The Salvation Army’s Hackensack Corps in New Jersey is looking for a larger space to serve families year-round after its lease at the Second Reformed Church expired earlier this year.
After 11 years at the Second Reformed Church, the Hackensack Corps temporarily moved to the Christ Episcopal Church in Teaneck in August so they could serve families for the holidays. But the new location is not easily accessible to most of the clients who live in Hackensack.
“People don't know the changes, so they are coming here expecting to get gifts for Christmas,” said Hackensack resident Nicole Brown.
The Salvation Army hopes to eventually move to an affordable, permanent location in Hackensack where they can serve families throughout the year. In the meantime, Elvanart Realty has donated a space in Hackensack for the next week so the group can coordinate its Christmas gift giveaway.
Now, Salvation Army workers are hoping they can gather enough donations for the 350 children in Bergen County that count on the organization for holiday gifts.
The Salvation Army has already had to cancel its Thanksgiving breakfast and after school programs for children in Hackensack. It has also closed its food pantry.
“It’s a little sad,” said Lt. Eileen Valverde of the Salvation Army. “We would like to provide more services, especially to the youth, which we are called to do.”
Hackensack resident Donna Prescott said some years she has donated to the Salvation Army, but in other years, she has needed their services, like toys for Christmas.
“They were able to give food and clothing to people,” Prescott said. “There are a lot of people in New Jersey out of work.”
The Salvation Army is asking for donations for children up to 12 years old. Gifts can be dropped off through December 17 at 214 State Street in Hackensack. To make a monetary donation online, click here.