Thanksgiving is now past and Christmas is approaching quickly. I give thanks for all God's blessings, especially at this time of the year, but this year I must also pray for help. More, I must also ask the public to be especially generous when they encounter The Salvation Army's red kettles or receive a letter from us in the mail.
Most people don't realize that the money collected in our red kettles is used to help those less fortunate 365 days a year, not just at the holidays. And, this year, we have already experienced a drastic drop in our general fundraising appeals, holiday food and toy drives. I have been advised by the Salvation Army social service staff, that we are receiving more requests for help this year because of the economy and limited community resources. We are seeing much hurt and despair.
I realize many people gave generously in the aftermath of September 11th but Salvation Army programs and services, aiding the needy, continue and I beseech those of you with compassion for your fellow man and the financial means to help, to donate not only in the spirit of the season, but with the knowledge that you are helping to feed, clothe and shelter those less fortunate.
Thank you for all your past help, thank you for the help I know you will give once more. May God bless you and yours this holiday season.
Lt. Colonel Normal E. Wood
NJ State Commander
The Salvation Army