Donor Campaign Raises Almost $40,000 for Salvation Army, More Is Needed
(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) A recent effort encouraging wealthy San Bernardino-area residents to donate at least $1,000 to the Salvation Army raised almost $40,000 – but that’s down from previous years and only a small portion of what the Salvation Army needs to provide an array of services to those less fortunate.
Money raised by this campaign assists with operational costs, as the Salvation Army continues its ongoing effort to help families struggling to meet basic needs such as food, shelter and utilities, as well as additional supportive services like counseling and spiritual care.
“People will always have needs,” said Corps Officer, Capt. Stephen Ball. “The Salvation Army has met those needs, through the power that God has for all of us. We have been in San Bernardino for 123 years, and we will fight to help those in need until the very end.”
The fight the Salvation Army wages takes money. Its annual Fall Fundraiser campaign focuses on raising funds to operate the many programs of the Salvation Army, and the goal for that campaign is $50,000.
“Without the extra $10,000, we can’t pay all our bills and we will have to cut back on the services we offer,” Capt. Ball said. “It will be hard, because we already have a bare-bones staff.”
Tom Brickley, president of the Salvation Army’s advisory board, agreed.
“Last year, we raised more than $60,000. This year, times are tough and we only raised $40,000,” Brickley said. “All of this is for operating expenses of the services that are so critical in our community. We will have to lay people off and cut services if we don’t make up this shortfall.”
The Fall Fundraiser campaign is one of the Salvation Army’s largest fundraisers each year.
“The Red Kettle donation program nets us about $65,000 each year,” Capt. Ball said. “Most of that pays for the extra expenses the Salvation Army faces in November and December as we add services to make sure everyone has a good Thanksgiving and Christmas season. If there is any money left over after the holidays, it can be added to the operating budget for the following year.”
“The needs in the community are far greater than the resources available to help women, children and men in our community,” said Brian Cronin, chairman of the Salvation Army advisory board’s Fund Development Committee.
One beneficiary of the funds is the Path to Prosperity. This residential program helps men focus on obtaining the skills they need to become financially independent and support themselves after completing an alcohol and drug abuse recovery program at the organization’s rehabilitation center.
This two-year education and job training initiative, combines on-site transitional housing, daily classes and peer group support in a 5,500-square foot center with living space for 28 and classroom space for 52.
At a luncheon the Salvation Army put on for its major donors, guests heard from Bill Turner, who found the strength at Path to Prosperity to move on with life after overcoming a 30-year drug addiction. He will graduate in May 2011 from San Bernardino Valley College with what is currently a 4.0 grade point average.
“The Salvation Army has saved my life, sincerely,” Turner said.
The guests also heard from Kelly Silvestri, who in less than a decade, went from high school cheerleader to homeless woman. Along the way, she coped with her mother’s death, her own divorce, the loss of her children, and losing the home in which she had spent most of her life.
Silvestri was one of the first residents of the Salvation Army’s Hospitality House emergency family shelter when it moved to its new location on Tenth Street this year. She began her stay at the Hospitality House while it was still at the Headquarters Building on Fifth Street, which offered considerably less privacy than the current building.
“I walked into a room filled with 40 people sleeping on mats on the floor,” Silvestri said. “And I had never felt more safe. Nobody looked down on me. They just showed me compassion and kindness.”
Silvestri, who demonstrated a passion for working with children while she lived at the Hospitality House and has continued that passion since then, now heads the programs the Salvation Army offers to school-age children. These programs provide the youth with spiritual and social development, recreation and opportunities for travel many of them couldn’t otherwise afford.
While the $40,000 raised through the Fall Fundraiser campaign is greatly appreciated, more is needed to pay for the services of Path to Prosperity, Hospitality House, the youth programs, daily meals and many other Salvation Army programs serving the communities of San Bernardino, Colton, Rialto, Grand Terrace and Bloomington. The Salvation Army is therefore encouraging everyone to give what he or she can.
Online giving, which can be directed specifically to the San Bernardino Corps, is possible at any time by going to www.salvationarmy.usa.org <http://www.salvationarmy.usa.org> .
In addition, anyone shopping at Stater Bros. stores within the city limits of San Bernardino can help the Corps by participating in the grocery chain’s “Harvesting Hope” which will run throughout November and part of December.
Stater Bros. will give the donations of non-perishable food items it receives at those specific stores to the Salvation Army San Bernardino Corps. Stater Bros. will give donations it receives in other cities’ stores to other local charities, including the Redlands and Riverside corps of the Salvation Army.
As in years past, from mid-November through December 24, donors can also give to the Salvation Army through the Red Kettle Drive, a holiday tradition the Army has relied on for more than 100 years. Look for red kettles accompanied by bellringers at locations throughout the Inland Empire. All donations collected at a Red Kettle stay within the community where they were received.
“Donations of time are also highly needed. For one, The Salvation Army wants to increase the volunteer bellringer force and we also need volunteers for our upcoming Thanksgiving dinner,” said Ball.
With holiday shopping on most people’s minds already, The Salvation Army hopes people will shop for their poorest neighbors too. Gifts of food and toys are needed for about 750 families relying on the San Bernardino Corps to have any kind of Christmas celebration at all this year.
Those interested in donating time or toys should call the San Bernardino Corps at (909) 888-1336. After Thanksgiving, toys can also be donated through the Giving Tree programs at the Inland Center Mall, the Ontario Mills Mall, the Montclair Plaza and the Redlands Wal-Mart.
About the Salvation Army San Bernardino Corps
The Salvation Army may be able to provide emergency services including food; lodging for homeless or displaced families; clothing and furniture; assistance with rent or mortgage and transportation when funds are available. The Salvation Army Team Radio Network assists rescue workers and evacuees in such disasters as fires.
The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the Universal Christian church and also offers evangelical programs for boys, girls and adults. One of the largest charitable and international service organizations in the world, The Salvation Army has been in existence since 1865 and in San Bernardino since 1887, supporting those in need without discrimination. Donations may always be made online at www.salvationarmyusa.org <http://www.salvationarmyusa.org> or by calling 1-(800)-SAL-ARMY.
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