The Salvation Army Hong Kong and Macau Command launched a Self Denial Appeal on April 2005 with the theme, "Reach Out in Love," a fundraiser that will conclude on July 31. The objective is to support the Salvation Army's work in Rwanda, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay as well as evangelical work in China.
The Self Denial Appeal was established about a hundred years ago as a way to support the missions that were expanding through the Salvation Army at the time. William Booth, the founder, appealed to Salvation workers to deny themselves and sacrifice something for missions overseas.
John Carleton was the first to accept the appeal and sacrificed a part of his meal, but Booth figured that, instead of asking the workers to sacrifice everyday, he believed that he could raise the money through fundraisers. The first Self Denial Appeal in 1886 raised $70,000 HK dollars and was used to further missions.
Since then, the Self Denial Appeal has raised millions of dollars as well as providing an opportunity where people can give through acts of self denial, which they believe is an integral part of the Christian experience.
This year, their plan is to split the proceeds fifty-fifty between their partners in mission, Rwanda and countries in South America, an area with a high adult prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS, and the developing projects overseas in China.
One fundraising activity was a walkathon that included over 900 participants on May 2.
Mr. Alfred Tsang, an officer for Hong Kong's command said that "the Self Denial Appeal provides an invaluable opportunity [...] to support its global preaching and healing ministry beyond our own shores."
In addition, he expressed the root of the Self Denial Appeal, saying that Army workers should donate a part of their weekly salary to the mission.
He said, "Our sacrificial giving will make it possible for people in need to be healed and helped in a God glorifying way," while stating that "1 John 3:18 says 'Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.'"
Through the annual appeal, The Salvation Army has provided clothing and education for disadvantaged children, and has provided care for the sick and the elderly from many countries of different cultures.