Salvation Army bell ringers and the red buckets they stand next to are a staple during the holidays, but the non-profit’s fundraising efforts run much deeper. Dan Alsaker, a former NATSO chairman and president of Broadway Flying J, is a long-time Salvation Army supporter, and he recently helped the Salvation Army raise money during its annual Christmas luncheon.
During the luncheon, Alsaker spoke to the group about a ‘Golden Thread” that connects us to one another. “We all owe our measure of success to someone who helped us along the way,” he said.
Alsaker told luncheon attendees, “we all drink water from a well dug by others.” He said, “Our journeys are filled with unknown turns and dips along the way but we all are thankful for the deeds and direction built by others for us to inherit briefly as we reshape them and prepare to pass them along to the next generation.”
As part of his address, Alsaker encouraged attendees to express their thanks by sharing their resources and time. “With our gifts, we have an opportunity to help someone else check off an item on their ‘bucket list,’ whether it’s providing a warm, safe bed for a toddler ripped from a drug-infested home in the middle of the night or wool socks and a winter coat for an elderly woman living on our streets,” he said. “We need to challenge one another to do more as the rhythm of hope surrounds us this Christmas season!”
The event raised more money than anticipated. “It was a tremendous experience,” Alsaker said.
Supporting the Salvation Army has been a priority that started for Alsaker years ago when Jack Burns, an early NATSO member and industry leader, shared his love of the organization with him. “He became a dear, dear friend and colleague. He and his family were big supporters of the Salvation Army. They would go out to the corner with a bell and I was always impressed with such an astute businessman would go out to do that,” Alsaker said.
Later, Alsaker’s mother became a supporter of Salvation Army’s Sally’s House, which provides emergency foster care and parenting support. “When my mother passed, we sponsored a consulting room at Sally’s House in her name,” he said.
NATSO encourages all members to share their stories of giving, both throughout the year and during the holidays. “As operators, we do a lot of things in the industry but sometimes we forget to share the things that are non-industry related that support our communities. Everyone needs to hear about what we are doing,” Alsaker said.
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