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Do you give money to the red kettle bell ringers outside every store? I used to when my kids were little, to model how we are charitable as a family. That was until I researched the organization and realized there were better charities for our meager donations, more in line with our beliefs, not working against many of the rights we so strongly support.

From the article linked below:

"The Salvation Army is not exactly a charity, as many people assume. It is a religious sect, and a fundamentalist/evangelical one at that. It is part of the Religious Right and it has an agenda just as they do."

Read on to learn more:


Julie808 8 Dec 7

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Salvation Army lady collecting money and I ask her "Do you save wicked women?"
"Yes we do"
"Well, can you save one for me this Saturday please?"

Sir, you have a wicked sense of humour, and I LOVE it!

About 3 in the afternoon please!


Thank you for posting this. I've been aware of their cult for a long time and forget that others may not be. They're a horrible, self-serving religious organization that's managed to make their presence synonymous with holiday spirit. It would be nice if that changed.


I only give to a few local charities where I can see any good they do. I do not give to the Salvation Army. The bell ringers are there to guilt trip people. In some of my early work places including the military we were told to donate during the United Way drive. They needed to be recognized for 100% participation. The UW knew this was going on and did not try to stop these mandatory contributions. I did donate cash to the American Red Cross after 9/11, but nothing national since.


While I understand even in charities a CEO & management must have a salary to pay bills and such, however, when I read where this charity CEO/president was earning $600k per year....kinda makes you sick. Simple math of 6,000 people donating $100 each....not one red cent will go to help anyone except a CEO earn a very comfortable living. If you enjoy donating to someone who makes over 10x the average mans working salary of $60k per year....feel free to donate away...I prefer to give directly to those in need where I know someone who needs assistance gets help.

So the CEO who got those salaries where from what charity?

@Jolanta If memory serves I think it is the United Way.

@Jolanta This is a quote from the Red Cross Website: "For the past 11 years, Gail McGovern has served as president and CEO of the American Red Cross, and in 2018, she was paid $694,000, which reflects her leadership of the country’s largest humanitarian organization." To be fair, the webpages goes on to say that every penny of donations go to help the needy, however, it does not disclose where the $694k salary money is derived from. Even if you have a corporate or government source for management salaries, how many needy people are being overlooked while one person is earning a VERY comfortable living. A person earning a respectable $69K Salary could work for an entire 10 years for the cost of one president/CEO. You could even have a board of 5 Managers to share the burden at $70k each and still have $350k more assistance resource money to assist those in need. To me it appears hypocritical much like religious mega church/TV evangelists who teach the humble life of Jesus as an example while they own $7M estates, own private Jets/Limo's/boats, and such lifestyle all while claiming to be the "servant of Gawd" 🙂

@Jolanta, @dumasarok United Way is much worse...(about 2.5 times worse) $1,578,515 last year alone!


Nope. I do very little charitable giving.

I don't blame you. Few of them are legitimately serving causes I care about.


I never give to the SA. We donate directly to the regional food bank. They can buy food in bulk quantities and then pass it down to the local food pantries.


Years ago when I was in a bind I went to a local office and the woman was awful to me because I was single and didn't have kids. Last week I gave a woman food, , she was grateful and I knew where the money went.

There are online organizations that rate charities including the percentage of money that goes directly to those in need.

MizJ Level 8 Dec 8, 2022

I have no time for religious bullies, thugs and deceivers masquerading as being of benefit to society.

9 you I about their horrifyingly atrocious track record on human dignity..they are a perfect expression of Kkkristian Hypocrisy..


I never gave to the Salvation Army specifically because it was a religious organization. When I was getting my AA in Addiction Studies, I had to go to various 12 step groups as a part of my education. The Salvation Army had a lot of disgruntled persons who had gone through their "recovery program". I've never heard about people actually being helped by the organization.

Anyway, there are much better organizations that will make better use of the money. My favorite location to attend recovery groups was the AT (Alcoholics Together) Center in Silver Lake (Los Angeles). They catered mostly to the LGBT+ population, were much more flexible about how to define a "higher power" and the people were generally a lot more friendly and accepting. I left some money with them, as they were more oriented towards helping people.

If you give to a charity this holiday season, I'd recommend the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). Their efforts definitely are to help make a better world.

As an aside, Jackson is from that area and wrote this song there.


As charities go the Salvation Army actually has people in it with rank like in the Army and they started out well except that they also wanted to "save your soul." If you ever talk to anyone on the inside this is a very mixed up organization today.


In the UK they claimed for many years to be a major help to the homeless. A few years ago the BBC ran a documentary on shelters for the homeless. In which they sent people round to rate the provisions for quality, and the Salvation Army came out bottom, little more than barns where you could lie on pallets side by side.

Maybe lying on pallets in a barn is better than out in the open though.

@Jolanta Undoubtedly, but every other charity was able to do better.

@Fernapple That is all relative though. A lot of factors go into this. Just because other charities had better facilities maybe they had less of them, who knows. I rather have 50 people sleeping on pallets than 10 people sleeping in beds.

