By Jennifer Moonsong
Jobe Publishing, Inc.
Back in 2002, a field service representative for the Salvation Army approached Metcalfe County about establishing a local chapter for the charitable organization. Community members were glad to do so, especially considering they were told that the dollars collected would stay local.
To get things off to a good start, members sent letters to local churches asking for a donation. Many kettle drives have been conducted through the years.
For many years, the operations of the local chapter were consistent with early made promises, however, that changed when a new representative took over.
It was at that time that the checkbook for expending funds in emergency and crisis situations was taken from local hands and placed in the care of Bo Sells, Service Extension & Emergency Disaster Service Director in Louisville. Sells and field representative Beverly Knight then had to approve expenditures, which concerned local chapter members, who feared such a change could create an unnecessary delay when helping local people in need.
Over the years, funds collected have been used from everything to providing food, clothing, and shelter to families who survived house fires to replacing broken dentures for elderly residents who couldn’t afford to replace them.
Even so, because the funds were still being used to help people in Metcalfe County the chapter moved forward with the new arrangement.
According to the handbook provided to each chapter, 20% of annual earnings from each chapter was to go to support the Kentucky/Tennessee division of the national organization (support service).
However, when board members asked about their percentage, and when to pay it, they were told that the chapter was too small for such and that the money would be kept local.
Since the beginning, records have been kept by the local chapter. Each year, the Metcalfe County Salvation Army chapter has passed its audit, and no money had been asked for.
However, that changed in February of this year when the account was drafted and $1000 was taken.
According to Timothy Cooks, the Salvation Army’s Accountant for the Kentucky/Tennessee division, the service balance remaining is $4049.40 which exceeds the current account balance.
According to Cooks the money, which the local chapter has never been asked for before, dates back many years; the records kept by the local chapter do not reflect the numbers kept by Timothy Cooks.
Because of this, the members of the local chapter have decided to dissolve the chapter, and all members intend to resign.
However, because there is a strong need for such a service organization in the area, they hope to reform and create their own charitable organization in the future, which will help accommodate the needs of local people. The goal of this transition dollars will be kept and used in Metcalfe County.
The information from this article came from the board members of the soon to be dissolved Metcalfe County Chapter of the Salvation Army.
Bo Sells was contacted to make a rebuttal, however, at press time Mr. Sells had not responded to emails from the press.
In addition, according to board members Sells has not been reachable by phone or email or answer pertinent questions pertaining to this matter.