people donate money to those ringing bells outside of groceries and department stores, and they have a thrift store that sells mostly used clothing, furniture and household items.

International Services

The Red Cross goes to disaster stricken areas and stays for longer period of time. Not to mention, the Red Cross is who one calls when they need to get in touch with military personnel if there is an emergency.

The Salvation Army works more with people who are in the US. They do help with natural disasters and there have been such instances where there have been national disasters and they have loaded up teams to go help in affected areas. They have taken up food collections and clothing collections as well as money collections.

Similarities and Differences

They have many things that set them apart from one another, but they both help people in the time of need.

Both step up during times of a natural disaster. Red Cross does more natural disaster work while Salvation Army works to help low income families. Salvation Army and Red Cross are full time social services organizations which work for the good of those in need throughout the year.

 
 

Discuss It: comments 18

The red cross keeps money for themselves,and barely any goes to people in need. 90% of all collected from Salvation Army goes to the people. THAT is the most important fact!

  • Guest
  • Pat Kerber wrote on 4 weeks ago

Liar. 89.6% of donations to the Red Cross go to the victims. Get your facts straight before slandering organizations.

  • Guest
  • Tory wrote on 4 weeks ago

The Red Cross keeps 9% of monetary donations for their overhead. That's not that bad but the problem is that the Red Cross is limited in what it can do. Their main focus is on taking in money and buying material supplies to transport to hard hit areas. Things like blankets and tents. The problem however is that blankets and tents are not always what's needed and in many cases the supply of said is insufficient. In other words the Red Cross has lots of money but the market doesnt have enough goods to purchase. Further, the Red Cross is like a triage operation. They com in fast and leave early. Other organizations like the Salvation Army (and many others) come in and stay, often becoming part of the community or were already part of the community.

They end up giving much of it away to other relief agencies who are in a better position to help. The Red Cross has its place but people tend to blindly give without really thinking about where its going.

  • Guest
  • caryn v zandt wrote on 19 hours ago

THAT'S NOT A FACT. IT'S RUMOR. And you're helping to spread that rumor. Check the real facts, first. All organizations have flaws you can leap on, but how does th De Red Cross compare to what YOU have done in disaster relief? I, on the other hand, have actually worked with both agencies in disaster relief. They were both there all the time. Where were YOU?

  • Guest
  • tracie rose wrote on September 2015

A friend was in a flood many years ago in Northern California. the Salvation army gave vouchers for purchasing new clothes, beds, food, linens, essentials. The Red cross set up a booth and handed out free coffee. That was the extent of the benefit from the red cross.

The Slavation Army operates in 126 countries and is based in London. This article makes it sound like it's primarily a USA thing. The Salvation Army also owns hospitals in various parts of the world. They also do better tracking their finances. Red Cross has always been vague on where their money is spent.

After my entire neighborhood burned down in Southern California, the Salvation Army turned out to be way more respo dive and helpful to the needs of our community. Y far!! I o my do ate to them now.

  • Guest
  • Annmarie Zan wrote on 4 weeks ago

Okay, here are the facts from someone whose has direct experience during a tornado. The Red Cross supplied coffee and donuts and a "disaster kit" that consisted of half a washcloth, women got s toothbrush and men got toothpaste women also got blood red nail polish and lipstick that was it. The Red Cross was also the first disaster agency to leave taking a lot of the money collected with them "for the next disaster " the Salvation Army provided free hot meals, replaced prescription medications, gave vouchers for clothing and building supplies and opened their shelters to people needing it. They were the last agency to pull out. They also offered prayers for anyone who wanted them but they did not force the issue. I was so impressed that I have become a volunteer for the Army

  • Guest
  • Stan Kaplan wrote on 3 weeks ago

My mom always prefered the Salvation Army to the Red Cross. She was born in 1920 and lived through WW2. She worked at Remington arms in Bridgeport, Conn. Making ammo for the troops. She had nothing good to say about the Red Cross and liked the Salvation Army, I'm going with her judgement.

  • Guest
  • Robert Johnson, MD wrote on 3 weeks ago

As a retired Army physician who has had extensive experience in disaster management, I would say first that the American Red Cross(ARC) and the Salvation Army(SA) are very different organizations. the ARC is a huge charity that provides standardized services in disasters, including some material support as well as volunteers who can advise victims on available resources. The SA is an Evangelical Christian church that has specialized in caring for the poorest and most damaged members of our society. Remember when Jesus said "when you fed the least of my brothers and sisters you were feeding me"? That is the ethos of the SA. The CEO of the ARC makes $517,000/year. The CEO of the SA makes $13,000/year plus a parsonage and some allowances and benefits. On the ground, you will see the SA folks purposefully looking for and caring for those with the most profound needs. The ARC is more like a global disaster service machine. It does good work, but at arms length. They both have their place. I have chosen to support the SA with my disaster dollars.

  • Guest
  • Patricia Riley wrote on 3 weeks ago

when my husband was in Viet Nam he was told if you want to leave and be home for the birth of your baby turn to the Salvation Army not the Red Cross. The S.A. is for the little man. He made it home and never returned to Nam.

  • Guest
  • Charles wrote on 2 weeks ago

My friend who was in Vietnam said if he wanted a Red Cross package (meant for U.S. Troops) he had to to invade a VC Village/kill a high-ranking VC to get one, because the South Vietnamese were so corrupt, they'd sell or give OUR RC packages to the enemy (cousins) to keep from being attacked for a short time!

You cannot trust the Vietnamese or the Red Cross either.

  • Guest
  • Sarah Whitton wrote on 3 weeks ago

Let's hear the truth..what part (%) of Red Cross monies and Salvation Army monies goes to the need and people and what % to employers and ect?

Unfortunately religious organizations, such as Salvation Army, are exempt under Internal Revenue Code from filing the Form 990. As a result, there is no sufficient data to evaluate their financial health and puts them right along the lines of people like Joel Osteen who just suck money out of people's hands without any accountability of where it's going. Thankfully, the American Red Cross is NOT a religious organization, so we can identify what goes where with websites like this: https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3277

All I know for sure is that while watching a televised award ceremony after a huricane the red cross was booed by huricane victims; while the salvation army was cheered!

  • Guest
  • Mike Patton wrote on 2 weeks ago

I have heard too many things about Red Cross; between the two I would pick Salvation Army any day.......... I used to give blood to the Red Cross until I found out that they sold the blood I gave them for free (not counting the occasional T shirt that was way too large for me or for the juice and cookies.

  • Guest
  • Nancy Bartholomew wrote on 1 weeks ago

During World War II, while serving in France in November 1944, my husband (to be, an infantryman, was shot by the Germans. He was taken to a Field Hospital for surgery and after weeks of rehab in England, he was sent to a hospital on Long Island, NY. While there, he received a telegram that a very close relative had died. He was given an emergency leave, but he didn’t have enough money for a train ticket to Pittsburgh. He asked the Red Cross for help, but was denied. He went to the Salvation Army and they not only bought his ticket to Pittsburgh, but a return ticket to his base on Long Island. Ever since then we will not donate to The Red Cross, The Salvation Army only.

  • Guest
  • Wayne wrote on 5 days ago

My niece a nurse, PA was in St. Thomas with other PA's on a medical convention, they stayed on the 3rd floor, the 4th floor got blown off and they moved to the second floor and rode out the Hurricane, after wards with all the damage etc. they went to the Red Cross for food and water, they got refused because they were classified at tourist!!!!!!!!!!! Only locals would get their services!!!!!!!!! Can you imagine that, US citizens being denied from the Red Cross. I always donated to the Red Cross, NO MORE. It will be the Salvation Army from now on.

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