September, October slow months for Salvation Army as nonprofit seeks donations

Salvation Army of Laurel hoping for an increase in donations
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 5:26 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - When someone mentions the Salvation Army, one may think of its Red Kettle donation Christmas campaign.

However, the organization does much more all year round, providing hot meals daily and food boxes for families, while running its Family Store, youth programs, social service assistance, ministry and more.

The Laurel Salvation Army division serves more than 23,000 hot meals per day

Salvation Army of Laurel Capt. Jason McMullin said keeping the organization running is nonstop.

“We are constantly just needing people that are able to come in and help us, either through volunteer (work) or monetary donations to help us keep the mission going,” McMullin said.

The nonprofit sees a boost of donations during Christmas time, thanks to its Red Kettle campaign, but this time of year, donations were not coming in as steadily.

McMullin said September and October were generally the driest months for donations.

“A lot of times, during the Christmas times, we have to pretty much pay back all the things from the previous months even before we can get to the new and upcoming months,” McMullin said.

McMullin said the nonprofit greatly depends on donations that come into its Family Store to fund its services.

“What people don’t understand about the Family Store is that once we run out of that Christmas money, then we are dependent on the Family Store money, you know, as a backup, as means to make sure that we are meeting the needs in the community.” McMullin said.

The organization’s partnership with local businesses and groups like the Laurel Police Department help keep the doors open for those in need.

Laurel Police Department Chief Tommy Cox, who also serves on the Salvation Army’s Advisory Board, said the police department participates in food drives whenever it can.

“The Salvation Army is a lot like the Laurel Police Department in that they see people a lot when they’re at a low point in their lives,” Cox said.

A “rag donation” program helps recycle old, unwanted clothing. as well as make ends meet, McMullin said.

“We’ll take those old clothes and we’ll bale them up, and they will pay us a percentage, by the pound,” McMullin said. “And we’ll bid it off to the highest bidde, and we’ll make a good thing of money, you know, with that, which again goes right back into the community of helping those that are in need.”

To learn more or to give to the Salvation Army, click here.

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