Last month The Salvation Army in Malden saw a dramatic increase in the number of people who came to our "Food Store" (pantry). We have seen numbers increasing more and more and we continue to pay close attention to this. Some of the reasons for these increases are due to an increase in unemployment, utility bills, gas and food and other reasons which are beyond people's control. As we all know the economy is not getting better for those of us who are in the lower financial brackets. We are seeing more and more people coming to us that have full time jobs and used to be donors. It's a trend that we believe is going to get even worse before it gets better.
Now we have no problem helping people out as long as we have the resources. Right now we currently have limited resources and are hoping that we can make them last until the new year. We are one of many great organizations in Malden and the surrounding towns that are always there when someone is in need. We are concerned that our resources may run out and that we will not be able to help. Imagine it's you that needs a little help and we have to say no because we don't have the resources. Yes, there are other organizations, but we feel that putting more stress on them to help those we may have been able to is not the right thing to do.
So how can you help? Well there are a variety of things you can do for The Salvation Army. Did you realize that we spend $100's every month to purchase food to supply our food pantry? Last year we spent over $8000 to purchase food to provide people with a Thanskgiving and Christmas dinner. It is impossible for us to continue this without the help of the community. The Malden Public Library holds a food drive for us every year. We would like to see others begin to hold food drives for us. We actually have a very unique way to go about this that doesn't involve anyone needing space to collect. In fact we can set it up so that a teenager needing to complete community service hours to graduate will receive credit.
Another thing you can do is "Adopt A Family" or host an "Angel Tree". This is a great program which enables us to put smiles on children's faces. We can walk you through the whole process which is very simple.
We also have opportunities for individuals and groups to go out and ring a bell at a Red Kettle. This opportunity also can be adapted for teenagers who need community service hours. This takes minimal training. All that is really required is the ability to smile and say "Thank you".
This year we are setting up a "Toy Shop" where people will be able to come in and "shop" for toys for their children. We will need help setting this up, shopping assistants and clean up.
WE NEED YOU! My wife and I cannot do this alone. Will you please come be "The Army Behind The Army" and help us transform lives and ensure that we are able to "Do the Most Good" by giving of yourself through a donation of money and/or time? Again, I can't stress this enough, WE NEED YOU! Please contact us and ask what you can do. If I haven't mentioned something that interests you, then please let me know. We can find something for you to do.