Having grown up in the Salvation Army, I realize how common it is to see an appeal from the Salvation Army this time of year, but I extend an especially heartfelt petition to our supporters in this incredibly pivotal time of need.
In 2011, we have responded to the call of hundreds of thousands of individuals in Missouri and Southern Illinois, both in response to the enormous impact of natural disasters and the continuing economic turmoil.
Additionally, while we are seeing a tenfold increase in need at some of our food pantries over the same time last year, we also are experiencing significant cuts in funding and government support for our food banks.
Individuals who once were our staunchest supporters and regular donors now are coming to the Salvation Army for aid.
As an organization, we pride ourselves on being good stewards of the donations with which God and our donors entrust us, with 82 cents of every dollar being put into programming that changes lives, but we have seen the need in our community outpace the support we are receiving from the community.
We ask that people prayerfully consider donating to this year's Tree of Lights campaign, either with their time or their money, so that we may raise the necessary funds to continue doing this work in 2012.
The donations you make change lives, and it is only through your support that we can help those who need it most.
Major Lonneal Richardson • St. Louis