Note to readers: Every Friday during the fundraising campaign, the Times will be featuring submitted profiles of the agencies who receive support from the United Way of Crookston. Today’s featured agency is the Salvation Army of Polk County
The Salvation Army is more than just the annual Red Kettle Campaign; it is year round organization in Polk County.
The most recognized aspect of the Salvation Army is the Red Kettle, but did you know The Salvation Army assists individuals year round in Polk County. The Salvation Army helps assist individuals in two main ways in Polk, through General Assistance and Programs. General Assistance includes Rent, Utilities which includes Water and Electrical, Lodging, and Transportation for Medical Appointments.
Our Programs include Thanksgiving and Christmas Food Baskets, our Back to School Program, that provides school supplies and backpacks for every school district in the County and Angel Tree Program for rural Polk County that provides toys to needy children.
The Salvation Army of Polk County is made up of multiple volunteers who act as the representatives for the Salvation Army in the County. The Polk County Salvation Army Service Unit is made up of Volunteers throughout the County.
These Volunteers help assist individuals in need, help run our programs, and fundraising. The Volunteers come from many of the various service agencies throughout the County, including Sherriff’s Department, Police Department, Public Health, Social Services and UMC.
All the assistance that The Salvation Army helps with is fundraised in either the Red Kettles or grants from other Agencies like the United Way. The Red Kettles are the main way The Salvation Army of Polk County raises money that it then uses to assist individuals in need. 88 percent of money raised in the Kettles comes back directly to Polk County. This makes up a majority of our budget but we supplement our Budget with a Grant from the United Way.
Having access to the United Way grant is a colossal deal for The Salvation Army, because we can spread our funds and are able to assist more individuals. Last year we mainly used the Grant money to help with utilities and rental assistance.
In 2017 the Salvation Army assisted residents in Polk County with the following:
• $4,425 in Rental Assistance
• $1,600 in Utilities Assistance
• $675 in Transportation Assistance
• $350 in Lodging Assistance
• $1,400 in Backpacks and School Supplies
• $400 in Toys for Christmas
• $3,000 for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter food certificates
Two of the longtime faces of The Salvation Army in Polk County are Margee Keller, chairperson since 1990, and Kathy Kelly, secretary.