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What is Echelon?

"Young adult engagement with The Salvation Army will always be important for the organization’s future."

In order to ensure that The Salvation Army continues to do good work in God’s name for many years to come, it is vital to raise up the next generation of Salvationists and get them involved in what’s happening now. That’s where Echelon comes in. Echelon is a nationwide community whose mission is “to mobilize the next generation for The Salvation Army by providing opportunities for young adults to engage with the organization through fellowship and networking, donations and fundraising, and service and volunteering.” With more than 35 chapters across the country (and counting), these emerging professionals are proving their dedication to both their communities and the Army’s mission every day. 

Today’s young adults recognize the tangible needs in their communities and want to be involved but can’t always find the opportunities to help. By joining Echelon, they have the opportunity to be directly involved in something bigger and more meaningful than themselves, engage and network with other professionals, and potentially become future leaders of The Salvation Army.  

Echelon started more than 12 years ago in Dallas as an offshoot of the Women’s Auxiliary. When it first started, the “Junior Women’s Auxiliary” was designed as an outreach initiative for young adults. They volunteered in their area, similarly to the original group. Before long, it was decided the group should be inclusive of both young men and women. An executive committee of active members was formed, and the rebranding process began. In March 2012, a formal announcement event was held, drawing in almost 300 young adults. The name and branding for Echelon were unveiled along with the official slogan, “Mobilizing the Next Generation.” Since then, Echelon has continued to expand.

In 2017, the Echelon Leadership Council (ELC) was formed to guide the continued growth and development of Echelon. Under their leadership, Echelon has now had two Leaders Symposia, the most recent of which was held at NHQ this past October. The event was an opportunity for leaders from chapters around the country to learn from each other and several highly qualified speakers about recruitment, member engagement and succession planning.

Young adult engagement with The Salvation Army will always be important for the organization’s future. Of the many ways people can get involved with volunteering with the Army, Echelon is perhaps the most beneficial for young professionals. If you or someone you know is interested in finding a local chapter or even starting your own, get connected with Echelon on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook or salvationarmyechelon.org.

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