J.C. Penney and The Salvation Army Online Angel Giving Tree Program

J.C. PENNEY AND THE SALVATION ARMY LAUNCH LARGEST ONLINE ANGEL GIVING TREE PROGRAMjcp.com/angel Launches Today to Help Children and Seniors in Need This Christmas JCP AngelPLANO, Texas (Nov. 2, 2009) – J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP) and The Salvation Army are joining forces this Christmas season to give joy to people in need through a grand-scale online Angel Giving Tree program. From now until December 14, for the first-time ever, customers can adopt and shop online for Angels at www.jcp.com/angel, providing tens of thousands of children and seniors facing hardship in communities across the country with Christmas gifts. “In a year when so many need help, the new online Angel Giving Tree program will extend our reach and make it easier for our customers and Associates to give back this holiday season,” said Mike Boylson, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for JCPenney. “By leveraging the strength of jcp.com, we are helping to modernize an American tradition – the Angel Tree program – and creating an innovative way to help families in need in our communities across the nation. Launching this program with The Salvation Army allows us to elevate our support for a cause that is extremely important to our customers and Associates, underscoring our focus on the ‘Joy of Giving’ this holiday season.”The new online Angel Giving Tree program builds on the legacy of The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program that has been in operation for more than 40 years.Read More | Adopt an Angel

Reality Check: Kids, Families Homeless in Chicago

Story Courtesy of NBC 5 Chicago

As many of us look at the shrinking value of our retirement funds and savings accounts, perhaps a reality check is in order. There is, after all, a huge part of this society, for whom the economic bust means very little. They never knew there was a boom to begin with.

The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless estimates at least 73,000 people are homeless in Chicago. Of those, more than 26,000 are children in families, more than 12,000 are adults in families, and 32,000 are single adults, the agency said. More than 54,000 live on the streets in cars, abandoned buildings, or in some other location that cannot be classified as a “fixed residence,” according to CCH.

“If you are hungry and you haven’t had something to eat for several days, your pride sort of has to be lost, to get something to eat,” said Captain Nancy Powers of the Salvation Army. “People don’t understand how fortunate they are, that they’re looking at a reduction in their savings accounts.”

The Salvation Army hits the streets every day, operating feeding programs that provide hot meals to hundreds of needy Chicagoans. Other Army programs provide low cost or free clothing, and the agency’s food pantries are doing a bigger business than ever. Some of the Army’s programs have seen increases of as much as 125 percent, a spokesman said.

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While Most Stores See Red…

Story Courtesy of NBC 5 Chicago

In the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, one chain of retail stores in Chicago is doing a booming business.

“My experience is that when business is good for the thrift store business, the economy is kind of in a rough way,” said Major Mark Anderson of the Salvation Army. “Individuals are looking at their checkbook. They’re looking at how much they’re able to spend.”

Business has never been greater for the Army’s 26 Chicago-area Thrift Stores, and many are first-time customers.

“We’re seeing people come into our stores that we haven’t seen before,” said Anderson. “I will tell you that it is a tough step when you’re out of funds, you’re laid off, things have gotten rough. It’s a tough step to ask for help.”

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Elgin Salvation Army Thrift Store Closing During the Winter Due to Slump in Sales

Story courtesy of CBS 2 News CHicagoOctober 20, 2009ELGIN, Ill. (CBS) ―In these tough economic times, department stores aren’t the only shops taking a hit. Thrift stores are taking a beating, too. As CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports, a thrift shop in Elgin has seen such a slump, it’s closing for the season.The Salvation Army Thrift Store in Elgin makes between $40,000 and $50,000 each year. Last year, the store made only $14,000.More clothes are also being given away to those in need, rather than being sold. The store also lost $4,000 in profit last year.”Because of the economy and everything, no jobs, people are trying to hang on to what they have because they can’t afford to buy anything new,” said Mae Adams, a sales clerk at the Elgin store.Adams said there are less high-end donations that bring in more money.This will be the first Salvation Army Thrift Store to close during the winter months. The shop, offering everything from housewares and handbags to clothing and shoes, is giving more clothes away to those in need, than they’re selling.   Read more | Donation Drop Off Locations