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Salvation Army funds limited by United Way

December 13, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Salvation Army violated a fund-raising agreement with the United Way of Franklin County, prompting the United Way board to say it will limit the Salvation Army's allocation from this year's campaign.

All United Way organizations sign an agreement banning them from conducting any fund-raising campaigns for a six-week period from mid-September to Nov. 1, the peak period for United Way efforts, said Cynthia Hawbaker, executive director of the United Way of Franklin County.

She said the Salvation Army was warned months in advance that sending out a Thanksgiving fund-raising mailer would violate that agreement and the board would be forced to take action.

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Capt. John Brooks, commanding officer, said the Salvation Army went ahead with its own fund-raising campaign because it is facing significant increases in its programs for those in need.

Brooks said in a statement this week that the Salvation Army is no longer receiving United Way funds, although Hawbaker said that is not the case.

"The United Way will indeed provide funds to the Salvation Army in 2003. We regret they've chosen not to use the appeals process but went to the media instead," Hawbaker said.

She said the Salvation Army will still receive donations earmarked for the agency and some portion of the overall funds raised, although it will not be as much as last year's $31,000.

Hawbaker also said that as a member agency, the Salvation Army can reapply next year with the other agencies to participate in the United Way campaign.

Brooks said the Salvation Army held the fund-raiser because its resources are stretched and there is an urgent need for donations of money and food.

"The Salvation Army understands that United Way contributions were down and has accepted progressively less financial allocation from the Franklin County United Way over the last four-year period," he said in a statement. The Salvation Army office was closed Thursday afternoon and Brooks was not available for further comment.

Brooks did issue a news release Thursday night, saying the agency's other main fund-raising effort - the Christmas Kettle Drive - has experienced a dramatic decrease in donations this holiday season.

"The Salvation Army needs your help now. I must stress the urgency of the situation. These kettle donations are vital to our ability to help those in need," Brooks said in a news release.

Hawbaker said the Salvation Army is not alone in facing increased demands from the community. The Franklin County Homeless Shelter and Waynesboro Human Services Center, also United Way agencies, share similar clientele and demands, she said.

This is the first time the United Way of Franklin County has opted to take such action, Hawbaker said.

"Perhaps they prefer to do their own fund-raising, and that is OK. We believe in what they do," she said.

She said the United Way campaign helps agencies that might not have the means to collect donations on their own, but she is concerned the announcement could hurt the campaign, specifically the local agencies that do not have a national arm behind them to turn to for additional funds.

She said United Way is at between 65 percent and 70 percent of its $745,000 goal. The agency will announce the final total for this year's campaign at its annual meeting in February.

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