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Salvation Army paying $15,000 more in community services

Running out of funds could mean turning people away, major says
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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The Auburn Salvation Army said it could have to start turning those in need away if its resources continue to decline. Major Ralph Jiminez, with the Auburn Salvation Army, said the Army’s most recent numbers show that in May, June and July of this year it was down $11,000 in monetary donations compared to last year, and was spending $15,000 more in community assistance in those three months, as compared to last year. John Morningstar, Auburn Salvation Army family services manager, said the Army’s voucher program, which allows families to get clothes from the Salvation Army thrift shop every six months and food from the Salvation Army distribution center every month, is growing despite declining donations. “For August for the clothing, I spent $1,860 and the month before that was $1,750, so the last two months have been up quite a bit,” Morningstar said. “Before that I was running on probably $1,000 to $1,200, so that’s how much it’s gone up in the last couple of months.” Debra Chavis, who manages the Auburn Salvation Army thrift shop as well as two others in the local area, said she is definitely seeing more of a need for the vouchers. “I’m actually seeing a little bit of increase in the need for them, more throughout our whole area,” Chavis said. “I oversee three of the stores. I see the need for it everywhere. I just don’t see the vouchers everywhere. Here in Auburn I see more of them coming through than I do in the other locations. Their first step trying to get a voucher is just calling the thrift store because they are not even sure who to talk to.” Chavis said she thinks donations of all kinds are down because the economy has hit everyone. “The economy’s down, so donations are down,” she said. “People are watching their money more closely. I think the economy is just giving everybody a different way to look at something. Now I think people are really looking at it twice instead of just donating it.” Jiminez said monetary donations and canned food are the most needed right now, and ready-made meals are important. “We are right in between fundraisers as far as canned food drives and stuff like that, mostly non-perishable foods,” he said. “We are doing fine on the produce because there are a lot of farms that are harvesting now, and they give it to us and we give it to the community.” Donations also go toward shelter, counseling and other types of aid, Jiminez said. “Sometimes we do lodging for people,” he said. “We don’t have a shelter, but we have lodged people in motels, things of that nature. So, when we do get funding we put money aside for that. Actually clothing has been one of the biggest issues. It’s not that we need the clothing, we need the funding for clothing because we send them to the thrift store. This year we have seen a big jump in clothing, people needing clothing. That’s been one of the biggest increases we have found this year.” Jiminez said those interested in learning more about the Auburn Salvation Army or contacting the Army to donate can visit auburnsalarmy.org. Jiminez said he is thankful for the support the Auburn community has provided in the past and he hopes to continue the Army’s services in the future. “If we run out of funds to help people, we’ll have to turn people away,” Jiminez said. ”We are not at that stage yet, but that is why I’m asking for public support, so that we never have to worry about leaving a neighbor hungry or a child without the proper necessities to get through life.” Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com ----------------------------------------------------- Auburn Salvation Army Where: 286 Sutter St., Auburn Thrift store: 510 High St., Auburn Call: (530) 889-3990 Website: auburnsalarmy.org