Carnegie, PA, February 8, 2017 – With the extended weather forecast calling for lows in the teens and highs in the 30’s, KDKA AM reporter James Garrity, aka “The Man In A Box”, will be experiencing some of the harshness of being homeless during a Pittsburgh winter first hand, during the fourth year of The Salvation Army and CBS Radio’s “Man In A Box”homelessness awareness campaign. The campaign, which started as a partnership between The Salvation Army and Pittsburgh-based CBS Radio station 100.7 Star in 2014, was expanded to include promotion on KDKA AM, 93.7 The Fan, and Y108 Country in 2016. This added promotion will continue for this year’s event, which will take place on February 16-17, 2017 from 6 am to 6 pm each day.
Organizers are hoping that this year’s event will attract even more attention as the placement of “the box”, a 4 foot by 8 foot Plexiglas structure which will be James Garrity’s shelter for two days, is being moved into the center of Market Square in downtown Pittsburgh. The box had previously been positioned on Highwoods Property Management’s property between PPG Place Buildings # 2 and # 3 near the Mass Mutual Ice Rink.
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, a strong supporter of The Salvation Army for many years, has been the Presenting Sponsor of “Man In A Box”since its inception, and is joined this year by Carlow University as “Brought To You By”Sponsor, as well as additional sponsors The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center, GetGo, UnitedHealthcare, First Commonwealth Bank, and Highwood Properties. In addition, many of the restaurants in Market Square have agreed to place Salvation Army countertop kettles at their businesses to collect donations for “Man In A Box”and/or disseminate information, donate a portion of proceeds, or otherwise support the effort. Other critical support comes from volunteer bell ringers from sponsoring organizations and The Salvation Army’s Greater Pittsburgh Advisory Board who will brave the cold to stand at kettles encouraging the contributions of passers-by. Those wishing to volunteer can contact The Salvation Army’s Divisional Fundraising Director, Lauren Brant at 412.446.1644.
During the two 12-hour days of the event, radio stations 100.7 Star and Y108 Country will alternately be broadcasting live from Market Square, encouraging support of “The Man In The Box”and The Salvation Army. In “the box”, Garrity will have minimal shelter and heat, and only the same food provided to the homeless by The Salvation Army. At night, the “Man In A Box”will be sleeping at The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center, a residential treatment center for men suffering from addiction. KDKA AM will be broadcasting John McIntyre’s show live from the Harbor Light Center on Thursday, February 16th where James and others will educate the public about this facility, as addiction is often a contributing factor to homelessness.
The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) Team will be on site at various times throughout the event to provide breakfast and lunch for James, and coffee and hot chocolate for volunteers and passers-by.
“After serving as “Man In The Box”last year, and shadowing The Salvation Army’s EDS crews during a homeless feeding run, I am even more committed to helping raise awareness of the issues and funds for The Salvation Army”said Garrity. “I have learned even more in preparation for this year’s event, researching the problem of addiction and visiting The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center. I am even more humbled to be are part of this important event and to share what I have learned.”
Over the past three years, “Man In a Box”has raised over $62,000 in support of The Salvation Army’s Red Shield Campaign which benefits their Emergency Disaster Services program, Family Caring Center and Comprehensive Social Services, all of which play a role in assisting the homeless. This year’s goal is $25,000. Funds will be raised through corporate donations, on-site kettle collections, and online donations made at wpa.salvationarmy.org.
“I am truly grateful to James Garrity, and certainly also thank and commend CBS Radio for their continued support of The Salvation Army through this unique event,”said Major Deborah Sedlar, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army’s Western PA Division. “The awareness generated through this campaign is invaluable, as are the funds that help The Salvation Army in meeting the needs of the community.”
The Salvation Army is dedicated to caring for the poor, feeding the hungry and educating youth. Every day, The Salvation Army attends to the needs of homeless families and their children, helping break the cycle of poverty. They respond to disasters, shelter the homeless, reunite families, and renew health to addicts. Holistic service is the goal, meeting physical, social, psychological, emotional and spiritual needs of families and individuals. Celebrating over 150 years of global service as both a church and a social service organization, The Salvation Army provides critical services in 128 countries worldwide. The 28-county Western Pennsylvania Division serves thousands of needy families through a wide variety of support services. To learn more about The Salvation Army in Western Pennsylvania, log on to www.wpa.salvationarmy.org The Salvation Army …doing the most good for the most people in the most need.