The Salvation Army Millionaire? Scandal Hits Britain’s Charity World

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Has a businessman been getting rich off donated clothes? (via The Guardian)

The allegations came in an exclusive report, published by The Guardian, which claimed that a British textiles trader — along with three fellow directors — has netted almost $16 million (£10m) through aiding the Salvation Army in operating a nationwide network of recycle banks.

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For years, U.K. citizens have been encouraged to deposit used clothing in the banks, which could then be passed along and resold to those in need. According to the Guardian, signs affixed to these banks claimed all profits would be used “to help the Salvation Army’s work with people in need both at home and abroad.”

But since 2008, the Guardian shows, only a portion of the resulting revenues have gone to charitable efforts.

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Since 2008, a total of almost $42.1 million (£26.3m) has been generated through the recycling banks. But only $26.1 million (£16.3m) of that has gone to the charity. The remaining $16 million (£10m) has reportedly gone directly to Kettering Textiles Limited — a hefty sum that has some donors crying foul, claiming businessmen are getting rich on the backs of the poor.

As the story has sparked discussion across the country, a new development emerged late Monday: Britain’s charity fundraising regulator, the Fundraising Standards Board, has asked the Christian charity to investigate and explain the revenue revelations.

Earlier, the Salvation Army had defended the lucrative Kettering Textiles Limited arrangement to the Guardian by saying the hefty sums were needed to defray “administrative costs.”

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