ALEXANDRIA, Va., Dec. 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Salvation Army's ability to serve more than 23 million people annually depends on the continual generosity of everyday people. Following devastating wildfires and catastrophic hurricanes, thousands of families are left in desperate need, and with the potential de-incentivization for middle-income Americans to give under the new tax code, year-end donations are more critical than ever.
"For more than a century, we've been blessed with contributions during the holiday season that fuel our efforts to meet our mission of helping those in need," said Commissioner David Hudson, national commander of The Salvation Army. "We've seen an outpouring of generosity to aid first responders and survivors in the wake of unprecedented natural disasters and we pray that same spirit continues during this critical year-end giving season."
Despite positive economic news, it's worth noting that the U.S. Census Bureau estimates nearly 40 million Americans still live in poverty, with millions more living paycheck to paycheck. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than a half a million people nationwide are homeless on a given night, and that number is increasing for the first time since 2015.
In the past year, the generous support of the public empowered The Salvation Army to deliver 52.5 million hot meals, provide disaster assistance to more than 240,000 people, assist 147,000 people struggling with addiction, and help a countless number of children and senior citizens with daycare, transportation and holiday assistance.
"Our concerns about a decline in year-end giving are based on our fundraising history," said Lt. Col. Ward Matthews, secretary for national community relations and development. "In 2017, The Salvation Army raised more in the last two days of the year than in the entire month of November, and contributions during November and December dwarfed the entire rest of the year."
According to the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, only 5 percent of taxpayers will be incentivized by the new tax code to make a year-end contribution this year, and that could result in a $12 to $20 billion drop in charitable giving.
To address these concerns and provide for the needs of another 23 million Americans next year, The Salvation Army calls upon new and regular supporters to give for the millions of struggling families moving into the new year.
When you donate to The Salvation Army, the money stays in your local community, and a little can go a long way.
$2.37 provides a meal to someone in need
$25 helps provide Christmas gifts for a child in need
$30 can provide a night of shelter
$50 can feed a family of three for a week
To help families in need this holiday season, visit salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769). Of every dollar donated, 82 cents will be used to provide social services to those who need it most.
About The Salvation Army The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 135 years in the United States. More than 23 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster survivors, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. Of every dollar donated to The Salvation Army, 82 cents is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). For more information, go to salvationarmyusa.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.