News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The organization known for helping people in tough times is now falling on tough times of its own. The local chapter of the Salvation Army says its holiday Kettle Campaign fell short of fundraising goals.
For more than 40 years, Leonard Sienkiewicz has worked just about every job imaginable.
"I went into the warehouse sector. I've done everything from shipping to warehouse supervision," Sienkiewicz, a shelter resident.
His life changed in the blink of an eye.
"The company that bought us out were not doing so well. they cut overhead, and I was considered overhead," Sienkiewicz said.
He lost his job, then house and his car. The Salvation Army was there to help.
"They have literally turned my life around. They have helped me in every way," Sienkiewicz said.
"We're working hard to meet those needs. We rely on donations," said Salvation Army Director John Seeby.
It costs the Salvation Army $14.67 to provide two meals and a place to stay per person a night. Multiply that number by 900 and you'll see that they spend more than $13,000 a year in Shelter Assistance.
"We're just seeing tons of people coming in to our family assistance program. They are looking for help with utilities and rental assistance," Seeby said.
The Salvation Army did not meet its $250,000 donation goal for the Kettle Campaign. The donations fell short by $25,000 and that means services could be cut.
"We never want to see that happen. It does mean we have to make hard decisions on what we do and how much we do," Seeby said.
Even though the Kettle Campaign is over, you can donate in person at the Center of Hope in Augusta. You can also donate by mail (1384 Greene Street) and over the web.