Not just at Christmas

Karen Buckelew reported today on the finances of the Salvation Army’s Baltimore Area Command, which focuses its charitable efforts on area schoolchildren, the homeless and disaster relief.

From the story:

It also is a charity that has been stretching its resources to meet evolving needs. Its $504,802 deficit for fiscal 2006 was a 70 percent jump over the previous year’s shortfall.

The growing deficit was a wake-up call for administrative cuts, said Lafeea Watson, development coordinator for the Baltimore Salvation Army. “There was some belt-tightening,” said Watson.

During the past year, the organization has cut programs, closed its Highlandtown Boys and Girls Club and turned over management of its residential camp in Monkton. It has replaced paid contractors for maintenance and informational technology services with volunteers. It has secured corporate grants for services that once taxed its operating budget.

Almost 700 children participated in the Boys and Girls Clubs in Middle River, Glen Burnie and South Baltimore last year. Operating the Glen Burnie club costs just over $11 per child per day during the academic school year.

Many of us attended after-school programs or clubs or visited rec centers as youth. For me, it was Longwood Recreation Center in Brookeville, MD.

What about you – any memories from after-school programs to share?

Above: Wanda Newton, executive director of the Salvation Army Baltimore Area Command Boys and Girls Clubs, plays with 5-year-old Mikayla Gonzalez at the club in Glen Burnie.

-JACKIE SAUTER, Daily Record Multimedia Editor

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