Salvation Army needs your help

Published 6:13pm Wednesday, December 7, 2011

By Major Eric Roberts

 

At the end of 2011, people in the Black Belt are still feeling the effects of the economic downturn that started in 2008. Although many people are struggling, low-income families and individuals are contemplating much more difficult issues like choosing between food or making utility payments. The Salvation Army is more determined than ever to help them bridge the gap between their resources and the cost of acquiring basic human needs. And they’re asking friends and neighbors for help, in the form of cash donations.

The Salvation Army foresees a critical situation in 2012. Economic factors such as layoffs and foreclosures have also adversely affected local giving, as people find themselves with less discretionary income. And the economic instability has affected not only those who are already struggling, but also those generous people who would usually feel compelled to offer their financial support.

The majority of our local programs rely directly on our community’s support. While it is important to be aware of shortfalls elsewhere, we cannot put the needs of our less fortunate neighbors here on hold. There are those in our community who struggle with obtaining life’s basic necessities, a very common denominator in poverty. We’ve lost manufacturing jobs and many service jobs pay a living wage.

Many of those who come to us are the working poor, struggling to make ends meet and provide for their children. Low-income seniors with only Social Security incomes are caught up in this struggle too.

The Salvation Army in the Black Belt urges local residents to donate generously before year-end. These gifts may be tax-deductible and, more importantly, they will help those less fortunate ring in the New Year with a renewed sense of hope.

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States.

Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. Out of every dollar spent, 82 cents is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

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