Salvation Army still faces budget shortfall, needs community’s help

Published 10:09 am Thursday, July 23, 2015

The time left to ensure Vicksburg doesn’t lose one of its most precious resources is winding down.

In June The Salvation Army announced if they couldn’t come up with $50,000, they might be forced to shut its doors and halt its important services. That is unless the community it serves steps-up to help the agency meet its needs.

“Giving was down,” she said. “We had two big donors that were unable to give this year, which caused a tremendous budget shortfall for us. We depend on that money to pay our bills throughout the year and also to support our various programs.”

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The bulk of the Salvation Army’s income comes from the Red Kettle Campaign, which runs during the Christmas season, said Kamace Priest, president of the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary.

As much as the Salvation Army depends on our community’s support, our community depends on the nonprofit organization. More than 6,700 people were served by the local Salvation Army last year. More than 50,000 meals were provided. Almost 150 people received rent assistance and more than 200 were helped paying their utility bills.

“It makes a difference in the lives of people,” Salvation Army Capt. Srikant Bhatnagar said. “If we can change one or two lives, it means our program is very successful.”

The Vicksburg Post has featured many stories of how The Salvation Army impacts our community.

The Salvation Army provides emergency assistance programs such as rent, utility, clothing and furniture and emergency disaster services including personal care kits, bottled water, donations of clothing and furnishings, spiritual counseling and emotional support.

Emergency food assistance is provided via the Salvation Army’s food pantry and the Mission 66 Diner, which serves hot lunches every weekday.

The Salvation Army offers a number of youth programs for children such as after-school programs, tutoring, organized recreation, summer camps and character-building groups.

During the holidays, the Salvation Army sponsors the Angel Tree program and a holiday emergency assistance program.

“We would have to shut it down and just sort of shutter it until we do the Christmas kettle campaign,” Salvation Army board president Danny Jones said. “We’ve got money for certain things, but we don’t have money for light bills and help and so forth.”

The Salvation Army is a vital resource for many people in our community. There’s still time to help.

To donate to The Salvation Army send a check to 530 Mission 66, Vicksburg, MS 39183, or to make a donation online, visit