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Salvation Army Services Threatened by Pace of Donations

Could Impact Christmas Programs and Next Year's Services

CHICAGO, Dec. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Salvation Army in Chicago is facing a grave financial shortfall which will severely impact its services to those in need unless the pace of donations increases this Christmas season according to its commanding officer, Lt. Colonel David E. Grindle.

"The economic downturn has attacked us on two fronts," Grindle said. "While demands for Salvation Army services have skyrocketed by more than 80%, donations to the Army so far this Christmas season are lagging behind the pace of last season's giving.

"Since we receive approximately 70% of our donations for the year during the Red Kettle campaign, this imperils not only our Christmas services but our programs and services for 2009."

The Salvation Army is the largest provider of direct social services to those in need in the Chicago area. Its vast array of programs and services reached more that 580,000 people last year ranging from infants to seniors. It provided more than 2 million nutritious meals to hungry people of all ages across metropolitan Chicago. Through shelter programs more than 1000 men, women and children were accommodated under Salvation Army roofs each night.

There are more people coming to The Salvation Army for help now, noted Grindle. "Not only are those in greatest need asking for help today, but those who have newly fallen victim to the economic hard times are at our doors," he said. "These are people who once were donors, and now are clients, seeking help with groceries, utility bills and other services as they struggle to meet their family's needs," he added.

The Salvation Army is committed to helping all those who seek help. "We never want to turn anybody away, but we need to be realistic about what we can do if the current donation trend continues," Grindle said.

Earlier this year, The Salvation Army set a Red Kettle campaign goal of $12 million, and based on current donations, it may fall short. "In recent days," Grindle said, "it has become apparent that even $12 million may not be enough to meet the demand. But falling short of the goal will be disastrous to those we serve --- those who often have no where else to turn for help."

Grindle called on the people of the Chicago area, companies, organizations and foundations for help.

He said:

"Quite simply, we must reach our goal for the people who need our help. We cannot fail them, and we will not fail them with the generous support and donations of those who always come forward to reach out to those in need.

"I know the people of Chicago will respond as they always have, with an open and generous heart. And I pray they will respond now."

To donate to, or learn more about The Salvation Army, go to, or call 1.800.SAL.ARMY.

SOURCE The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division (Chicago)
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