/R E P E A T -- Salvation Army Launches 2009 Christmas Campaign/

Christmas Kettles, Bells and Events to focus on issue of poverty in Canada

TORONTO, Nov. 16 /CNW/ - The Salvation Army today announced the launch of the 2009 National Christmas 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 hundreds of bell-ringers, who will try to top last year's total of $16 million raised through kettle donations.

"Filling the Christmas Kettle this year will mean that you are directly supporting millions of Canadians currently experiencing hardship," said Graham Moore, Territorial Secretary for Public Relations and Development for The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda. "As we carry on our mission to serve, it becomes increasingly apparent that the number of Canadians living in poverty is growing at an alarming rate."

Nearly 3.5 million people, or approximately 10 percent of all Canadians, live in poverty today. This year, The Salvation Army conducted social service studies, indicating that there have been significant spikes in demand for basic services, including food, shelter and family assistance programs.

"This year's findings indicate that the global economic recession has had a significant effect on the poor," said Graham Moore. "With between 15 to 20 percent of our annual fundraising revenue collected during the Christmas season, it is vital that the Canadian public continue to give this year, so that the Army can support those living with limited resources."

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 online, and last year more than $130,000 was collected through virtual kettles. This easy-to-use online 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 partner with and participate in annual events that raise awareness and money for the Christmas Campaign. Yesterday, The Salvation Army participated in the nationally televised 2009 Santa Claus Parade in Toronto, ON. And, next month, 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 in 35 cities across Canada on Saturday, December 5th. Canwest/Global Television has been announced as a 2009 media event sponsor.

The National 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 (725-2769), at your local kettle, or via mail to The Salvation Army, 2 Overlea Blvd, Toronto, ON M4H 1P4.

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 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: Andrew Burditt, Territorial Public Relations, Director, The Salvation Army, (416) 845-8231, andrew_burditt@can.salvationarmy.org, www.SalvationArmy.ca


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