At this time of year, most people focus their thoughts on the upcoming holiday season. Stores are stocked with winter merchandise, decorated trees are on display and lists are made so that no one is forgotten. Yet there will be many people without a gift, warm clothes or even food on the table. And, there are a number of people who will be without shelter, living on the streets and alleys.
The Salvation Army strives to help people in need, 365 days a year. We provide food, shelter and warm clothing. We provide day care, after school programs and camping to youth. We visit the elderly at home, in hospitals and nursing homes. We provide educational resource such as computer labs, ESL classes and job readiness training. We help the families of our troops overseas. We continue to help those affected by 9/11. And yes, we provide toys and small gifts to the elderly at Christmas.
Our annual Red Kettle appeal, from mid-November to December 24, provides the funds we use all year long, not just for the holidays. We rely on your generosity and pray that this year, you will be able to help even more. Our corps locations, throughout New Jersey, have seen a dramatic rise in the number of people asking for help. The Salvation Army can only provide the help that is needed, if our kettles are full this Christmas. I thank you for your support in the past. I wish you peace, joy, health and a full heart. And, I ask you to be as generous as possible when you encounter our red kettles this holiday season.
To learn more about The Salvation Army in New Jersey, I invite you to visit our website, www.salvationarmynewjersy.org. For information on other ways to help, please call Tricia Pellegrini at our Divisional Headquarters, 908-851-9300.
Major Stephen Banfield
NJ State Commander
The Salvation Army