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Home » Giving

Helping Kids at Christmas

Submitted by on December 2, 2009 – One Comment

The Salvation Army mission statement promises that we strive always to meet needs in Christ’s name “without discrimination.” That means we do not consider immigration status as a barrier to service. The only requirement for service at The Salvation Army is need.

This week, the Houston area media made it seem like The Salvation Army checks social security numbers for legal residency status before they’ll allow kids to sign up for Christmas help. Hogwash. Here’s the truth:

We ask for folks to provide ID for one purpose: TO PREVENT FRAUD. Sadly, some folks have figured out a way to cheat the system. They sign up for help at their local Salvation Army and then visit two or three other Salvation Army units in neighboring towns to get a little more. We ask for their ID so we can verify that they have not already signed up for help from us somewhere else. It’s really as simple as that.

For instance, a family who lives in the geographical area served by The Salvation Army church in Glendale, California should sign up to receive services there. If they also try to register for Christmas toys in neighboring Pasadena and Burbank, we’ll be able to find them in our database already. Not asking for ID makes it much harder for us to track who’s getting service and where. If we fail to do so, one less family in Pasadena and Burbank have gifts under the tree for their kids.

Some local media outlets have taken pains to correct their erroneous reporting. Here’s a link to one outlet that’s gotten it right.

We understand that the confusion has made many people concerned and upset. We apologize with all our hearts. We’re FOR kids and their families and want nothing more than to help them have a blessed Christmas. Believe me: I wouldn’t be working here if that were not the case.

Thanks for reading this post.

One Comment »

  • Tucson Lee says:

    Hi, I’m a soldier at the San Francisco Chinatown Corps and was wondering if I could obtain permission to repost some of your blogs (with credit given, of course). Some of the information you put up, such as the ID checking and Target donations have impact on our community as well. Thanks! God Bless and keep blogging!