NEW YEAR, NEW HOPE, NEW CHALLENGES: A BLOG SERIES
By: Danni Eickenhorst, Midland Division
The bellringers who usher in the Christmas season so brightly with the jingle of their bell have put away their kettles for another year, but the Tree of Lights campaign continues through the end of January, and the work we do will continue for as long as there is support.
365 days a year, The Salvation Army provides homeless services, food pantry assistance, rent and utility supplements, youth programming, senior services, emergency disaster response, ministry and more. 82 cents of every dollar we receive from our donors goes directly into programming that changes lives in the St. Louis area.
Because the facts and figures for 2011 aren’t quite in yet, let’s take a look at the work of The Salvation Army in 2010.
In 2010, The Salvation Army’s Midland Division (Missouri and Southern Illinois):
- Provided recreation opportunities at local community centers for 115,000 individuals, primarily low-income youth.
- Assisted 170 individuals with more than 5,000 nights of transitional housing.
- Distributed more than 39,000 toys at Christmas to children and families in need.
- Served more than 50,000 people through feeding programs such as our community center soup kitchens located throughout the division.
- Provided more than 170 individuals with access to affordable workforce housing in the Downtown St. Louis area through our Railton apartments.
- Served 4,503 individuals at our Harbor Light facility which provides housing and rehabilitation services to veterans and homeless men.
- Visited with and ministered to shut-ins, patients in hospitals, nursing homes and infirmaries. Distributed more than 27,000 gifts and publications to these individuals.
- Gave more than 1,200 backpacks filled with school supplies to needy children who would otherwise have had to go to school without supplies.
In 2011, The Salvation Army Midland Division continued to provide service daily in all of these areas and more, as needed, while facing significant shortages and reductions in government support through tax credits and other programs. Individuals who once supported The Salvation Army financially began coming to seek out their own assistance and donations began to diminish. Natural disasters came in large numbers and epic proportions, and we answered the call to serve every time.
In order to continue being good stewards of the gifts God and donors provide, The Salvation Army cannot spend money than it receives in donations. Because of the reduction in support and the increase in need, we have had to turn away more and more requests for assistance, and it breaks the hearts of our staff and officers to have to do so.
We are hopeful that in 2012 we will begin to see a groundswell of support, that as we share the stories of the work we do, hearts will be touched and support will be given so that we can continue to change lives throughout the New Year.
Exciting work is being done in the St. Louis area and we are proud to be doing it. Thank you for your support, whether it be in spirit, in time or in dollars given. We simply couldn’t do it without you.
To find out more about how you can get involved in helping us in 2012, please click here.
To learn more about The Salvation Army’s programs, click here.