The Salvation Army of Houston will no longer require Social Security numbers from those seeking gifts, according to the Houston Chronicle.
"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.
The paper reported earlier this week that some Houston charities were asking whether children are in the country legally before giving them toys.
The Salvation Army and Outreach Program Inc., which distributes toys collected by the Houston Fire Department, require documents that indicate immigration status — birth certificates, Social Security numbers or other paperwork — to register for their holiday charity programs. Generally, Social Security numbers are only available to those legally residing in the United States.
Both charities have said that although they have asked for such for paperwork, they never intended to discriminate against people based on their immigration status.
Jim Price of the Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte said that while the local chapter must check if residents actually live here in the community, the agency does not check immigration status.