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Salvation Army & Groupon Partner To Provide Heating Assistance

G-Team, the philanthropic arm of the "deal-of-the-day" website Groupon, is teaming with the Salvation Army to help needy Pittsburgh residents. Starting Tuesday, people will be able to make donations on the site to help families with their heating assistance.

To receive money, The Salvation Army needs a minimum of 40 pledges, at least $10 apiece, in three days. If The Salvation Army does not reach a $400 goal it receives nothing and donor credit cards are not charged.

Fran Brace is the Salvation Army's Western Pennsylvania Division Director of Development. She said they are trying to reach out to a younger audience and explain the needs of the community. "And we just think that the demographics that they (Groupon) touch, and the wide variety of individuals that they touch, this would be a great opportunity for the Salvation Army to be a part of it," Brace said.

Brace said there has been a recent spike in those who need assistance. She said this is due to the growing numbers of "working poor," people who had jobs before the recession and are seeking help from The Salvation Army for the first time.

She said they will use the internet and social media more in the future. "We're right now really putting our toes in the water and testing it out," said Brace. "But any type of awareness that the Salvation Army can receive, so the community knows that we're out there supporting those hurting individuals, is an opportunity for both us and the organization."