Some members of the local chapter of the Salvation Army board of directors have decided to stay on the board as the organization shifts from an all-volunteer effort to a service center-based model.
“This change is an emotional one for many board members,” board chairwoman Michelle Brown wrote in an email to The Durango Herald.
“However, the end goal is to be more visible in the community and to provide direct help to those who need it,” she wrote.
Earlier this month, former board member Sweetie Marbury, who is also the mayor of Durango, said the entire board resigned after learning about the changes, fearing it would direct money donated locally out of the community.
In an email sent Thursday to the Herald, Brown said 10 members have since decided to continue serving on the board until the transition is expected to be complete at the end of September.
“We’re taking a wait-and-see posture and hope to help facilitate a smooth transition and determine in what capacity we will serve going forward,” Brown said.
For years, the Salvation Army’s bell-ringing campaign over the holidays in La Plata County has been led by volunteers and brought in an average of $100,000, which has gone directly to local nonprofits around Durango.
But earlier this month, the Salvation Army regional office in Denver announced it will turn to a service-center model with a full-time staffer and office space in La Plata County, with the hopes of expanding services to more people in need.
Local board members, however, feared the change would create overhead costs and take money out of the community, reducing funds going to local services.
Brown said the remaining board members remain concerned that money collected this past holiday season, about $100,000, will not go to local nonprofits as promised.
“I am calling for Salvation Army corporate to honor these commitments and for Salvation Army volunteers to continue serving,” Brown wrote in her email to the Herald.
In a previous interview, a representative with the Salvation Army’s regional office stopped short of promising money already raised will go to local nonprofits, but said he hoped to find a solution that works for all organizations.