JACKSON, Miss.- The Salvation Army has been around for 150 years, since 1865, and is in 126 countries across the globe. President Eisenhower declared National Salvation Army week to be set aside in the 50’s. It’s a time for us to bring attention to their services, and to thank the donors and the people in the communities who give them resources to continue to do their work. They came to Mississippi in 1906, there are 13 units across the state. The Jackson location also serves as the divisional headquarters for Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. They are the administrators for those three states. Jackson is the largest command in the state of Mississippi.
The budget for the Jackson regional coordinate is 7 million dollars. There is also a crop center down on the coast which is a larger community center with workout rooms, and a large gymnasium, and a waterpark, which was left as a legacy of the McDonald’s founders. And their budget is around 14 million, because of the size of that facility and it has a different purpose. The other units are smaller and range anywhere from half a million dollars up to about 3 million dollars would be the average of the rest of the state. They provide social services for people suffering on all different levels, utility assistance, education programs, character-building programs, salvage programs with our family stores, and rehabilitation programs, sheltering for the homeless, and those who are struggling. As well as, anytime there is a disaster, being the first on the site and the last to leave.
Ken Chapman is the Captain of the Jackson unit, and during this week they introduced a new initiative challenging Mississippians to give back to their state.
“We had a radiothon where we have a new fundraising product we call ‘The Power of 12 Promise,’” Chapman said. “And we are asking people to give 12 dollars a month throughout the year, that way we’re asking a lot of people to give a little, rather than a few people to give a lot. So we had a big radiothon with that yesterday and we were giving out coffee and donuts. And the rest of this week, we are going and recognizing individually some of our major donors and organizations who have helped us along the way to keep us alive and keeping this mission working in our communities.”
Their ultimate goal is to raise $12,000.
“We are working very diligently to give a hand up, rather than a hand out,” he added. “We’re trying to break cycles of generational poverty, and generational ignorance with no education, and we’re trying to show people there is a way. There is hope for a better life.”