Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Salvation Army Opens Doors to Public During National Red Shield Campaign

Largest Non-governmental Provider of Social Service in Canada Hosts Open House Events at Facilities Nationwide

TORONTO, May 19, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - For the second consecutive year, The Salvation Army is opening its doors to the public, inviting Canadians to tour its facilities and see firsthand the social services it provides to more than 1.5 million people in need each year. The Salvation Army's 2010 National Open House is the largest one-day event culminating a month-long fundraising and public awareness campaign that seeks to educate the public about the cycle of poverty in Canada and raise funds to help combat the problem.

"Every day, The Salvation Army works in more than 400 local communities to deliver primary care services to the poor and homeless," said Commissioner William W. Francis, Territorial Commander of The Salvation Army in Canada. "Today, we are inviting community members into our facilities, and we ask for their continued support."

The national open house events will spotlight the issues of homelessness and poverty, which currently affect more than three million people across Canada. Nationwide, there are more than 21 open house events taking place in many provinces across Canada. Earlier this month, The Salvation Army released a report, entitled "Poverty shouldn't be a life sentence." The primary findings indicate that one out of every nine Canadian adults have experienced or come close to experiencing homelessness. The Salvation Army also released data showing that demand for general social services has increased by 26 percent since 2008.

"Homelessness and poverty are two problems growing in size," said Commander Francis. "The Salvation Army serves the poor largely from contributions made by local community members. We invite all those who want to help in the fight against poverty to visit our centres on May 19th."

Members of the public can visit Salvation Army community centres on May 19th. Visitors can participate in open house events and activities within their community by visiting

The National Red Shield Campaign runs through May 31st. This year's goal is to raise $2.75 million. Money raised during the campaign directly supports those living in poverty through Salvation Army social services like emergency shelter care, substance abuse counselling and employment training.

Financial contributions can be made by visiting, by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769), by mailing donations to The Salvation Army, 2 Overlea Blvd., Toronto, ON M4H1P4 or by dropping off financial donations at the closet Salvation Army facility in your area.

Donors can also support the May Red Shield Campaign by texting HOME to 45678 from most wireless phones in Canada. A $5 donation will be added to your monthly wireless phone bill.

About The Red Shield Campaign:

The National Red Shield Campaign is an annual fundraising and public awareness campaign held annually throughout the month of May. The Salvation Army utilizes online, phone, direct mail and door-to-door appeals to solicit donations from generous Canadians. Giving to The Salvation Army offers an opportunity to invest in the future of marginalized and overlooked people in your community. 86 cents of every dollar raised by The Salvation Army goes directly to support those in need.

About The Salvation Army:

The Salvation Army is an international Christian organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in the country. The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people today and everyday in 400 communities across Canada and more than 120 countries around the world. The Salvation Army offers practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life, providing shelter for homeless people and rehabilitation for people who have lost control of their lives to an addiction. When you give to The Salvation Army, you are investing in the future of marginalized and overlooked people in your community