As prepared for delivery
May I say, I am thrilled to be here. I am thrilled not only because of how strongly I believe in the spectacular work of the Salvation Army all around the world, but also because I am so grateful to have an opportunity to discuss something that doesn’t involve Twitter, Trade relations, Tariffs. I am happy to talk about another “T”: True love.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the honor of traveling to Gander, Newfoundland to thank that wonderful community for sheltering the people who had “come from away” on that terrible day of 9/11. The people in Gander showed the world the meaning of “true love.”
And of course, “true love” is what this great organization is all about. The people of Gander came together in a very trying time in the wake of the terrorist attacks on my country. The work of the Salvation Army provides that kind of support every day of the year.
In many ways, the Salvation Army – while seeming old school – is actually cutting edge and way ahead of its time in defining the meaning of true love.
I, for example, am the first woman to be appointed U.S Ambassador to Canada. The first in history. You, on the other hand have in your founding documents that women have the same rights to preach as men. That was a very unusual idea in its day in the 1800s and amazingly it remains somewhat groundbreaking.
When I was confirmed by the U.S. Senate one year ago, Senator Ben Cardin asked me about how I would advance the fight against human trafficking in my capacity as Ambassador. Your founding mother, on the other hand, Catherine Booth will be forever remembered for her work directly lobbying Queen Victoria to pass Parliamentary legislation for the protection of girls to safeguard them from child prostitution. The year was 1884 and the Salvation Army collected 340,000 signatures to Parliament to help ensure the bill received passage and Royal Assent.
And your work against human trafficking didn’t stop there. Your founder, William Booth, published an important letter in 1885 concerned with slavery and trafficking in people. Today, your work with the UK’s Modern Slavery Helpline, as well as work with homeless and refugees is vital to people in need in over 140 countries in the world.
You have been at this good work, the work of “true love” for every generation since your founding. That is really something. Most recently, you helped thousands after the tornadoes in Ottawa and Gatineau .
Whether here at home or in South Carolina, you were ready to help – but in no hurry to leave.
You help communities recover from the immediate crisis and later rebuild. You fed the hungry, provided shelter, eased suffering.
It is also worth noting that you have be recognized in modern times as being one of the most popular charities in my country – according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. And you receive an A grade from Charity Watch for your financial efficiency and organizational transparency. These ratings are not a matter of my, admittedly biased positive view of you, they are from independent watch dogs. Your work is true and it is the work of love.
Hopefully by now you realize how much I admire this phenomenal organization, and how inspired I am by your example to the world.
The example set by Catherine and William Booth resonates and inspires thousands today for a simple reason – they preached true love. Catherine Booth said, “[t]here is no improving the future without disturbing the present.”
Thank you for continuing to disturb the present with love.