After some homeless residents of Richmond County became disgruntled with Salvation Army bell ringers at Walmart in Rockingham, the Salvation Army is responding to let people know that donations collected in Richmond County do stay in Richmond County, although there is no Salvation Army office in Richmond County currently.
The Salvation Army covers Richmond County and Randolph County as well as Biscoe under the same office.
“Our home office is in Asheboro,” said Salvation Army Captain Curtis Kratz. “We are working with United Way in Charlotte to get a home office in Richmond County.”
According to Kratz, monetary donations collected in Richmond County help fund a Salvation Army employees’ trip to Richmond County’s Department of Social Services on Wednesdays, where the funds are further used to assist people struggling to keep up with utilities.
“In just Richmond County, we have helped 524 families with heat, utilities and rent this year,” said Kratz. “In all three counties that we cover, we have helped over 20,000 people.”
Some people may wonder why the closest Salvation Army office — in Southern Pines — can’t help them, but Southern Pines Salvation Army officer Mindy Turner said, “We only handle Moore County. Each branch operates differently.”
Kratz explained that not all Salvation Army offices can feed people or help them directly.
“We don’t get food donations from Richmond County,” said Kratz. “When we have, we have given it out at Social Services. But all the money that is collected in Richmond County goes to Richmond County.”
As far as food goes, if someone is hungry and calls the Salvation Army office in Asheboro, the officers are likely to refer them to a location that provides food, said Kratz.
Meanwhile, slim funding holds the Salvation Army back from being able to rent a space for an office in Richmond County.
“We have been financially tight,” said Kratz. “It always boils down to funding. We are all struggling. We are looking for a space we can deliver as ours, if anyone in Richmond County knows of (something).”
If you need assistance and would like to contact the Salvation Army office in Asheboro, call 336-625-0551 or visit the location at 345 N. Church St., Asheboro.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.