invisible hit counter
Charitable campaign short of fund goal
The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Drive places volunteers outside dozens of retail spaces during the Christmas season with the hope that people will reach into their pockets and donate to what it considers a worthy cause.

In Glynn County, the cause - the number of homeless and needy people - is great, says Candy Jacobs, shelter manager at the Salvation Army.

"People really give, and God really works through them," Jacobs said. "I just hope people understand what's going on and why we need help."

The shelter sets a fundraising goal each year. This year, with just a few days left in the campaign, the organization is $30,000 short of its $80,000 goal.

The shortage could result in major cuts in programs the organization provides to the poor and downtrodden.

"We can't lose any more employees," Jacobs said. "Programs will have to be cut, or something will have to be done."

Cuts might have to be made to the Salvation Army's Social Services program, which provides utility assistance, clothing and groceries to the needy.

"From January to Nov. 30, we served 3,568 people through our social services program," Jacobs said.

Some 858 families sought assistance, Jacobs said.

"And of all of these, 1,066 were people we have never seen in our shelter before," Jacobs added.

Jacobs concedes it's a large number for a small community like Brunswick and the Golden Isles.

People helped through social services in recent years translates to more than 900 bags of groceries, 4,175 pieces of clothing and $65,000 in utility assistance.

"It's unbelievable," Jacobs said.

The homeless shelter, which under strict guidelines only permits individuals who pass drug and alcohol screening, has seen 223 individuals so far this year. That's 4,233 nights of lodging.

Out of its meal kitchen, a bare bones operation of three employees and only one per shift, 27,380 meals have been served this year.

"We have 2,440 man-hours given by our volunteers, and it makes such a difference," Jacobs added. "When it comes down to it, that's 82 meals a day or so, and that's a lot."

The shelter also helps homeless individuals try to get back on their feet.

"These people are really trying, and they are giving it a fair shot. They are drug free and sober," Jacobs said.

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