Hundreds of thousands of St. Louisans rely on contributions made to The Salvation Army’s Tree of Lights campaign each year. With the conclusion of the campaign only weeks away, The Salvation Army needs the public’s help to ensure our disadvantaged neighbors will be taken care of for another year.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Missouri residents living in poverty has jumped 3.5 percent in the last year, from 888,570 to 920,118. Missouri children are also suffering, with 22 percent living in families at or below the federal poverty threshold.
The Salvation Army has increased its efforts to reach this growing number of people in need. Last year, we filled more than 65,000 grocery orders for hungry families and provided 253,000 nights of shelter. We also welcomed more than 22,000 youths in various programs. Adding the work of our other social service areas, the funds raised from The Salvation Army’s Tree of Lights campaign helped more than 1 million people in our division.
We have less than three weeks to raise $1 million to meet our fundraising goal. Without adequate funds, some of our community’s most vulnerable families could be turned away from the vital services that sustain them. With so many St. Louisans relying on us to help get their lives back on track, the last few weeks of this campaign are crucial.