Local Salvation Army seeking to match funds to help local unemployed

Due to the sharp increase in unemployment in Huntington County, The Salvation Army has established Hoosier Help for Hardship, a community partnership and a grant opportunity which could mean as much as $27,000 in assistance for the newly unemployed and their families.

The Salvation Army's Midwest Headquarters in Des Plaines, IL, has re-allocated $3.45 million in endowments to be designated for utility assistance, housing assistance, and groceries for families and individuals who are in crisis as a result of job loss occurring after Oct. 1, 2008. The money will be distributed to local Salvation Army units throughout the Midwest for use in their communities.

To be eligible for the $18,000 grant, the Huntington Salvation Army must show community support by raising a 50 percent match ($9,000) with local civic organizations, businesses and individuals. This could mean $27,000 in assistance over and above what is already provided by The Salvation Army. If the grant is not awarded, the money raised in the community will remain in Huntington County to relieve the economic burden of the newly unemployed.

Job loss in Huntington County has increased 6.3 percent since 2007 and the poverty rate is 8.5 percent. Even more disturbing, Salvation Army officials say, is the childhood poverty rate which is currently at 11.9 percent.

"Our community is in desperate need of assistance, and this grant would really help us out right now. We need to come together and raise the $9,000 so we can apply for this grant," says Captain Tim Sell of The Salvation Army of Huntington County.

The Salvation Army is urging businesses, churches, civic groups and individuals to make a donation. The deadline for the grant is Thursday, March 12. Partners can simply pledge their support to The Salvation Army with a letter of intent or by making an online donation at HoosierHelp.SalvationArmyIndiana.org. Checks and letters of intent can be made out to The Salvation Army and mailed to 1424 E. Market Street, Huntington, IN 46750.

To learn more about Hoosier Help for Hardship and the other communities affected by unemployment, visit HoosierHelp.SalvationAr myIndiana.org.