TEXT HOPE: Salvation Army Launches its First-Ever Text Message Giving Program

Canadians can donate to the Christmas Campaign by texting HOPE to 45678

TORONTO, Dec. 7 /CNW/ - This past weekend, at Santa Shuffle Runs in 35 cities nationwide, The Salvation Army announced the launch of a new text message giving program, offering donors a cash-free way to contribute to this year's Christmas Campaign. For the first-time ever, Canadians can contribute a $5.00 donation to The Salvation Army by texting the word HOPE to 45678 from any Rogers Wireless or Bell Mobility phone. The proceeds of each text donation will support The Salvation Army's year-round work to serve more than 1.5 million people with critical living needs.

"As the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in Canada, we are thrilled to introduce text message donations as a way to give back," said Graham Moore, Territorial Secretary for Public Relations and Development for The Salvation Army in Canada. "The mobile giving program was launched at our annual Santa Shuffle, in 35 cities across Canada."

As demand for services increases, The Salvation Army has turned to innovative technology to encourage public fundraising. Donors can make contributions online at www.SalvationArmy.ca or by hosting an individual iKettle. In just a few years, these virtual Christmas iKettles have become a popular way to collect donations online, raising more than $130,000 in 2008. The Salvation Army is also using social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to promote larger public awareness about Canada's poor. The annual Christmas Campaign helps The Salvation Army provide direct, compassionate, hands-on service to millions in Canada each year, and it has grown to become one of the nation's most significant and recognizable charitable events.

"Each year at Christmas, The Salvation Army uses new and emerging technologies to further its mission -- to serve those most in need," said Graham Moore. "Adapting mobile phone technology was the next logical step to make giving both simple and secure for our donors."

Beginning in December, donors can text the word HOPE to 45678 to make incremental donations of $5.00 from a Rogers Wireless or Bell Mobility phone. Standard text messaging rates will apply. Donors will see the donation amount appear on their next mobile phone bill.

In addition to the text message donation program, contributions to the 2009 Christmas Campaign can be made at your local kettle, online at www.SalvationArmy.ca, by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769) or via mail to The Salvation Army, 2 Overlea Blvd, Toronto, ON M4H 1P4.

Mobile technology company Zipstripe partnered with The Salvation Army to provide this service.

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

For further information: For further information: Andrew Burditt, Territorial Public Relations Director, (416) 845-8231, andrew_burditt@can.salvationarmy.org, www.SalvationArmy.ca

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