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Salvation Army worries about post-Sandy donations

PHOENIX — A Valley charity is hoping that donations to help victims of Hurricane Sandy doesn’t cause a dropoff in local giving.

“People are going to be generous and we want to be generous, because it’s such a terrible thing that happened back east. But yes, we are concerned that people not forget that there are needy in the Valley,” said Salvation Army Col. Olan Hogan.

Hogan has heard that the economy may be starting to turn around, but the number of people in Salvation Army shelters makes him question that.

“We are entirely full,” said Hogan. “We have 97 children in our facility right now. They’re all going to school, but their parents just don’t have a place to stay. We’re doing what we can as quickly as possible to get them into permanent housing, but they’re in our shelter because they just don’t have any place else to go.”

He’s especially worried that toy donations will fall off during the holidays.

“This time of the year, no child should come to Christmas day and not have the ability to receive a gift,” Hogan said. But he admits that if fewer donations come in, the Salvation Army won’t be able to help people in the Phoenix area as much as it would like to.

“We’ve made a decision that we’re going to have to say to a child ‘You may only get one toy instead of the two that we generally give you, or we’ll only give you half of the amount of food we’re able to give, simply because we don’t have the resources.”

Hogan hopes it doesn’t come to that.

The Salvation Army is helping both causes. When anyone makes a donation of money, clothes, food, toys or other items, he or she can specify where the donation goes.

There are a few ways to make a donation: Drop it off at the Salvation Army headquarters at 2707 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix; call (602) 267-4100 or go online.