Salvation Army launches $1.5M building campaign in Carson City
How To Help
Send donations to The Salvation Army, 661 Colorado St, Carson City, 89701. Or call the office at 787-9120 or contact Mark Cyr, officer in charge, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Salvation Army needs a new home and a battalion of donors to help buy it.
“We’ve owned this building for 30 years and it has served us very well,” said Capt. Mark Cyr, officer in charge at the Carson City location. “However, over the past several years our programs have grown and we’re bursting at the seams.”
In the last seven years, the nonprofit has gone from seeing 10-15 clients a week to working with well over 60-70 individuals each week, said Cyr.
Each year, the group provides services — food boxes, rental and utility assistance, after school care, summer camp — to more than 20,000 people, primarily in Carson City, but also families in Douglas County and surrounding communities.
Now, the Salvation Army is working to move from its 4,500 square foot building on Colorado Street to another 8,300 square foot building in Carson City that it’s hoping to buy and expand to 11,000 square feet.
To do that, the organization needs to raise $1.5 million to secure the new building and then sell its existing facility, which is appraised at $500,000.
In the last year, the Salvation Army assembled a committee of 31 people tasked with identifying potential donors and persuading them to join the cause, and then in March launched its Capital Campaign.
The group hopes to raise the bulk of the money through 15 or so large donations, which could include the chance to name the chapel or youth hall or other facilities.
“No donation is too small, and they are coming in here and there, but what we need is a big gift,” said Cyr.
The need for the Salvation Army’s services is big, too.
“A lot of our programs are limited because of space,” said Cyr.
Its after school program, for example, now serves 30 children. A new location would allow the group to expand that and add an outdoor playground, something lacking at its current facility.
The Salvation Army would also grow its summer camp, a nine-week program that starts as soon as the school year ends and takes in kids aged 5-12 from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. each weekday. It provides field trips, lunch, and other activities. The camp’s capacity is 52 children and is already full for the upcoming summer.
More space would also let the Salvation Army store more nonperishable food, which is now stacked up in cramped halls at its current location.
“This is just a warming kitchen. We’re hoping to get a commercial kitchen and be able to prepare meals and make it available for disaster relief services,” said Cyr.
Cyr said a few beds for short-term shelter in case of disaster could be added, too, at a bigger facility.
The group’s other services include assistance for rent and utilities.
“We used to help out with lodging a lot, but we’re now focusing on keeping people in the apartments they have,” said Cyr, citing the local housing shortage which is pushing up rents. “We have rental assistance if you’re facing eviction.”
Cyr said those vital programs, which depend on funding more than space, may not change much.
“There’s a little we don’t help people with and I’m not sure how we’d expand, other than having a more comfortable space for our clients,” he said.
To help, contact the Salvation Army by calling its office at 787-9120 or contacting Cyr via email at email@example.com.
“We appreciate any kind of support we can get. We’ve been in need of this for several years,” said Cyr. “And I invite people to come down and take a tour and see the need.”