Archive for Thursday, December 28, 2017

Salvation Army bell-ringing campaign falls short of goal; cutbacks may follow

December 28, 2017

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Local Salvation Army leaders are hoping for some last-minute donations before the end of the year to avoid cutting back on services in 2018.

Lt. Andy Wheeler of the Douglas County Salvation Army said in an interview Thursday that this year's Red Kettle campaign raised a little more than $70,000, well short of the agency's goal of $80,000.

Wheeler said he planned to do everything he could to keep the agency's doors open throughout the year. But he also said that if the agency couldn't raise enough money, it might have to make cutbacks.

The Red Kettle campaign began the day before Thanksgiving and ran through Christmas Eve.

Wheeler said in an earlier interview with the Journal-World that the agency had a shortage of volunteers to staff the kettles and that some people may have been reluctant to put money in an unstaffed kettle.

He also said unseasonably warm weather and fundraising pushes for natural disaster relief may have contributed to this year's shortage.

Among the services at risk of being cut, he said, are the emergency food pantry and its meal service, which provides around 300 meals a week year-round to Douglas County residents in need.

Online donations can be made at www.lawrence.salvationarmy.us. Donations can also be mailed to the Salvation Army of Douglas County at 946 New Hampshire St., Lawrence KS 66044.

Reporter Joanna Hlavacek contributed to this story.

Comments

Mike Gant 3 months, 3 weeks ago

The Salvation Army is NOT a charity.

They are an evangelical Protestant Church that uses donations to actively oppress gay rights.

They have threatened to close tens of thousands of New York soup kitchens if they are forced to adhere to civil rights laws when dealing with gay employees.

They spend your money lobbying governments to prevent LGBT rights legislation worldwide.

Please research a charity before giving this season. Consider Doctors Without Borders, Amnesty International, or Just Food.

David Tidwell 3 months, 3 weeks ago

TENS of THOUSANDS? I have a hard time imagining there are tens of thousands of restaurants in New York.

Don't get me wrong, I'm on your side. But that seems like a really big exaggeration.

Mike Gant 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Sorry, I meant to write soup kitchens used by thousands but got it jumbled and autocorrected to death. I’d fix it above but I’m not being allowed to edit it right now.

Steve King 3 months, 3 weeks ago

I understand they "boycott" helping those in the LGBT community. Confident part of the reason why they missed their goal.

Gary Stussie 3 months, 3 weeks ago

You need to check your source.

The Salvation Army has LGBT employees and has had a policy of nondiscrimination that has been in place for over 100 years. It serves 30 million people (of all faiths) a year, providing lodging, meals, afternoon child care, drug and alcohol treatment regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

Their mission statement was called in to question because it did not recognize same-sex marriage. It long ago removed that statement and currently its benefits policy applies equally to employees who are married to opposite-sex or same-sex partners.

For the last decade journalist Bil Browning, who writes for The Advocate and other publications has issued annual reminders that, in his words, “the Salvation Army is a right-wing organization that discriminates against LGBT people" because "20 years ago, when a former boyfriend and I were homeless, the Salvation Army insisted we break up before they'd offer assistance."

The Salvation Army helps lots of folks ... figure out who you are hurting.

Mike Gant 3 months, 3 weeks ago

You need to check your resources. I’m sure the PR friendly page you used told you otherwise, but everything I mentioned was true. Though Wikipedia isn’t a foolproof source, in this case I recommend you go to their page and check the controversies, then click on the references provided. They are all from reputable resources and all tell tales that will expand on what I shared above.

Trying to minimize their documented history of discrimination to a single anecdotal tale is misinformed at best on your part and intentionally disingenuous at worst.

Mike Gant 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Some highlights:

“In 1997 the city of San Francisco enacted a law requiring all companies doing business with the city government to extend domestic benefits to same-sex partners of employees. In refusing to do so, the Salvation Army declined a US$3.5 million contract.”

“The Salvation Army Western Territory approved a plan in October 2001 to start offering domestic partnership benefits to employees in same-sex relationships. Members of various evangelical Christian interest groups protested the decision... In November 2001 the Salvation Army nationwide rescinded the Western Territory's decision with an announcement that it would only provide benefits coverage for different-sex spouses and dependent children of its employees.“

“In 2004, the Salvation Army said that it would close operations in New York City unless it was exempted from a municipal ordinance requiring them to offer benefits to gay employees' partners.”

“Before the passing of the Homosexual Law Reform Act 1986 by the New Zealand Parliament, the Salvation Army was active throughout New Zealand gathering signatures for a petition seeking to prevent the bill's passing.”

“In November 2013 it was made known that the Salvation Army was referring LGBT individuals to one of several conversion therapy groups.”

“A positional statement on the Salvation Army UK and Ireland site stated (but has since been taken down): The Salvation Army teaches that sexual acts should take place only in a monogamous heterosexual marriage, believing that this reflects God's intentions for sexual behaviour and provides the best environment for raising children.”

Not to mention sex abuse scandals, not accepting Harry Potter toys for impoverished children because they went against the SA’s views, proselytizing during government-funded social service, and more.

You can claim they help others and as such all this should be ignored or forgiven, but I think I’d rather donate to Just Food or a local shelter when I want to help those in my community. To each their own.

Kevin Elliott 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Gary, as a gay man who grew up going to the Salvation Army, your information is jumbled and not fully correct.

There is a difference between the church and their charities on paper. However, staff crossover is common. There are Gay employees of the Salvation Army, but there are hundreds of people who have been fired for being gay as well. Depends on the job and the local commanders.

I left the church for their homophobia and sexism.

I supported their charities for a while after that because MOST corps serve people in need regardless of faith or sexual orientation without forcing religion.

However, national policies are very anti gay and sexist. While women can become officers in the SA, if they marry, they loose their rank and take the rank of their husband. If a woman has a baby out of wedlock, she is asked to resign, if a man does, he generally does not have to resign.

You are trying to paint a broad picture of a loving giving church, you are mostly wrong.

Gary Stussie 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Appreciate the insight. As an "outsider" I have simply observed their outreach efforts ... which seemed compassionate and far reaching.

Steve King 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks for the support Kevin. Same sources I had. Former staff, not the news.

Clara Westphal 3 months, 3 weeks ago

With all the disasters this year, some people are probably suffering from donation fatigue.

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