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Tents for Haiti
Salvation Army Thrift Stores are raising funds for 1,000 United Nations approved tents for earthquake survivors.

The Salvation Army has launched a new program to raise money for temporary housing in Haiti. Starting today, Canadians who visit one of the hundreds of participating Salvation Army Thrift Stores locations nationwide can donate funds at the cash-register that will be used to purchase more than 1000 tents for Salvation Army relief camps in Haiti.

Many of the tents provide sufficient housing for a small family or group of four people.

"Right now, the focus of our work is shifting and the Tents for Haiti program is a unique way that Canadians can stay involved," said Commissioner William Francis, Territorial Commander for The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda. "We continue to serve immediate needs, but we're also beginning to address longer-term issues, like housing, especially in the lead-up to Haiti's rainy season this spring."

Right now, in Haiti there are more than 200,000 homes severely damaged or destroyed and 1.2 million people homeless or displaced by last month's earthquake. The Salvation Army has signed an agreement to purchase tents, approved by the United Nations, for temporary housing. These tents will be used at relief camps in Port-au-Prince, Jacmel and surrounding areas.

Many of the tents provide sufficient housing for a small family or group of four people. In Canada, each participating Salvation Army Thrift Store has set an individual goal to raise a minimum of $500 which is enough for at least one tent.

"This program allows our Thrift Store shoppers to make a concrete contribution to the on-going crisis in Haiti," said John Kershaw, Managing Director for The Salvation Army's National Recycling Operations. "A gift can be designated either as a point of sale or cash donation, and the money will be used to purchase tents for Salvation Army relief camps."

In January, the United Nations designated The Salvation Army as a "lead agency" for Haiti's disaster relief work. Since then, the organization has set-up a number of operations providing basic care, including housing, clean water, medical services and basic hygiene products.

"Our work in Haiti has never stopped," said Commissioner Francis. "On the same day that the earthquake struck, The Salvation Army began providing disaster relief services. We've worked in the country for 60 years, and we'll continue to serve Haiti through its rebuilding and redevelopment."

To date, The Salvation Army has $5.0 million in donations from the Canadian public, and more than $200,000 in donations were raised through the Army's Text-to-Donate program.

For more information, visit the Salvation Army's Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund website or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769).

Originally published on the Salvation Army’s website, February 16, 2010.

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