Steve Provost’s Dec. 5 opinion piece “More to charity than a bell” suggests that before donating we should examine a charity’s mission and financial accountability. However, his “closer look at the Salvation Army” may mislead some readers.
First, stating that the Salvation Army’s “primary purpose is Christian evangelism” falsely diminishes the other half of the mission statement: “and to meet human needs.”
Second, the Salvation Army is given an “A” rating for its 84 percent spending on programs, but fully 90 percent of money donated to kettles stays at the local service unit.
Third, Provost cites the salary/benefits of the “top-paid official” as $216,182, which might seem extravagant until compared to other charities: Goodwill, $508,571; Catholic Charities, $265,356; American Red Cross, $568,594; and United Way, $763,394.
Provost notes the Salvation Army’s stance toward sexual orientation forbids “demeaning or mistreating” anyone. Likewise no discrimination is allowed regardless of religious persuasion. That nonjudgmental attitude, and volunteer participation in carrying out the annual fund-raising activity for local social service needs, makes the Salvation Army one of the more deserving charities.