Salvation Army approaching 2/3 of funds needed for unemployment help

As of Wednesday, March 11, at 3 p.m., the Salvation Army of Huntington County has received $5,500 in donations and pledges toward securing up to $18,000 for matching funds for the recently unemployed in the county.

Capt. Tim Sell reported that major contributors "publicly rallying with their support" up to that point have been the United Way of Huntington County, $2,000; Pilchers Chapel United Methodist Church, with a pledge of at least $1,000; and Victory Noll sisters.

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.

Sell notes the need the funds could be used for include, but are not limited to, direct service needs for families and individuals who are in crisis as a result of unemployment. With the funds received the Salvation Army will try to help with dental assistance, car insurance, health insurance, GED testing, car repairs, gas for the first two weeks on a new job and gas for job hunting, Sell says.

"These funds will aid many in need in Huntington County during this challenging time," Sell notes. "And these funds wil go above and beyond assistance currently provided for through the usual fund-raising efforts and supporting funds for financial stability from the United Way each year."

The Salvation Army will also help the unemployed with basic needs such as rent, utilities and food, he adds.

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.