COVID-19 has hit the Jacksonville Salvation Army hard this year. The local Salvation Army store closed permanently earlier this year due to rising operation costs. Major Charles Pinkston says that the rising Illinois minimum wage coupled with the pandemic brought the decision to close that much quicker.
Pinkston says that plans for renovating the local citadel are progressing but at a much slower pace: “We are still working with Graham & Hyde Architects over in Springfield. As you can imagine, everyone is affected in some way by the COVID some more directly than others, so some of the response times have been a little bit slower, but we are still moving forward. We’re working on plans right now to see how we want the new citadel layed out and what we want to include for the funding that we currently have. The new building just is a little bit out of reach. We weren’t able to raise the funding we were hoping to, but you know what we’re going to move forward and put together the best building that we can for what we have.
A new citadel has been in the works since 2010 when the group received $7,736 towards a campaign to build a new citadel and thrift store, which was publicly matched by the former owners of the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, Freedom Communications. At that point in time in their campaign, they were more than half way to their $5 million goal to build a new building and establish an endowment fund.
Pinkston says he hopes that this year’s Red Kettle Campaign can bring in more than $80,000 goal to continue their work in the Jacksonville area.