I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the people who so generously contributed to our Red Kettle campaign during the holidays. Although we didn’t meet our financial goal, we were able to help more than 200,000 people with food and children’s toys. Thank you. Your generous support all year long allows us to help needy people throughout New Jersey.
But I am worried. Our donations are down by this time more than 10 percent, yet there are so many people in our state who are struggling. Our economy is on the rise; however, it will be a while before the improvement is felt by many of the people we serve. Still, there are many people in dire straits due to the loss of employment and salary cutbacks. And, costs for services are on the rise. Many people are struggling to pay their bills, hoping something will be left over for food. Others, the homeless, are simply struggling to survive through the winter.
Salvation Army shelters have been consistently full and often people are turned away for lack of room. Safety laws forbid overcrowding and limit the number of homeless in shelters. But where are they to go? And who will feed them? My heart is heavy knowing that The Salvation Army cannot help everyone, at least not without more financial support. I ask you to continue and even increase your donations to The Salvation Army this year since it is needed more than ever.
Thank you my friends, I wish you a safe, Happy New Year and peace in our world. For more information, I invite you to visit our website, www.salvationarmynewjersey.org or please call Tricia Pellegrini at our Divisional Headquarters, 908-851-9300.
Major Stephen Banfield
NJ State Commander
The Salvation Army