Local News

High fuel prices hitting local charity hard

Posted June 18, 2008 4:58 p.m. EDT
Updated June 18, 2008 5:21 p.m. EDT

The local chapter of the Salvation Army is making several cuts in its operations – fewer donation pickups, a shorter workweek and fewer day trips on its summer camp programs – and directors say gas prices are to blame.

"We feel a bad economy on both ends of the spectrum," said Ashley Delamar, director of operations and communications for the Salvation Army of Wake County.

And the effect is being felt by customers, like Howard Thomas, who's been a customer for 15 years.

"If you're like me, and you're on a fixed budget, man, you've got to grab what you can get," Thomas said.

Fewer agencies and individuals are making trips to drop off goods at the Salvation Army

"The Number 1 think you do not want to do, as a charity, is make the process difficult."

Charity directors say they had no choice but to cut the number of donation pickups staff members make as well. They now have to decide which trips to make and which will cost too much in gas.

"We've always said, 'Call us, we'll come pick up your goods,'" Delamar said. "Now, we have to say, 'Call us, tell us what you've got, tell us where you are, and hopefully, we can pick up your goods.'"

It's yet another reason why someone like Thomas says there's slim picking's.

"I know it ain't like it used to be," he said. "Definitely ain't like it used to be."