DEAR EDITOR:

For over 60 years the Salvation Army received contributions channeled through the United Way to provide food, shelter and services to the homeless and indigent in Floyd County. These funds came from individuals and businesses in Rome/Floyd County, often through payroll deductions for their United Way contribution to support the Salvation Army. Recently, the United Way communicated that it is ending the funding relationship with us at the end of the year.

The Salvation Army Board of Directors recognizes the United Way faces difficult decisions about allocating funds to a range of worthy local nonprofit organizations. It is also understandable that with a new executive director of the United Way, the organization would consider new directions. However, both the timing and process by the United Way to end the long-standing relationship with the Salvation Army is disappointing but also a significant financial hardship to services provided every day to those in great need of food and shelter.

With the utmost respect for all nonprofits in Rome that work daily to provide similar services, there is not another organization that comprehensively touches more lives feeding, sheltering, clothing and serving those in need. Equally important, two members from local government on the SA board described the critical role that police and other authorities count from the SA for disaster relief or housing someone with no notice on a cold winter evening.

Despite disappointment in process and outcome, the purpose of this letter is not to discourage people from supporting the United Way. However, we do wish to be certain that supporters of the Salvation Army are aware that this year that they cannot support the organization with a pledge to the United Way. We invite anyone interested in learning more about the Salvation Army to visit our facility to see at ground level what happens there every day. Visit our website at (https://salvationarmygeorgia.org/rome/) or contact any of the board of directors listed below who will be glad to help in any way. We are both blessed and proud to be part of such a remarkable organization that has been in Rome for 132 years!

From Tha Berry, Renee Blackburn, Tom Caldwell, Jamie Doss, Jarrod Floyd, David Hunger, Mark Kozera, Doug Lansing, Brent Poplin, John Quinlivan, Tom Richardson, Jeff Ward, Gary Waters and Ghee Wilson

Salvation Army Board of Directors, Rome

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