It is the middle of November and Thanksgiving was here. It is a time to thank the Lord for his blessings and begin to prepare for the Christmas season. Yet the tragedies of September 11 and November 12 have overshadowed this joyous time of the year for most Americans.
The Salvation Army has been totally engaged in helping those affected by the recent disasters, but now we must also look ahead and prepare to help those in need during the holidays.
Our traditional red kettles are appearing on street corners, in stores and in the shopping malls. Volunteers, many of whom have helped with the World Trade Center relief effort, are stalwart in their devotion to helping the needy at Christmas, through the auspices of The Salvation Army. I commend all the people who have made monetary donations to the relief effort, but I also implore you to continue your compassionate giving this Christmas through our red kettle program.
Tragedy is not just the result of a terrorist attack. Tragedy is also destitution and loneliness. It shows on the faces of children from poverty stricken homes, the faces of the homeless who have all but given up hope and the faces of the elderly who are alone and feel unloved. These are just some of the people we try to help in a special way during the holidays. This year, another category of people will be added and we will be there to support them in every way we can.
Please help us, especially this year. Let the familiar ringing of a brass bell and sight of a red kettle remind you of the steadfastness of The Salvation Army in their war on poverty, need and loneliness. Join us in our mission and become an ally by donating whatever you can.
If you would like to help us in our campaign as a volunteer or would like to make a monetary contribution, please call Tricia Pellegrini at Divisional Headquarters, 908-851-8227.
Thank you for the help you have given in the past. I know you will continue that help now. May this Christmas bring world peace based on brotherly love and compassion.
God Bless You.
Lt. Colonel Norman E. Wood
NJ Division Commander
The Salvation Army