Community Foundation, United Way responds to Salvation Army’s need, steps up to fill shortfall

In the wake of news of a reported budget shortfall, The Salvation Army in Fort Dodge will now receive help from a matching grant.

The Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way has announced it will match all donations made to the Salvation Army to help it reach a goal of $17,000, after lower than expected donations from the red kettle bell-ringing campaign.

“We read your article this morning about The Salvation Army,” said Chief Executive Officer Randy Kuhlman on Tuesday. “The board of directors of the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way voted to provide a matching grant for The Salvation Army to help them reach their goal.

“I understand the shortfall is just under $17,000, so we are going to provide a matching grant. Anyone who provides a donation to The Salvation Army fund, their donation will be matched.”

The Messenger reported on Tuesday that the Salvation Army came up $16,800 short of its goal of about $60,000 for this holiday season’s campaign.

With that shortfall, The Salvation Army may need to make budget cuts, including a reduction in programs.

“We feed lunch five times a week here, and we may have to change that,” Salvation Army Capt. Rick Hamlund said Monday. “We may have to go to four or three times a week.”

On Tuesday, Hamlund was happy at the response.

“That’s really exciting,” he said. “I was very surprised when Randy told me that.

“You reported, and people responded, and that’s awesome. Whatever we get out of that, it will definitely help any kind of shortfall we would get, and it will help us continue to serve the people in our community.”

Supporting the Salvation Army’s work in Fort Dodge was important to the board, Kuhlman said.

“They provide meals for low income families and children, and other emergency services as well,” he said. “Our board felt this was a high-priority need and was enthusiastic about supporting the matching grant.

“We have some discretionary grant dollars we save for emergency situations that arise like this.”

All donations are tax-deductible, Kuhlman said.

Checks should be made out to Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way / Salvation Army Fund.

They can be sent to Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way, 24 N Ninth St., Suite B, Fort Dodge, IA, 50501. For more information visit