Toronto, ON May 26, 2010 –The Salvation Army is reporting today that donations to its 2010 National Red Shield Campaign are approximately $1.15 million short of the $2.75 million goal needed to provide social services helping Canada’s poor and homeless. The campaign has collected an estimated 60 percent, or $1.6 million, of its goal going into its final week. The decline in giving is part of a larger trend seen most recently at Salvation Army centres and shelters across the country.
“In this final week of the Red Shield Campaign, we are asking the public to consider making a donation that will impact millions currently facing homelessness and poverty,” said Graham Moore, Territorial Secretary for Public Relations and Development of The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda. “All contributions go to work in the local community, where our services are needed more and more each day.”
The Salvation Army currently has 462 units providing social services within local communities across Canada. Most of these are small and operate with limited resources. In fact, 63 percent have a budget of less than $500,000 and more than 20 percent finished the 2009/2010 fiscal year with a deficit. Current projections put this year’s Red Shield Campaign on track with results from 2009, when The Salvation Army saw an 8.5 percent drop in donations from the previous year.
A report on homelessness and poverty, released at the beginning of May, revealed that close to one in nine adults in Canada has either experienced or come close to experiencing homelessness. The report also revealed that demand for general social services at The Salvation Army increased by more than 25 percent since 2008.
“Since the financial fallout, we’ve seen a larger national trend where request for social services have outpaced donation rates,” said Graham Moore. “We’ve seen a number of cases where the demand for service has led to fiscal uncertainty for local Salvation Army units.”
For more than 90 years, The National Red Shield Campaign has raised funds to support Salvation Army programs, aimed at the more than three million people living in poverty today. During this month, The Salvation Army is running several public service announcements that spotlight the issue of poverty. The advertising campaign’s message, that “Poverty shouldn’t be a life sentence,” has appeared in-print, online and on-air. Also, on May 19th, The Salvation Army hosted its largest single-day event, opening several shelters and outreach centres to the general public as part of its National Open House Day.
“As the largest provider of social services, outside the government, The Salvation Army is calling for new donations to help deliver critical services,” said Andrew Burditt, Territorial Public Relations Director for The Salvation Army. “We are calling on Canadians everywhere to dig deep and consider a donation that will go to work immediately within their local community.”
Money raised throughout the National Red Shield Campaign directly supports those living in poverty through Salvation Army services like emergency shelter care, substance abuse counselling and employment training.
Financial contributions can be made by visiting www.SalvationArmy.ca, by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769), by mailing donations to The Salvation Army, 2 Overlea Blvd., Toronto, ON M4H1P4 or by dropping off financial donations at the closet Salvation Army facility in your area.
Donors can also support the Red Shield Campaign By texting HOME to 45678 from most mobile carriers in Canada. A $5 donation will be added to your monthly mobile bill.
About The Red Shield Campaign:
The National Red Shield Campaign is an annual fundraising and public awareness campaign held annually throughout the month of May. The Salvation Army utilizes online, phone, direct mail and door-to-door appeals to solicit donations from generous Canadians. Giving to The Salvation Army offers an opportunity to invest in the future of marginalized and overlooked people in your community. 86 cents of every dollar raised by The Salvation Army goes directly to support those in need.
About The Salvation Army:
The Salvation Army is an international Christian organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in the country. The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people today and everyday in 400 communities across Canada and 120 countries around the world. The Salvation Army offers practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life, providing shelter for homeless people and rehabilitation for people who have lost control of their lives to an addiction. When you give to The Salvation Army, you are investing in the future of marginalized and overlooked people in your community.
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The Salvation Army’s report on homelessness and poverty, and other news and information can be found online at www.SalvationArmy.ca
For further information please contact:
Territorial Public Relations Director
The Salvation Army