This has been one of the busiest and most devastating hurricane seasons in recent history. The outpouring of compassion, support and prayers has been nothing short of awe-inspiring. I'd like to sincerely thank our generous donors for their support of The Salvation Army's relief efforts on the Gulf Coast. In New Jersey alone, donor support for the Army's relief effort amounted to more than $3 million which in part has helped to assist more than 1,260,000 hurricane victims.
And as we move into the holiday season, I'd like to ask for your continued support of The Salvation Army. You see, needs in our local communities have risen by leaps and bounds, and we anticipate that they will continue to grow over the winter season as people are challenged by higher utility bills, the cost of affordable housing and the cost of commuting. For some, food and heat may become a luxury rather than a staple of life.
Inevitably, giving declines after a major disaster but our local needs do not. I'd like to ask for your continued support from our donors when encountering our red kettle bell ringers or when receiving a mail solicitation. It is only with the public's support that we will be able to continue our programs for the needy in our communities.
Once again, thank you for your support of the Gulf Coast's hurricane victims, and please help The Salvation Army as we enter a critical fund raising season that supports our programs all throughout the year. God Bless,
Major Stephen Banfield
The Salvation Army, NJ State Commander