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 Armyin Jonesboro and said their financial problems started about 2 years ago but thereal problem came this year.

"I know we can make it through operations through June butJuly and August, there probably wont be enough money to keep things up atthat 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 hadmoved out of the area that's one of our major donors, top two donors for thesalvation army for this area," he said.

"And so that's another 10 thousand dollars a year that wewont have coming in."

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

"Last year we had todeplete our reserves just to keep things afloat and this year there is notgoing to be those reserves to help make things happen," Gesner said. 

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

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

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 theirvacations for a couple of weeks together to save money if we don’t get aninflux 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 thesummer," Gesner said.

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

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

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

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

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