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Salvation Army Still in Need of Donations

Like for most charities, the needs are up but donations are down.

Standing in front of the Giant on Baltimore National Pike in Catonsville, Tina Blum has heard firsthand the stories of those struggling in a down economy.

The Salvation Army bell ringer said people want to share their stories with her.

"A lot of people were coming up to me saying they lost their job, but now they got a job at the first of the year. I just like hearing the outcomes. It’s more than just giving. You've got to just listen to somebody too sometimes," she said.

In her two weeks working for the nonprofit organization's annual holiday giving campaign she said she has seen a lot of people walk by without a glance, but many drop what they can into the red kettles.

"They feel when they throw a penny in there—a penny goes a long way when they add up. I always tell them if you don’t have, give what you can give because god will bless you triple times for it," Blum said.

Across the Baltimore Area Command of the Salvation Army, donations are down while the need has increased. The organization is currently at 61 percent of its goal for the holiday season.

In Caroll, Baltimore, northern Anne Arundel and Howard counties, the organization had hoped to raise $600,000 through the red kettle campaign.

As of Thursday morning, the organization's most recent numbers indicated it would fall short.

During the Christmas holidays, the Salvation Army reports that it will help roughly 4.5 million people between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Barry Corbitt, a Salvation Army major, said the group needs the community's support in the final days.

"The Baltimore community has always supported the Salvation Army and we know they will come through as always. We are grateful for the benevolent kindness displayed by the citizenry of greater Baltimore," he said in an email.

Last year the organization saw its hours for operating red kettles outside Giant Food stores in the area reduced, but this year they are back up for eight hours a day at the region's 174 stores.

The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the Universal Christian Church, giving assistance to almost 30 million Americans each year.  The organization has provided food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for children.

The red kettle tradition began in 1891 when Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee wanted to provide a free Christmas dinner for the poor in San Francisco. As he thought of ways to raise money, he remembered his days as a sailor in Liverpool, England.

At Stage Landing, where the boats came in, passers-by would toss coins into a large iron kettle called "Simpson's Pot." McFee borrowed the idea, placing a similar pot at the foot of San Francisco's Market Street. Beside it, a sign read "Keep the Pot Boiling." By Christmas, he had enough money to feed the needy, according to the organization's website. 

Donations can be made online for the red kettle campaign. You can also donate by texting to GIFT 80888.

The organization is also in need of unwrapped toys for the annual Angel Tree program.

Toys can be dropped off at the main warehouse at 3800 Beuna Vista
Ave., Baltimore 21211 or at the Glen Bernie location, 511 S. Crain Hwy.,
Baltimore 21060.

Patch freelancer David Snyder contributed to this article.

JC December 23, 2011 at 05:55 PM
Absolutely false! More lies spread by the lgbt community.
Erin December 23, 2011 at 06:36 PM
Wikipedia summarizes this nicely: "The Salvation Army in the U.S. has been the topic of some controversy about alleged discrimination against homosexuals in their hiring practices.[36][37] The New York Times reported that the Salvation Army believed it had a firm commitment from the White House to issue a regulation that would override local antidiscrimination laws. A disclosure of The Salvation Army's request "outraged some civil rights groups and lawmakers," and resulted in an immediate reversal of a previous promise to honor the request. The Salvation Army maintains that they were "not trying to get permission to discriminate against hiring gays and lesbians for the majority of its roughly 55,000 jobs and merely wanted a federal regulation that made clear that the charity did not have to ordain sexually active gay ministers and did not have to provide medical benefits to the same-sex partners of employees."[38] The Salvation Army's position is that because it is a church, Section VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 explicitly guarantees its right to discriminate on the basis of its religious beliefs in its hiring. To reinforce its position, it threatened to close all soup kitchens in New York City when the city government proposed legislation that would require all organizations doing business with it to provide equal benefits to unmarried domestic partners." More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Salvation_Army#Homosexuality
JC December 23, 2011 at 08:13 PM
Sorry, Wiki is in no way reliable.
Erin December 23, 2011 at 08:29 PM
How about the multitude of references sited by wikipedia... none of them valid either? If you'd like to support your opinion in any way shape or form I'd be happy to read/hear it. Simply stating "this is false" doesn't give me any reason to change my belief. It's fine though.. Bigots don't feel that they are bigots... such is the nature of bigotry. I stand by the notion that we need to hold public-funded entities to a standard that does not allow for discrimination. If you feel that it is okay to support anti gay marriage acts and refusals to treat marriages and partners equally with regards to benefits across all sexualities and genders, then that is your choice. I however find this an archaic and abominable way to treat a good portion of the population. The company of the SA has a legal obligation to do certain things in regards to fairness but it is clear that they have taken a very active approach in protesting those regulations and attempting to bully them into being changed. I am in no way telling you how to donate your funds and what organizations to support, but I will certainly not support one that attempts to move us back in regards to social equities.
JC December 23, 2011 at 08:57 PM
My church has done research on the Salvation Army with regards to your exact complaint, because we wanted to donate to them & someone brought that up. We found at our local office that they do not discriminate whatsoever. We were even shown papers & applications for services, none of which asked anything about sexual orientation. They did say that this complaint is a common misconception. That's a little more proof then a website.

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