September 11 attacks affect Army donations

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Like other local charities, The Salvation Army of Washoe County, Nev., was hurting financially in the weeks following the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.

Donations for the Army’s local programs dropped off dramatically, as funds came in earmarked for the organization’s disaster relief work back East.

“The news media helped The Salvation Army get the word out about the need for local support–and the community came through in a big way,” said Major Tom Petersen, corps officer.

“The tide seemed to turn just before Thanksgiving and the support continued through the holidays!” Donors contributed more than $112,000 to the Army’s familiar red kettles–a 38-percent increase over Christmas 2000. Donors who mail in contributions continued their support, as well.

The Army’s appeal for other kinds of help also got a boost when President George W. Bush urged Americans to support their local charities by volunteering.

“Volunteerism was up considerably and the number of food drives held for us doubled from last year. We collected 25-percent more food this year,” said Petersen. “People were looking for ways to help after the attacks–they wanted to be involved in their community. The Army was fortunate enough to benefit from this outpouring of support.”

The Salvation Army’s programs provided Christmas for more than 7,000 people in Washoe County, up from around 5,500 people last year.

Giving was up in Concord, Calif., where $261,000 in donations was raised at the corps’ 30 Christmas kettles. The Concord Corps has its origins in Oakland, Calif., where Captain Joseph McFee set out the first “pot” at the ferry landing at the foot of Market Street.

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