Queendolyn Whyte, 32, and her 8-year-old daughter, Paris, sat on the ground in front of the doors of The Salvation Army in Tyler Thursday morning before it opened.
"It means a lot to me that it's here," she said. "I'm grateful."
Unfortunately, the organization has to suspend services such as serving lunch to more than 5,600 people per month as well as rental and utility assistance.
"The No. 1 reason for donation decline is due to the disasters that have recently occurred," Major Ben Lawrence, Corps Officer of The Salvation Army said in a release. "Many Salvation Army supporters that would normally send their donations to The Salvation Army in Tyler have earmarked their donations for those disasters."
Recent major fundraisers haven't been able to cover the difference from the disaster allocations as well as a lack of grant funding and increased need.
"We definitely want to thank Pat Pinkerton for the Pinkerton Golf Tournament which took place in April," Chantel Millin, community and corporate relations coordinator, said. "However, we want to be sure the public understands the dire straits that we are in financially and how that will affect our ability to fulfill our mission, which is to help those in need in our community. … We continue to believe that God will move many spirits to help us in our mission to bring hope and faith to those who most need them."
For people such as Ms. Whyte, that would make life a lot more difficult. Her mother died three years ago. Ms. Whyte counted on her to help ends meet as a single parent. Forced to choose between working an evening and night shift and raising her daughter, she chose her daughter. The two have been receiving clothes and food from The Salvation Army.
"Some people work and still don't have enough," she said. Paris "is making straight A's now. … Some people are ashamed to go here, but the clothes are good quality."
Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 2050 Tyler, Texas, 75710 or made online at www.salvationarmytyler.org.