Salvation Army reaches out for help

Without community donations, The Salvation Army of Decatur cannot provide many of the social services it currently offers to residents of Morgan, Lawrence and Limestone counties.

“Holiday donations are down $30,000 from last year,” said Captain David Sams. “This does not seem like a lot, but we only raise money through our Red Kettle Program for a short time. We’re not allowed to ring bells at all locations until after Thanksgiving.”

Money raised by The Salvation Army during its holiday campaigns is to help operate the Center of Hope. a homeless shelter and a transitional housing program that helps the homeless become self-sufficient again.

The organization also operates thrift stores or Salvation Army Family Stores in Decatur and Athens that provide clothes, shoes and other goods to families at a reduced price. Their special services department offers counseling, food and clothing assistance to families in all three counties. In addition, the Christmas Program provides food for families and gifts for children who might otherwise not receive gifts during the holidays.

They are also on call to help first responders during disasters or emergencies. Sams said when donations are down, it impacts the organization’s ability to serve.

According to the latest statistics, there are 46.5 million people in the U.S. living in poverty.

“Regretfully, this means that services will have to be cut – everything from personnel, Family Store hours and availability at the Center of Hope, Sams said. “ The people in need will be limited in having their needs met. We hope this will not be the case, and that others will step up to help us meet our goal to help families in need.”

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