The Salvation Army of Houston will no longer require Social Security numbers from those seeking Christmas gifts, the organization announced today.
“It was never our intention to offend anyone with our registration requirement to provide a Social Security number, or to give the impression that we were discriminating against those individuals and families who do not have a Social Security number,” Major Chris Flanagan, Area Commander for The Salvation Army Greater Houston Area Command said in a statement.
State Representative Carol Alvarado was pleased with the outcome of her meeting with Salvation Army’s Greater Houston Area Commander, Major Chris Flanagan and Director of Development Caesar Grantham. Major Flanagan stated that the Salvation Army is in no way using immigration status as a determining factor in deciding which children are to be given presents. He also stated that the Salvation Army does not have the ability to check immigration status. Representative Alvarado was concerned that asking for social security cards might deter some needy families from receiving assistance. The Salvation Army has agreed not ask for social security cards next year during the application process leading up to the holiday season.
“Asking families for social security cards may prevent some needy children from receiving gifts,” said Representative Alvarado. “The holidays are about giving, and we want everyone to feel safe when applying for much needed aid and assistance in their time of need especially during the holiday season.”
Representative Alvarado will help the Salvation Army revise their application for next year in hopes that all children in need of assistance obtain gifts given out by the Salvation Army’s program.