I have thought long and hard ...actually for years about whether or not to write this post.....and as the appeals begin....and it seems these days I am in a "crusading" kind of mode...I decided this was the year to reveal what I know the Salvation Army to be....and why I would discourage you from volunteering AND from contributing money.
We live in a suburb of Waukesha County (first county west of Milwaukee county in south eastern Wisconsin.) there is a subdivision that was built in 2 phases homes are currently valued with recent sales $400-$450,000. There are a variety of architechtural styles and many different builders represented in the 110 homes that make up Country Estates. Two of the homes are owned by The Salvation Army to house their employees. You will note that due to their "charitable " status, these homes are tax exempt while other residents pay $6500-$6800 annually in property taxes. They recently removed their name from the "Owner" area of the return...look at the bottom...they have not yet found a way to erase that. Here it is. Links not working currently, they were checked when this blog was written...and references seem to have disappeared....
If you try to find out what portion of the dollars you put in the kettle OR the time you spent ringing their bell garnered for the charitable works they advertise...you might consider going to the site:www.CharityNavigator.org you will get this response;
We don't evaluate The Salvation Army.
Many religious organizations are exempt under Internal Revenue Code from filing the Form 990. As a result, we lack sufficient data to evaluate their financial health
It gets worse....a number of years ago in Milwaukee someone who was employed by the Salvation Army "dared" to marry someone who was NOT employed by the organization and lost his job...read that horror story here. What kind of "religious organization" decides who you can or cannot marry ?
Sooo before you sign up to pick up that Bell...looking like you are involved in the community...it may only be as it is in part, here...to have employees live in great houses and not pay taxes. An organization that dictates lifestyles...and LIVES...hmmm..
Some people...local "celebs" and broadcast personalities...public officials use bell ringing as a way to "Beat their charitable chests" and show the community very publicly "how much they care" by taking a shift as a bell ringer...the ring is empty when you know the money is not going where you imagined at all. When the organization in part, seeks to control people' s lives...not improve them.
We choose to buy food for the food pantry, coats for kids and Toys for Tots...look at the list of needed items from a homeless or women's shelter..then you KNOW where your charitable donations are going..you know that there is a need your dollars have helped to fulfill,
This has been a post of caution...investigate before you give...before you spend time...make your time and money count for those who need it most,,,,which may not be those who Show it most. Amen and Women.
Sally K. & David L. Hanson, Broker Associates, EXP Realty LLC.