Read the version in Spanish here in Al Dia.
A piece of computer paper was taped to the window at the front desk of the Salvation Army. It read “Sorry, no more boy coats” with a sad face drawn beneath.
In fact, the Salvation Army at 3150 N. Mascher St. has no coats left for the children or elderly who come asking. The pantry is running out of food and the group can barely pay the bills to keep their electricity running. Here’s why.
Recently, the tenant moved out from the upstairs apartment, which had been paying a bulk of their expenses.
“Now, we are in trouble,” Capt. Nestor Valverde said. He is an administrator and minister at this Salvation Army where he and his wife were relocated to the Mascher Street Salvation Army after seven years of service at the Morris County office in New Jersey.
“I have to reduce all of our expenses. I have to reduce hours of our workers. For example, we had a full time manager. We have to move her from full-time manager to a part-time assistant administration with less salary.”
When the funds began running low, the Salvation Army coordinators decided to move the previous officer to another location and send Valverde and his wife to the Philadelphia location. Valverde said it may be due to the fact that he and his wife improved the conditions at the New Jersey location.
“But in New Jersey, it is a different reality than here,” Valverde said. Hunger is a pressing issue in Philadelphia.
Clara Scheiderman, an assistant case worker in charge of social services, is working hard to collect items. She said she never sends someone away empty-handed. So far the branch has given away 500 coats this season and they feed 20 families a week.
“I don’t know where, but she gets the resources for people,” Valverde said.
If you are interested in donating to the Salvation Army, please contact Clara Sheiderman at 215-423-5303. The organization needs clothing, coats, non-perishable food items, toiletries and diapers.