Salvation Army on a mission in Audrain Co.
A turbulent and unstable economy has created a new wave of Missourians who now find themselves unable to support their families. Social service agencies have a wide reach in larger urban areas, but several rural communities are struggling to help keep their residents afloat, especially those without a Salvation Army.
“The Salvation Army helps the residents of Vandalia and Farber with food, prescription drugs and eyeglasses, emergency assistance, and even a listening ear while you navigate life’s curveballs,” said Jason Pierce, Service Extension Director. “Our assistance is available year-round, especially at Christmas when disadvantaged children run the risk of having a gift-less Christmas. We want to be there and make sure that doesn’t happen.”
The need for services offered by The Salvation Army has risen dramatically across the country, creating the need for more representation in communities like ours.
“The Salvation Army relies solely on the generosity of others – especially our bell-ringers at Christmas – to raise the money that benefits people in need across the country all year long,” Pierce said. “In order for us to help more people in your community, we need a presence there, namely with a Service Extension unit. The money raised by this unit will stay in your community and help take care of your neighbors and friends when they find themselves in need of a hand.”
The Vandalia Service Extension Unit brings a wealth of services to the residents of this community including assistance with rent, utilities, and prescriptions; food and clothing; back-to-school supplies; items for nursing-home residents; and clean-up supplies and lodging assistance following a natural disaster.
“Although our visibility is more heightened during the holidays, it is important to know the Army’s services are ongoing year-round,” Pierce said. “We don’t want to just provide a temporary solution; we want to be there for the long haul and help make sure you have the tools to lead a fulfilling life with as few struggles as possible.”
To learn more information about the Service Extension Unit in your community, please contact Walt Runyon at 573-594-2703. To make a donation that will stay in your community, please mail your gift to: The Salvation Army c/o First Christian Church 205 West Park St. Vandalia, MO. 63382.
Runyon reports that the “annual funding normally lasts until early to mid-summer, which leaves the important winter holiday months uncovered. Additional funding would help to keep us operating year round”. Runyon adds that donations are gladly accepted all year at the above address, and reminds readers that donations to the Salvation Army are tax deductible.
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, was established in 1865 and has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services, ranging from food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. Eighty-five cents of every dollar donated to The Salvation Army is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide.