LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The Capital Area Salvation Army is starting this new year more than $40,000 short of its fundraising goal.
The holiday Red Kettle campaign pays for most of the organization’s programs and this year it didn’t generate as much as in year’s past.
Lataya Gray has two small children and no job. “It’s hard for me to take care of kids and stuff. So if I can get help from somewhere, it’s great.”
In the last couple of years she’s often relied on the Salvation Army’s food pantry to provide for her family.
“Whenever I’m like down and don’t have a lot of money to buy this stuff I just come here and they help me out.”
Money from the organization’s Red Kettle campaign keeps these shelves stocked through the year and helps many others like Gray with other basic needs like housing and heating.
But this year, there’s a hurdle.
“We fell very very short, we were short about $41,000 short,” explains Maj. Alan Hellstrom, Tri-County Coordinator Salvation Army.
The Capital Area Salvation Army saw more need in 2016 than it had in previous years so a lack in funding going into the new year could affect hundreds of families that rely on this place for help.
“Our slots are always full, we’re always turning people away,” said Brooke Barrett, Salvation Army Director of Social Services. “There’s so much need in the Tri-County area.”
Barrett says if they are forced to make cuts there would be a major impact for many local families.
“It means so much to them. People come in here and they cry because they don’t have food to put on the table.”
For now those families, like Gray’s, just have to wait and hope that the help they so desperately need doesn’t go away.
“I’d have to scrape up some extra money somehow. Yeah, it’d be hard on me,” agreed Gray.
ONLINE: Salvation Army donations
PHONE DONATIONS: 1-800-725-2769