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Donations Fall Short
As the Salvation Army’s national Red Shield Campaign entered its final week, donations to help Canada’s homeless were down $1.15 million.

The Salvation Army has reported that donations to its May 2010 National Red Shield Campaign were approximately $1.15 million short of the $2.75 million goal needed to provide social services  helping Canada's poor and homeless the week before the campaign ended. The campaign had collected an estimated 60 percent, or $1.6 million, of its goal going into its final week. The decline in giving is part of a larger trend seen most recently at Salvation Army centres and shelters across the country.

"...we've seen a larger national trend where requests for social services have outpaced donation rates... "

"All contributions go to work in the local community, where our services are needed more and more each day," said Graham Moore, Territorial Secretary for Public Relations and Development of The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda.

The Salvation Army currently has 462 units providing social services within local communities across Canada. Most of these are small and operate with limited resources. In fact, 63 percent have a budget of less than $500,000 and more than 20 percent finished the 2009/2010 fiscal year with a deficit. Current projections put this year's Red Shield Campaign on track with results from 2009, when The Salvation Army saw an 8.5 percent drop in donations from the previous year.

A report on homelessness and poverty, released at the beginning of May 2010, revealed that close to one in nine adults in Canada has either experienced or come close to experiencing homelessness. The report also revealed that demand for general social services at The Salvation Army increased by more than 25 percent since 2008.

"Since the financial fallout, we've seen a larger national trend where requests for social services have outpaced donation rates," said Graham Moore. "We've seen a number of cases where the demand for service has led to fiscal uncertainty for local Salvation Army units."

For more than 90 years, The National Red Shield Campaign has raised funds to support Salvation Army programs, aimed at the more than three million people living in poverty today. During May 2010, The Salvation Army ran several public service announcements that spotlighted the issue of poverty. The advertising campaign's message, that "Poverty shouldn't be a life sentence," appeared in-print, online and on-air. Also, on May 19th, The Salvation Army hosted its largest single-day event, opening several shelters and outreach centres to the general public as part of its National Open House Day.

"As the largest provider of social services, outside the government, The Salvation Army is calling for new donations to help deliver critical services," said Andrew Burditt, territorial public relations director for The Salvation Army. "We are calling on Canadians everywhere to dig deep and consider a donation that will go to work immediately within their local community."

Money raised throughout the National Red Shield Campaign directly supports those living in poverty through Salvation Army services like emergency shelter care, substance abuse counseling and employment training.

The Salvation Army's report on homelessness and poverty can be found For more information, visit The Salvation Army’s website, or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769).

Originally published on The Salvation Army’s website, May 2010.

Used with permission. Copyright © 2010





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