Charities Working to Make Up for Katrina Shortages
It's all smiles now in Jefferson City's Salvation Army Samaritan Center, but just two weeks ago, Major Ben Stillwell only had three turkeys. That wouldn't go a long way for the 200-plus Thanksgiving dinners he expected to serve.
"We were panicked," Stillwell said.
And bell ringer Warren Isenburg says an old fashion trick did it. "We did a lot of praying and here they all come."
Major Stillwell says they usually get all their turkeys from the Central Missouri Food Bank. This year they didn't get one. He says that's because more than $60,000 left Mid-Missouri for hurricane relief.This year, the Salvation Army in Jefferson City, money contributions were up by $13,000, while their food contributions were down. But with or without more money, need is what's increased.
"The changes in receiving aid have adversly affected families that have never asked us or the Samaritan Center or agencies like us for help, and it's sure affected us locally," said Stillwell.
In fact, the Salvation Army saw an increase of more than 100 familes over last year. "It's suprising...shocking...overwhelming," Stillwell said. That's why for Stillwell, helping charities by volunteering or donations is much more apprecitated. The Salvation Army is currently working to raise money for the end of year holidays. Major Stillwell wants to thank all the volunteers and everyone who contributed to the Thanksgiving celebration.
Most non-profit organizations have had a tough time fundraising this year. According to a non-profit website, guidestar.org, nearly 80% of charitable organizations in the country expect fundraising money to remain or decrease from 2004 levels. Some local organizations say they'll be happy if they can reach last year's fundraising goals.