Donations needed to avoid cuts to Salvation Army programs

Bells may not be ringing but the Salvation Army is still accepting donations. The organization, serving the Wabash Valley, could face significant cuts if the fundraising goal is not reached.

Posted: Dec. 25, 2017 8:38 PM
Updated: Dec. 27, 2017 3:16 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Bells may not be ringing but the Salvation Army is still accepting donations. The organization, serving the Wabash Valley, could face significant cuts if the fundraising goal is not reached.

At minimum, the Terre Haute branch needs $213,000 to avoid reductions in programs, employee hours and overall service hours.

The organization is several thousand dollars short and the captain had hopes of raising much more, $250,000, to grow a program he says helps lift families out of generational poverty.

A local mother is hoping people still find it in their hearts to give.

"They're not out for themselves. They just want to help make you better. They're genuine."

Samantha Riley says the Salvation Army changed her life with the Pathway of Hope program. She says a case worker helped her secure a job after she moved her family to Terre Haute.

"Help me fill out a resume or application, anything you need to complete each task, if you can't figure it out, they'll help you figure it out."

Captain Jason Schaal says, through Pathway of Hope, adults learn how to pick themselves up when times get rough and it shows children they do not have to rely on government assistance.

"For those kids, it shows them that there's something beyond what they are currently experiencing. It shows them they don't have to live in public housing or low income housing. They can have something better."

Despite hiccups with her health and issues with housing, with the help if her case worker, Riley says her family is now living comfortably.

"She helped change our whole life circumstance. We were in a bad place."

The support came in other ways, too.

"As a wife and a mother, when you're scared you don't tell that to your kids or your husband and she's the one that you can call. She doesn't sugarcoat anything. If it's bad, she'll tell you it's bad and if it's good she'll tell you it's good."

Riley says each case if different so the time it takes to reach goals and eventually graduate from the program is not the same for each person. A case worker won't do the work for you, according to Riley, but they are there to help anytime.

"You don't have to call five million times and hope someone calls you back. They answer the phone. They will put their whole day on hold to help make your life better."

Sadly, the Pathway of Hope program and many others could be cut if more end of year donations fail to come in to the Terre Haute branch.

Riley says, "They changed my life in like thirty days. If they didn't reach that goal, I couldn't imagine someone going through something like I did and they didn't have the support that I had."

Captain Schaal says one person is working just thirty-five hours a week on several programs including the Pathway of Hope and he'd like to see those hours increase, not the other way around.

The local branch of the Salvation Army could be closed Fridays as a result of missing the fundraising goal.

There is still time to donate in person and by mail to 234 South 8th Street in Terre Haute. Donations are accepted online. You can also text "THKETTLE" to 41-444.

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