Local News

Gas-cost woes hinder Salvation Army efforts

Posted June 18, 2008 5:49 p.m. EDT
Updated June 18, 2008 9:15 p.m. EDT

— High fuel prices are hitting a Triangle charity hard. 

The Wake County Salvation Army is making fewer donation pickups, staff members have a shorter work week and there are no meals for staff members or volunteers because money is going to pay for gasoline.

“We feel a bad economy on both ends of the spectrum,” said Ashley Delamar with the Salvation Army.

“There's not many donations anymore,” Salvation Army Thrift Store customer Nancy Alger said.

Howard Thomas, who has shopped at the Salvation Army for 15 years, also said shelves are looking bare these days.

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

The spike in gas prices has fewer agencies and individuals making trips to the Salvation Army to drop off donations.

“The No. 1 thing you do not want to do as a charity is make the process difficult,” Delamar said.

Charity directors said they had no choice but to cut the number of donation pickups that 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.' 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,'” Delamar said.

It is yet another reason why Thomas said there are slim picking at Salvation Army stores.

“It ain't like it used to be," he said, "definitely ain't like it used to be."

The Wake County Salvation Army has cut staff members back to a four-day work week. The organization is also cutting down day trips in its summer camp programs.