The Salvation Army in Eastern Jackson County is asking for help

The Salvation Army in Eastern Jackson County is asking for help.

The bell ringers outside stores at this time of year and the envelopes inserted in the newspaper help greatly, but the Salvation Army in Independence had budgeted that effort to bring in $280,000 this year. On Friday, Major Butch Frost said the drive was still about $30,000 short.

Meanwhile, the demand for services continues to rise. The Crossroads Shelter on Truman Road in Independence has had to turn away 300 families just this month.

“There’s no room in the inn, as you might say,” Frost said.

In 2011, the local group gave toys to 1,374 children and will exceed 2,100 this year.

The group also operates a hard-pressed food shelf.

“You go in there right now,” Frost said, “you see the shelves are bare.”

The Salvation Army, he said, needs canned goods but it also needs donations of money to pay for operations. If the fund comes up short, he’ll have to adjust his budget in the new year, and that means either cutting services or cutting staff – meaning more reliance on volunteers and one more person without a job.