@Jolanta It is true that any provision is better than none. But the sad fact is, that as soon as they were expossed, they very rapidly found the money to improve. The fact is that they had been spending on promoting their christian dogma, and did not really care about their homeless provisions which they had not improved for a century.

@Fernapple That indeed is sad. I have not come across anything like that here.


there are heart-tugging pitches but i don't donate anywhere because i don't know on what the money would be spent.


I used to give them money probably because I wanted to help the homeless which they really don't help.


They shove religion down the throats of homeless people, then charge them $$ for a bed for the night in their shelter.


Yeah, never had a good feeling about them and don't remember ever giving them any money. But one place that most would think was started by, and based on a religious ideology but is not, is St. Judes Children's Hospital. Danny Thomas (the actor) started it and named it after the patron saint of hospitals, but they don't use any religious ideologies within the ranks or practices of the organization, so they say. []
I've donated to them before, and will again. Anyone that gives that much to sick children deserves some kudos. 😎👍

I’ll take the Salvation Army over the left wing idiots on the main stream of this website any day. They may be somewhat religious but for the most part they are good people with good intentions.

@Trajan61 I'm with you there! 👍


I'd love to drop something in the pot, but it's not money.


Glad to ignore them, guilt-free. As a rule, I never donate to any charity when solicited. I choose charities and donate only on my own initiative.


Thanks for the link. I didn't like them before for their noisy guilt-tripping. However, their beliefs and values fully encompass the hate-mongering for which the Evangelicals are notorious. Sucks to be them. I think I'll mention I gave to Planned Parenthood when I'm confronted.


Thanks Julie, very informative. I never give to anyone who is ringing bells, or otherwise panhandling, because I only give to charities I already have researched and then either give online or by mailing them a check, not spontaneously giving in person. I also find it annoying that they and other charities hang around outside stores, often enlisting children to assist them and add to the appeals to your guilt and conscience to give to them. Same with boy scouts, girl scouts, veterans groups, and Shriners. etc.

In recent years, the only charities I have given to have been a local food bank, public radio in my state, and Planned Parenthood. Nothing else either appeals to my values or seems legit and valuable enough in their service to justify it on my part. And I sure as hell won't donate to the Dem Party, since for all I know, most of it might end up just going to help elect more corporate Dems to congress..

I have the same attitude about the GQP.

@jlynn37 Agreed. Both parties have plenty of money already from their big corporate donors. They don't need money from us peasants, and they don't really care what we want, they just want our votes at election time, and I refuse to give them that as well, as often as possible, esp. in fed elections. The exception is when the greater evil is so extreme, that I hold my nose and vote Dem, not for, but against, the Repub..


Already aware. The Red Cross is also not all it's cracked up to be. People don't listen, though.

Of course, she has also done her homework on them too.


Thank you Julie, it's good to be reminded of this, and no, I don't give them any money. It's such a racket for the evangelical Christian church.


In Australia there are no red kettle Salvation Army people in front of stores that I have ever seen. I volunteer for them in one of their shops I have also seen first hand where the money goes, and I can tell you that it goes to good causes. None of the people who are Salvation Army people earn huge salaries. None of them have fancy cars. The money goes to help in disaster areas, addiction, help with electricity bills, help with food, counselling services, budget services, etc, etc. During my 15 year involvement with them Never ever has any Salvation Army person said to me anything about god or anything about going to church, never. But perhaps Salvation Army is different in the US then in Australia.

Thank you for sharing that information - I was unaware of it, having read too many negative things about them elsewhere.

details a lot of people probably didn't know

That being the case they are VERY different in Aus than in the UK where they originated and still have the world wide headquarters.
As I said above I was brought up in a Salvationist household and I can vouch for the fact that they are a bunch of fucking right wing Nazi bastards, who threaten children with hell fire and damnation, treat the victims of their "Charity" with appalling callousness and for the most part are the sort of people I these days would not piss on if they were on fire.


Mostly what I see here is a bunch of cheap dickwads using bullshit arguments to justify their selfishness.

You would know about being a dickwad.

I'm not cheap or selfish at all, asshole. I'm a proud socialist, who wants to see everybody get a fair shake and piece of the pie. I gave all of my first Covid relief check from Trump, around 1500$, to my local food bank, how about you? What did you do with yours? I didn't need it and considered it blood money, actually, so I gave it away. Don't be so quick to judge and label all of us as selfish assholes, unless you are without sin or fault yourself, on that score of altruism and generosity, etc..

Oh, so you gladly contribute to people who foster hate of women, LBGTQ, etc.

It's not clear to me who you are referring to.

I'm as generous as I can afford to be to deserving individuals and organizations who distribute their donations fairly to all, regardless of religious, ethnic and sexual identity. I don't feel that salvation needs to cost a person's soul in exchange for much needed help. Seems there is quite a bit of proselytizing within the organization.

There are other organizations I prefer to support. It's not a contest to see who is charitable and who is not --- For those who wish to donate to the Salvation Army, I'm simply putting it out there that they may wish to research the organization more fully and decide for themselves how they want their charitable donations spent.

I give to plenty of charities, but I prefer reputable charities that actually help people not those who condemn people. The SA notoriously discriminates against LGBTQ people. Give to the Trevor project instead.

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