Damage control not working! Salvation Army donations take big hit after insulting racism guide

In hindsight, it may not have been the greatest idea that Salvation Army chieftains have ever had: Posting a ‘guide’ that essentially labeled three-quarters of the country racist.

While there’s no direct proof yet of a direct correlation between the publication of the guide and this year’s lagging donations and lack of bell-ringers for the organization’s “Red Kettle” campaign, it’s hard not to link the two.

In late November, the Salvation Army published a guide called “Let’s Talk About Racism” that asked white people to “lament, repent and apologize for biases or racist ideologies held and actions committed.”

“We recognize that it is a profound challenge to sit on the hot seat and listen with an open heart to the hurt and anger of the wounded,” the guide told readers. “Yet, we are all hardwired to desire justice and fairness, so the need to receive a sincere apology is necessary.”

Following a massive backlash, the organization pushed back on claims about the guide but nevertheless withdrew it for “review.”

“Elements of the recently issued ‘Let’s Talk About Racism’ guide led some to believe we think they should apologize for the color of their skin, or that The Salvation Army may have abandoned its Biblical beliefs for another philosophy or ideology,” the Christian church said. “That was never our intention, so the guide has been removed for appropriate review.”

But now, according to a growing number of Salvation Army officials, donations this year are off and the organization is also having more difficulty finding volunteers to ring bells at the red kettle locations.

Salvation Army corps officer Capt. Stephen Wildish told the Tallahassee Democrat that with one week to go the program in that Florida city has only raised $114,000 — 50 grand shy of the original goal.

“With the increased need for assistance with financial needs such as utilities and rental help due to the pandemic impact, the Red Kettle funding is extremely important,” Wildish said. “We don’t want our programs and services to suffer, and we are asking our community to step up one more time.”

Campaigns are also suffering in other states including Georgia, Massachusetts, Iowa, and Minnesota.

“The Salvation Army is facing a shortage of toys and donations ahead of the holiday season, and urge communities to find a way to help,” Fox13 reported on Monday. “The nonprofit reports it gets 75% of total annual donations during November and December, and they are once again in need of support.”

“There are many reasons why both financial and toy donations are down this year, not the least of which is likely pandemic fatigue and concerns about employment and the future,” said Colonel Cindy Foley of the NW Salvation Army Division.

“We are actually trying to provide food, shelter, toys and clothing to double the number of families we served last Christmas, and in the midst of the growing need we are seeing fewer people donating at our virtual and physical kettles,” Foley added.

“The situation is dire, and we are asking our generous supporters in the region to donate to the virtual Northwest Red Kettle as well as make donations at every physical kettle in whatever way you can,” she continued, noting that there is also a shortage of bell-ringers.

But the Salvation Army is denying there is a correlation between the guide, which many found insulting and reminiscent of critical race theory curriculum, and a dearth of donations and volunteers.

“We have no information to suggest that the efforts of any political action group is affecting the Red Kettle results,” a Salvation Army spokesperson told Fox News.

“Our units in local markets have ups and downs each year, which shouldn’t be mistaken to represent the status of our national Red Kettle campaign,” the spokesperson continued. “We expect to have a measure of the national results in early 2022, and we are encouraged by the final tally of his year’s National Commander’s Red Kettle Challenge, which doubled the amount raised in 2020.”

Not everyone is buying that, however.

“When you call your white donors, tell them to apologize for their racism, tell your white donors that because of the color of their skin they’re inherently racist and there’s no way to avoid being racist — I mean, this is a horrible thing. It’s a false thing. It’s a toxic allegation,” conservative pundit and podcaster Liz Wheeler said this week.

“This is a huge turn-off for everybody in our country, regardless of your political stripe. And I’m glad the Salvation Army is suffering these consequences because they shouldn’t be able to tell people who aren’t racist they are racist and just get away with it,” she added.

Jon Dougherty


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