Income down, expenses up at Tulsa's Salvation Army

Tuesday, December 20th 2005, 10:29 am
By: News On 6

A Christmas crunch for the Salvation Army. At the season of giving - small donations are up and big donations are down for the Salvation Army in Tulsa.

Overall - that means the Salvation Army has the money to meet the needs of Christmas - but not the work for the coming months.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says the Salvation Army Joy Center is crowded with holiday shoppers - and none of them plan to spend a penny.

Shauna Mrus is shopping for her two children, a 10 year old boy. "I'll take the skateboard." And a 5 month old little girl. Shauna is just one of the thousands of low income Tulsans who have more at Christmas, because of donors to the Salvation Army. “I know with our situation, my husband broke his arm and his work is transmission work and mechanic word so our income has been lower this time around, so we're really blessed that the Salvation Army does these things for families.”

But even as the Salvation Army appears to have so much to give - donations are actually down, and expenses are up - for the second year.

And the need is as great as ever. Thousands of needy families lined up for the opportunity to get Christmas presents. They were sent home with much more. With cash donations, the Army buys groceries and every family gets a basket.

The shortage isn't going to cause any problems for Christmas because the donations for that are already here. It will affect what the Army is able to do next year. Salvation Army’s Major Marshall Gesner: "It probably will affect how much assistance we're able to afford as far as heat, people who need utility bills paid, things like that."

The Salvation Army figures it will take about $100,000 to get back on budget and meet the need. Shauna Mros and her family will have a better Christmas. Lots of families will.

The Salvation Army worries that other families who need help later on might not be so fortunate. The Salvation Army figures some people gave all they could for Hurricane Katrina and Rita relief earlier in the year, but otherwise they're not really sure why the money is slow coming in.