By Riley Manning/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – In the weeks since Salvation Army’s Empty Bowls event, money accumulated from donations and ticket sales has trickled in slowly, amounting to a total of $50,244.
The Salvation Army’s Women’s Auxiliary presented the check to the nonprofit’s Lt. Jervonne Hinton on Wednesday.
“Without Empty Bowls, we would seriously have to scale back our soup kitchen and Meals on Wheels,” Hinton said.
Last year’s earnings surpassed this year’s by $10,000, because of less corporate donations, according to Women’s Auxiliary President Martha Bland. However, she said attendance and earnings from Empty Bowls bake sales and fashion show increased.
“There’s still a lot of room for growth,” she said. “The Salvation Army is not a money-making business. All the cash that goes in, goes out. We use absolutely everything, so we could always use more community support.”
Most of the money will go toward funding Salvation Army’s meal programs, but the portion raised by this year’s fashion show – $6,700 – will go toward the Army’s homeless lodge. Since the Army came to Tupelo four decades ago, the lodge had 19 beds.
But when the Army found the lodge over capacity this holiday season, plans were put into motion to expand the facilities.
“Currently the project is in its feasibility stage to see if this would even be possible,” Hinton said.
As for the Women’s Auxiliary, members will begin making bowls for Empty Bowls 2014 event starting next week. Currently, the Army is working to assemble toiletry kits for children to take on a trip to Camp Hidden Lakes this summer.