Salvation Army not taking donations due to roof repairs
by Daniel Gaddy
Aug 13, 2011 | 1941 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Workers repair the roof of the Walker County Salvation Army’s building in downtown Jasper Friday afternoon. Because of the damage caused by severe weather in April and in July, the staff oc the agency cannot accept donations.  Photo special to the Eagle
Workers repair the roof of the Walker County Salvation Army’s building in downtown Jasper Friday afternoon. Because of the damage caused by severe weather in April and in July, the staff oc the agency cannot accept donations. Photo special to the Eagle
slideshow
For the next week, the Salvation Army Service Center in Jasper will no longer accept donations because of repairs to the agency’s roof, which was damaged by severe weather.

Lona Courington, director of the organization, said the agency cannot accept donations of clothing and furniture at the facility on 20th Street in downtown Jasper until Aug. 18, and food will not be taken until Sept. 1.

Courington said the Salvation Army provides food to as many as 75 area families every week. Those responsibilities will be taken over by the area churches and food pantries the Salvation Army partners with.

“We’re very thankful to have those people to turn to,” she said.

Residents interested in donating food before Sept. 1 can bring the items to one of the partnering organizations. Courington recommended that local donators call the Salvation Army at 205-221-7737 to find the partner closest to them.

The Salvation Army’s location in downtown Jasper had most of its roof peeled away by violent winds during the storms of April 27. The building’s roof was further damaged during storms in early July.

Workers began renovation of the roof in mid-July. Salvation Army officials initially hoped to have the food pantry opened by August.

Courington said no one involved with the Salvation Army is happy to turn away donations, but the staff cannot accept food donations because puddles of water and mold dot the agency’s storage area.

The food pantry’s closure, however, will allow workers to not only restore the roof but make renovations to the building including an energy-saving air-conditioning system for the warehouse. The new system, which Courington said could significantly reduce the agency’s $1,700 monthly power bill, is possible because of a grant provided by Alabama Power.

Much of the roof repairs were paid for by a grant from the Walker Are Community Foundation.

“It (the closure) may hurt us in the short-term, but in the long run we will be able to serve the public a lot better,” she said. 쇓