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Does the Salvation Army theft change your donation plans?

Categories: Canada, Community

The Salvation Army confirmed yesterday that toys and "several million dollars" have been stolen from the charity over the years. 

And earlier this week John Murray, a Salvation Army spokesman, told CBC News that $240,000 went missing from the charity's accounts in Ottawa.

The Salvation Army took steps to tighten security at its Railside Road warehouse and terminated a staff member. The executive director of Ottawa's Salvation Army was also fired.

This morning CBC News Network asked, "Do reports of theft change your plans to donate this holiday season?"

After more than 11,000 responses, our unscientific poll in the story found that about one-quarter of our readers will "donate elsewhere," while just under half said they "still trust the organization." The rest said they don't donate to the Salvation Army. 

Hundreds of CBC Community members shared their thoughts on the theft in the story comments, some saying it shook their confidence. 

  • "This is why I have ceased to donate to charities in recent years. I prefer to donate directly to people I know are in need. The large funded campaigns and increasing numbers of non-taxable registered charities often have an executive behind them who are very well paid or worse, on the take. The system has made millionaires of some whom we believed were non-profit organizations," said GregNixon.

  • "What a sad event this is becoming. The Sally Ann and the Red Cross are the only two organizations I ever trusted to do the right thing with my donations. Now even that has been proven to be untrustworthy, at least as far as the Salvation Army is concerned," said Pugfire.

  • "This was the only charity I thought was mostly trustworthy and would give notes not coins, but this is just another one of those headed by a scam artist! Who the hell can be trusted these days? I will just stop giving completely," said jamqueen.

But some of the commenters felt that the coverage was unfair to the Salvation Army and that the charity continues to be a worthy organization. 

  • "Have a heart, CBC, and report it correctly and fairly. The SA is hardly a multinational out to rip off the public. Whether one agrees with their approach or not, they are still trying to do some good in a world where doing good is a valuable trait," said Iokies.

  • "Sally Ann does a lot of good work. This just goes to show that evil has no boundaries. But it is still disheartening to hear that such a low life could do this," said Arrdvark.

  • "When I see the Sally Ann standing in a mall with their money globes, then I know it's Christmas time. I usually pop a five or ten into each one I see, because at one time in my life the Salvation Army were the only people who were willing to take me in out of the cold. Please don't let this incident stop you from continuing to donate (whether it be cash or toys or clothing). It's easy to be cynical about certain charities, but this is simply a crime committed against the Sally Ann. Good works can sometimes be undone, but it doesn't mean we should stop trying," said fritthum.

  • "Would you lose faith in banks if one was robbed?" asked poisonpen.

Thank you for following our coverage and sharing your thoughts with us. 

Tags: Community, Community Reaction

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