Salvation Army uses new online tool to raise money for Children's Shelter

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Salvation Army of Kansas and Western Missouri is using a new tool to raise awareness and money for its Children’s Shelter.

The organization is using a website called Thunderclap.

Thunderclap takes a message and sends it out using social media platforms. Supporters who want to spread the message sign up and on a designated date, at a designated time, the message will post on all of their social media pages.

“Think of Arrowhead Stadium, where if I'm the only person cheering, nobody is going to hear me,” said Chris Dimaso, E-Communications Specialist for the Salvation Army. “People cheer together, it's deafening.”

On August 21, at 9:30 a.m.the Salvation Army will send out the following message:

“Join the one day effort supporting The Salvation Army's Children Shelter in Kansas City. They need you! #caring4kids

The Salvation Army’s Children’s Shelter cares for children who can no longer live with their parents.

“Most of the kids we service have been recently removed from their families, so we have a lot of grief and trauma that we're dealing with here at the shelter,” said Erin Eaton, Executive Director of the Children’s Shelter.

In order to help the children adjust, Eaton and shelter employees take the children to attractions around Kansas City, like the Kansas City Zoo and Science City. They also have a learning center with computers, an arts and crafts room and a playground to keep the children occupied.

And all of those activities cost money.

“We get kids all the time, all hours of the day and we try and plan for those kids best we can but every little bit of money helps,” said Eaton.

The Shelter’s largest fundraiser each year is the KMBZ Caring for Kids Radio-thon. It’s August 21, 2014 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Eaton said the radio-thon typically raises about $175,000. She acknowledges the loyal supporters who help year after year.

However, through Thunderclap this year, the Salvation Army is hoping to increase that fundraising amount. Eaton is even going as far as hoping for half a million.

“A lot of times, I think people don't donate because they haven't been asked, and so I'm hoping that this is going to put the message in front of them and they will have been asked,” said Dimaso.

To join the Salvation Army’s Thunderclap page and help the message go viral in Kansas City, click here.

You can also learn more about the effort, the Salvation Army and the Children’s Shelter here.

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