Jonesboro Salvation Army looks for additional financial support - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro Salvation Army looks for additional financial support

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- The Jonesboro Salvation Army is looking to have a tough financial summer after their biggest financial donor moved away. 

Major Eugene Gesner is the core officer for the Salvation Army in Jonesboro and said their financial problems started about 2 years ago but the real problem came this year. 

"I know we can make it through operations through June but July and August, there probably wont be enough money to keep things up at that rate,"Gesner said.

Gesner says their financial troubles stemmed from bad decision made in the past and a 50% cut from community funding for their shelter, which overall costs them about $50,000.

"Just this Christmas we got word that one of our donors had moved out of the area that’s one of our major donors, top two donors for the salvation army for this area," he said.

"And so that’s another 10 thousand dollars a year that we wont have coming in."

Just this week, The Salvation Army had to spend $900 to fix the van that picks up the food for their shelter, which Gesner said they had to scramble together.

"Last year we had to deplete our reserves just to keep things afloat and this year there is not going to be those reserves to help make things happen," Gesner said. 

But Gesner said his biggest concern is keeping the doors open to their shelter.

"We spend more of the shelter every year than we spend on the Christmas program," he said.  "We always have at least a half dozen usually about ten people staying in this shelter on a given night and serving  20 to 25 meals a night.”

But if they can’t find the funds, Gesner said they may have to temporarily close their doors.

"We might have to shut down and make everyone take their vacations for a couple of weeks together to save money if we don’t get an influx from somewhere," he said. 

An influx totaling about $10,000.

"If we can get the $10,000 that we lost from the donor, I think we can make it through the summer," Gesner said.

He said they are the only general purpose shelter in the Jonesboro area.

"We are something the community needs and we’re just going through a  difficult spell because of those cutbacks."

"I don’t think that everybody realizes that we do our work throughout the year. Most people think of what we do at Christmas when we have the kettles out," Gesner said. 

The Salvation Amy also has a food pantry and help pay utilities bills and rent for people who are in need in the community.

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