"We were scrambling, but the people of Augusta stepped up and we met our goal," John Sebby, Director of Development for the Salvation Army of Augusta tells us.
The goal of 250 thousand dollars that, if not met, could have kept more than 2000 Augustans hungry or homeless in tough economic times.
"People are gonna suffer. People are already suffering. That's why they come to the Salvation Army," Sebby explains.
DaQuan Carter, who's unemployed and homeless, doesn't know what he'd do without the organization's help. He says, "I couldn't say it would be wrong, but it would be hell though."
Sober for three years, Carter says the drug and alcohol program helped him stop drinking. But if the Salvation Army hadn't met its goal for the red kettle drive, that program and the GED program risked extinction; leaving others like DaQuan with their vices.
"Ain't no telling what could've happened. They could've ended up in jail, they could've killed themselves, they could've fell somewhere and hurt themselves and got a bad injury," says Carter.
Those who live or frequent the shelters need more than a roof over their heads and a meal.
The area right across from the Center of Hope is where so many people living there come looking for employment or some type of day labor.
Carter shares that "some men come out there and give out work. They pay like $20 or $40 something like that."
Money that goes towards many of their $7-a-day stays in the Center of Hope. And although some complained about the services, Sebby says he's just glad they could continue lending a hand to man.
Sebby beams, "we've made a difference and that's our goal and that's what we want to do with all these people who are homeless out here today."
Sebby says donations slow down during the summer months, but the need is still there. Several fundraising events will be held over the next few months. We'll keep you updated on those.
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