Summer is normally a lean time for The Salvation Army, but this summer is especially lean because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Capt. Teri Smith said The Muskogee Salvation Army is helping three times as many clients this summer as in the past.
Also, many who might have donated in summer are unsure of their own jobs.
“They don’t know if they’re going to be on furlough or being laid off,” she said. “They’re not sure they’re going to have income themselves.”
She said the Salvation Army lost about $30,000 in income when its Family Store was closed for five weeks this spring.
Since COVID-19 began, the Salvation Army of Muskogee has been helping the area's most vulnerable people in a variety of ways, including utility assistance, food boxes, hot meals from their canteen and more.
The following is an example of assistance the Salvation Army provides:
A medical professional was laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic. She had never asked for help from others before. As a working single mother of three, she had always been able to take care of everything: bills, food, and necessities. Unfortunately, with school closed and the children at home, the struggle to provide food became more difficult, and there was much less money to pay her bills. She kept hoping to return to work soon, yet the strain and possible reality of becoming homeless for her and her children became too much to handle alone. At the Salvation Army of Muskogee, she received emergency assistance and received food for her family.
“It is such a blessing," the woman said. "I will be able to get myself caught back up on my bills and be able to pay for a babysitter for my children when I return to work.”
Thanks to the kindness of financial supporters, The Salvation Army is able to help people who have lost a job, the shut-in who is in need of a food box, or the person whose electric was about to be shut off as the summer heat arrived.
Hope, optimism, and a chance to overcome are inspired by the ability of The Salvation Army to provide emergency assistance to those in the most need. But because so many people are seeking assistance getting through the pandemic, The Salvation Army needs the community’s help to continue providing much-needed services to the people who are only a paycheck away from needing emergency assistance.
You can help
People can help by coming to the Salvation Army at 700 Independence Ave., mailing a check to The Salvation Army, PO Box AA, Muskogee, OK 74403 or going online at www.salvationarmyusa.org and putting 74403 in the zip code box. All donations stay in Muskogee County.