Killeen Salvation Army Cutting Back on Programs - - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Killeen Salvation Army Cutting Back on Programs

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(KCEN) – The Salvation Army of Killeen is cutting back on programs after taking a huge hit to their budget.

During their annual Red Kettle Campaign, their biggest fundraiser of the year, they came up $30,000 short of their goal. The non-profit is run 100% on donations, and that fundraiser accounts for about 20% of their entire budget.

"The last few months have been a struggle here," Captain Christopher Bryant said. "I've been looking at the budget since December trying to think of ways we can cut costs so our programs don't struggle."

After word got out they came up short on donations during the holiday fundraiser, a generous community stepped up to help with donations and about $8,000 was raised. But that still didn't cut it.

"At the same time we've had twice the number of people coming in for help," he said. "We're seeing people who were supporters financially of our ministry coming in and needing help for themselves right now."

The budget cuts will hurt their direct assistance program the most. That fund helps families pay rent and utilities, and with heating bills skyrocketing this winter, he says they've seen a 30% increase in families needing this help.

"The number we allocated for February was gone within the first four days of the month," Bryant said.

With February's allotment gone, he says they're having to look at each case closely and can only give money if it's an absolute emergency. But it gets worse. Bryant says if they don't get a significant amount of financial donations, the direct assistance fund could be completely depleted by the summer.

"I don't want to tell people we don't have the money to help, but it's a real possibility," he said.

In addition to a tight budget, he says they are seeing about a 20% increase in the number of families coming in getting food from their pantries. And now much of the time the shelves are bare.

Bryant says if they run out of funds, and do not get the needed donations, they will unfortunately look at cutting an employee position as a last resort.

"For me this is my life. This is what I've given my life to do, to help people. So whenever I see we're falling short and we might not be able to help someone, it's heartbreaking for me," Bryant said.

With the added $8,000 in donations after the kettle campaign, Bryant says they still need about $20,000 to have a budget where they can continue helping throughout the year.

If you would like to help, financial and food donations can be made at their store located at 1306 East Rancier or checks sent to P.O. Box 4330 Killeen, TX 76540.

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