The Salvation Army has been in the news recently
but that aside, it’s amazing how much they do. Most of us know the Salvation Army from the Santas by the shops and from seeing the Army shelters for the homeless or the Rummage Shops, but the variety and quality of their services is staggering:
The basic social services developed by William Booth [since 1865] have remained an outward visible expression of the Army’s strong religious principles. In addition, new programs that address contemporary needs have been established. Among these are disaster relief services, day care centers, summer camps, holiday assistance, services for the aging, AIDS education and residential services, medical facilities, shelters for battered women and children, family and career counseling, vocational training, correctional services, and substance abuse rehabilitation.
I had the pleasure last Tuesday of meeting Ann Bennett, the development associate of the SA’s NJ Division. A quick glance at the Welcome page gives you a snapshot of the staggering amount of work this division does locally. Additionally, she told me of other activities:
- Scott Sheppard’s coordinating Operation Red Shield, which “provides deployment kits to armed forces personnel deployed from Fort Dix. Filled with items such as toothpaste, lip balm, eye drops, hand cream, wash cloths, etc. these kits will provide comfort to service personnel and be a constant reminder of home, family and America. As well, a brochure is available to the families of our deployed armed forces personnel which outlines services The Salvation Army will provide to them in their loved one’s absence”.
- They have a shelter for abused women in Morristown.
- They have a shelter for homeless familes in Montclair.
- They have a learning skills center in Trenton.
- Then there’s Camp Tecumseh in Hunterdon County, for children and for grandparents who are caring for their grandchildren in the absence of the parents.
Forbes Magazine has rated the Salvation Army‘s charitable commitment at 83% (how much of total expenses went for the charitable purpose, excluding management, overhead and fundraising), and its fundraising efficiency at 94% (fundraising efficiency = share of gifts – fundraising expenses). These are excellent numbers.
The Independent Women are endorsing the SA, too, and say, “Dickens knew well that if there’s anything worse than being down and out, it’s the cold dehumanization of the welfare state. That’s why it’s important that private, religiously motivated charities such as the Salvation Army get help from all of us so that all can share in this season of warmth, light, and good cheer.”
I encourage all visitors to this blog to visit the website, and contact Ann (908) 851-8232 to make a donation or to volunteer with the Army. The range and quality of services they have been providing for the past 140 years deserve your support.