Salvation Army seeking donations to prepare for holiday season - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Salvation Army seeking donations to prepare for holiday season

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JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- As the holiday season approaches, the Jonesboro Salvation Army is turning to the community for help. The commander over the Jonesboro branch says they are short on money and food for the shelter.

Major Debra Gesner is a commander with the Jonesboro Salvation Army and said with the weather getting cooler, they expect more people to come to their shelter. But she said without the funds they won't be able to feed them.

"During this time of year we are like $10,000 dollars short so we can't even go buy groceries for our emergency shelter or for the pantry, as you can see it's pretty empty," Gesner said.

She said with the government shutdown at hand more people are holding on to their donations.

"Things are just very tight, we are really stretching every penny," Major Gesner said. "Not spending unless we absolutely have to or need because how short on cash we are."

She said some of the shelter's bills are not getting paid because they don't have enough money to spread around.

Gesner said the Salvation Army is the only emergency shelter in the Jonesboro area.

"If we weren't here, there would be many people who would go without food and clothes or without a place to stay, this is the only emergency shelter here in Jonesboro," she said.

But without donations, she said they may have to turn people away.

"We just have to say 'I'm sorry this is what we have', it may be all we have is green beans but we can give you green beans,"Gesner said.

Not only are they concerned about their current lack of funding but also their funding during the holiday season.

"This is a shorter Christmas season, last year it's five weeks, this year it's 4 weeks and our goal is $110,000 dollars so that we really need to make in order to make it stretch through the year," she said. 

Gesner said they help about 700 families during the holidays.

"This is a great community for taking care of their own people," she said.

Gesner said they are asking for non-perishable food and cash donations. You can send monetary donations to Salvation Army, P.O. Box 726 Jonesboro, Arkansas 72401.

Gesner said they are also in need of folding tables and chairs, packs of razors, shaving cream, women's sanitary items, diapers and baby wipes.

The Salvation Army will begin taking applications for their Christmas Assistance Program starting October 28 through October 31.


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