St. Louis, Mo. – Red kettle donations to the 2016 Salvation Army Tree of Lights campaign are down nearly 50 percent from the same period last year. Donations are down $427,000 compared to 2015 with 11 days of bell ringing left in the season.
“It is critical that The Tree of Lights campaign meets its fundraising goal of $6.1 million this season,” said Lt. Colonel Dan Jennings, The Salvation Army Midland Divisional Commander. “The need for services and programs for women and children, seniors, youth, the homeless, our military veterans and during times of disasters remains dire. If we are unable to meet our campaign goal, The Salvation Army is at risk of having to cut programs that serve our community year round.”
All monies raised during the Tree of Lights campaign stays local and 86 cents of every dollar goes directly into local programs and services. After funding holiday meals, gifts and programs for those in need, Tree of Lights donations help provide food, shelter, child care, job training and many other services throughout the year.
The Salvation Army is also seeking toy donations for infants and toddlers ages 0 to two years old. Donations are also needed for items for youth ages 10 to 16 for males and females. Youth items include tween/teen board games, wallets, purses, nail polish, perfume, cologne, bath and body wash, craft kits, jewelry, speakers, headphones, skate boards, remote controlled cars, helicopters, watches, bikes and helmets.
Last year, The Salvation Army provided over 107,000 meals to hungry men, women and children, nearly 85,000 nights of shelter to the community’s homeless, over 31,000 grocery orders to families in need, and over 95,000 Christmas toys and gifts.
Each year The Salvation Army assists thousands of families in Missouri and Southern Illinois. To help, donations can be made by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY, or online to the Tree of Lights Campaign at: stlsalvationarmy.org or text GIVEHOPE TO 41444.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 86 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.