Salvation Army faces critical need

Published 1:40 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2024

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For the last several years the Salvation Army in Washington, which serves a six-county area, has lost access to several annual in-house campaigns by larger businesses and industries. This has resulted in a large budgetary shortfall. “Annually we have been running between $40,000-$50,000 short of what we need to raise to serve our six-county area,” said interim commander, Major Vic Tidman. “Up until now, headquarters has been covering those costs. They are not threatening to cut us off for now, but this is not an acceptable way to operate. We got to where we are today because we never stepped up to address the problem when we should have.”

Tidman said they have pretty much cut wherever they can without eliminating any programs. Something they are trying to avoid at all costs. “It is critical for every local Salvation Army to be able to cover the costs of helping the poor and hurting in their community,” said Tidman. “That’s why it is so important for us to be able to come up with ways to secure the needed funds.”

On May 3, the Salvation Army will launch what it hopes will be an annual sustaining membership campaign. It will be a face-to-face campaign where volunteers will reach out to individuals they already know and ask for their support once a year. “Our goal is to raise $50,000 over two weeks,” said Tidman. “The funds will go to the normal things like food assistance, help with rent and utilities, and other emergency type needs associated with our disaster relief program. We are only asking donors to commit to one year at a time. But we hope that they will see the need and become sustaining donors and repeat their gifts each year.”

The kickoff will be held on Friday, May 3, at 7 am at the First Presbyterian Church. Volunteers will be on hand to “receive their marching orders,” as Tidman called it.

Those interested in volunteering can reach out to the Salvation Army at 252-946-2523