Toronto Salvation Army has busy year

TORONTO – The city unit of the Salvation Army had a busy fiscal year, with demands on the agency increasing.

The agency also reaped finances from a variety of sources in the past fiscal year, which runs from September to August. Although the citizens of Toronto continue to be very generous, the demand is rising, according to Doris Starr, unit co-chairman and treasurer.

“We saw in increase in need (during the past year) as well as a number of people who hadn’t needed help before,” said Starr, adding tough economic conditions are taking a toll. “I expect (upcoming) donations to be about the same as last year.”

Numbers supplied by the unit show 2012’s budget was $22,500, with $22,499 spent, leaving a balance of 25 cents. Expenditures for the unit included phone, office expenses including postage and post office box rental, copier rental and supplies, for a total of $814.

The unit’s annual kettle drive continues to supply most of the funds for the unit’s annual budget, with last year’s drive netting $12,366. Other contributors to the Toronto Unit included the Toronto Service Committee, which donated $2,500; Riesbeck’s grocery store donut promotion, which netted $202; a matching grant from ArcelorMittal for $3,691; sales from the sale of luminaria netted $1,803; church donations during the year netted $1,469; last year’s community Christmas concert yielded $1,418; while private donations accounted for $1,722.

Client expenditures totaled $675 for medical expenses; $20,694 for utilities; and $318 for used appliances, according to the unit budget.

A unit audit also showed 133 men were assisted during the past year; 191 women; 249 children; 194 families; and 583 hours were spent assisting clients. The total clients assisted during the past year was 573.

Last year’s kettle drive included 105 volunteers ringing bells in November and 130 in December for a total of 235. Number of hours spent ringing bells in November included 180, while 216 hours were spent in December for a total of 396 hours.

The unit’s prescription assistance program helped clients during the past year, including six clients helped in February for a total of $3,637 in prescriptions; two clients assisted in June for a total of $2,972; one client assisted in August for a total of $319; and one client assisted in September for a total of $965. The total amount saved by clients by using the assistance program was $10,642, according to Lu Ellyn Dallas, program coordinator.

Starr thanked all unit volunteers as well as unit co-chairman Anna Lea Wirth, who is volunteer coordinator. She also expressed gratitude to city residents for helping with donations. The unit’s upcoming kettle drive will begin the week before Thanksgiving, she added.

The unit is headquartered at the Riverview United Methodist Church, 105 N. River Ave. The unit hours are 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. To reach the unit, call (740) 537-4737.