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Friday December 20th 2002 - by Bernard Fitzwalter

Bernard Fitzwalter invites you to support a charity which brings real hope to homeless people.

To me, a Salvation Army brass band playing carols in the town square on the Saturday before Christmas is an essential part of the festive season. But the jolliness of the bandsmen is in sharp contrast to the very real work that they do with the homeless. Nor does that work stop when Christmas is over.

People need food, shelter, care and friendship throughout the year, and thatís what the Salvation Army works to provide, every day of every year. Itís not a very fashionable or glamorous cause, but itís a necessary one. The Salvation Army gives practical, everyday help Ė simple things we take for granted like somewhere to sleep, somewhere to wash, and a hot meal. For many itís the only help they get, the only friendly face they see.

The Salvation Army needs money urgently. Please make a credit card donation by calling 0800 028 9111. Your call is free. Or send a cheque to: Salvation Army 200, FREEPOST/ADMAIL 3631, London SE1 6YT.

But, best of all, when youíre listening to the band, donít fumble for change, but take out a big crisp note and put that in the collection box instead. It gives you a warm Christmassy feel that no other present can match. And someone else, who thought the world had forgotten him, will have a happier Christmas, too, thanks to you.

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