Columbia and Jefferson City Salvation Army fall short on their campaign goal
COLUMBIA — With the holiday season coming to an end, the Christmas Campaign for the Salvation Army of Jefferson City and the Salvation Army of Columbia is also ending. But, both of their campaign goals are falling short by a significant amount.
Salvation Army Major Jack Holloway said they are $84,000 short of their $408,000 goal.
"At this particular point, I don’t want to say we are concerned, but we definitely are concerned," Holloway said. "The reality simply is if we are of that shortfall, we are not going to be able to serve the community as we would hope to."
Holloway said there are two major reasons for the downfall this year.
"Number one, people don't carry that much cash anymore - we are trying to find ways of dealing with that," Holloway said. "The kettle season itself was a week short. That contributed significantly."
Salvation Army Capt. Justin Windell said the Salvation Army of Jefferson City is short $38,000 of the $330,000 goal.
"2019 compared to 2018, we served 2,500 more meals - we served 3 meals a day, 7 days a week," Windell said. "But now, it's gotten to the point where we have to feed people in shifts. We first serve the residents and then open the doors to the community."
Windell said the Salvation Army has been at full capacity since the May tornado, filling all 31 beds.
One-third of the total operating budget relies on the Christmas Campaign. The rest comes through the state, counties, and federal services. Although the campaign contributes a lot of the money, Holloway said the Salvation Army doesn't only appear during the holiday season.
"We are serving the community 365 days a year, 24 hours a day," Holloway said.
The Salvation Army Harbour House is significant in how much is funded to stabilize and support their needs. Holloway said the Salvation Army also has a food pantry being assisted through the funds. He said this shortage presents them with a challenge this year, and they will have to budget accordingly and see where reductions are needed.
"We still operate on a very tight budget in general, but if we raise the money, it would make everything more comfortable," Holloway said. "We may have to serve different foods as opposed to what we would like to do. We might have to reduce the amount of money that we can give a family in need."
Despite the shortage this year, Holloway said the community is incredibly generous and he is thankful. Holloway said the Salvation Army is appreciative of the community's help thus far.