As the holidays approach, I feel compelled to write this letter and share a burden that’s weighing heavily on my heart. The truth is, I’m worried. So many people in our local New Jersey communities are living through difficult and stressful times – times of great need. In fact, at the close of our fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2010, requests for assistance from The Salvation Army are up 30 percent over the past three years. And, some of our officers in the field report that requests are up as much as 50 percent this year alone.
We’ve got a challenge on our hands. With so many more people coming to The Salvation Army, our budget is stretched – stretched very thin. And, our operating costs continue to rise 10 percent, 20 percent and more. Our offices are trying everything they can to keep their lights on, their pantries stocked and to help in some way when people ask.
We are very grateful for the support we receive from our friends and donors all throughout the year. But this year I implore everyone to be especially generous. As we move into the Christmas season, The Salvation Army’s red kettles will be seen in malls and stores throughout New Jersey. Please donate to every red kettle you see and please donate more when you receive something from us in the mail or by e-mail.
May God’s many blessings be upon you and your family. To make a donation now, please visit www.salvationarmynj.org or call 1-908-851-8227.
Major Donald E. Berry
NJ State Commander
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