Media Advisory - The Salvation Army Launches 2009 GTA Christmas Kettle
Campaign - $2.5 million target

TORONTO, Nov. 19 /CNW/ - The Salvation Army today announced the launch of the 2009 Christmas Kettle Campaign aimed at raising money to combat the spread of poverty during the Christmas season and throughout the year. The iconic Salvation Army kettles are manned by 2000 bell-ringers who will try to top the $2.5 million objective. The kettles can be found in 400 stores and shopping centres across the GTA.

"Putting money in the Christmas Kettle means that you are directly investing in the lives of thousands of people living in poverty throughout the GTA," said Captain John Murray, spokesperson for The Salvation Army. "Poverty has grown at an alarming rate over the past year and we have seen a 20% increase in the number of people coming to us for help."

Nearly 3.5 million people, or approximately 10% of all Canadians, live in poverty today. A Salvation Army study released this fall indicated there has been significant spike in demand for basic services, including food, shelter and programs that assist families in need. "Our study findings indicate that the global economic recession has had a large impact on the poor," said Murray.

In addition to the traditional Christmas Campaign of kettles and bells, The Salvation Army will continue its iKettle campaign this year. iKettles have become a popular way to fundraise money on-line, and last year more than $130,000 was collected through virtual kettles. This easy-to-use on-line tool allows donors to customize their own kettle and invite others via e-mail to get involved. Additional information about the iKettle program can be found at www.SalvationArmy.ca/ikettle.

The Salvation Army will also participate in several annual events that raise awareness and money for the Christmas Campaign. The Salvation Army will once again team up with Running Room Ltd. to host the 19th Annual Santa Shuffle 5 km Fun Run and 1 km Elf Walk on Saturday, December 5th. The Salvation Army is also the recipient of toys collected during the Toy Mountain campaign. In 2008, The Salvation Army distributed more than 100,000 toys to children across the GTA.

The Christmas Campaign helps the Army provide direct, compassionate, hands-on service to more than 1.5 million people in Canada each year, restoring hope and dignity to the most vulnerable in society. The Salvation Army's annual Christmas Campaign has grown into one of Canada's most significant and recognizable annual charitable events.

Donations to the 2009 Christmas Campaign can be made at www.SalvationArmy.ca, by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY, or at your local kettle.

About The Salvation Army:

The Salvation Army is an international faith-based organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become the largest nongovernmental 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 118 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.

News releases, articles and updated information can be found at www.SalvationArmy.ca.

SOURCE The Salvation Army - Ontario Central Division

For further information: For further information: or to arrange an interview contact: Captain John P. Murray, APR, Divisional Secretary for Public Relations and Development, Cell: (416) 998-0117, John_Murray@can.salvationarmy.org


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