CommunityPam's House Blend

Hard up

Perhaps the organization’s target demo is out swearing, smoking, toking and flipping through a porno rag instead of “enlisting” to ring the bell outside Wal-Mart.

The Salvation Army has had trouble recruiting in recent years. Its bell-ringers, disaster relief workers and employees at thrift shops and skid row missions are led by less than 37-hundred “officers” (the equivalent of clergy) whose ranks have declined by nearly a third in the past five years. Only 284 “cadets” are now enrolled at the Salvation Army’s four U-S seminaries. But National Commander W. Todd Bassett says, “I’m a man of faith so I know we can turn it around.” The Salvation Army’s 113-thousand-500 U.S. “soldiers,” the core group among 427-thousand members, have taken vows that include a willingness to evangelize and help the needy while abstaining from alcohol, tobacco, drugs, gambling, pornography or profanity.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding