More Donations Needed To Keep Pace
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (AP) _ The Salvation Army in Philadelphia said Monday a sharp increase in requests for assistance in recent weeks is putting a major strain on their finances.
Col. Wallace Conrath, division commander of The Salvation Army’s eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware district, said there has been ″a dramatic increase in needy individuals and families″ asking for assistance due to the tough economic times.
Meanwhile, Conrath said, donations to The Salvation Army’s Christmas fund drive have been off as much as 40 percent.
In a statement, he said, The Salvation Army has ″already expended large amounts of funds to provide food, shelter, clothing, toys and gifts to the hungry (and) homeless ....″
Last year, Conrath says, The Salvation Army served over 50,000 needy families and individuals in the Philadelphia area. He said that number is expected to increase by 15,000.
The Salvation Army’s holiday fund-raising goal is $1 million. About 30 percent of that, Conrath said, comes from donations made to the hundreds of red kettles on city streets and at shopping malls.
The remaining 70 percent, he said, comes from a direct mail appeal, but Conrath says a delay in the mailing has severely hampered that effort.