Salvation Army and Kentuckiana Boys and Girls Club Discuss Merger

by Devin Katayama on September 8, 2011

The Salvation Army and the Boys and Girls Club of Kentuckiana are discussing a possible merger.

“It’s been very fast. To their credit they have both really responded in the interest of the kids that they serve. So both sides are working really diligently because this isn’t easy,” said Maggie Elder, vice president of community impact for Metro United Way.

The Salvation Army has four of its own Boys and Girls Clubs and earlier this year the organization accepted an additional $30,000 gift from Metro United to keep those clubs open, said Elder. Metro United gives both organizations over $350,000 annually and if a merger occurred funding to all clubs represented would remain the same, she said.

But first, the Boys and Girls Club of Kentuckiana wants to make sure it can sustain its services and funding, said Jennifer Helgeson, the CEO and president.

“Finances are going to be the largest key factor in that in making sure we not only support and get this up and going from the beginning, but again that we have the community’s support long-term,” she said.

It costs around $300,000 to fund each club and Kentuckiana wants to make sure the community supports the decision to merge, said Helgeson. There has previously been confusion regarding what clubs offer what services and some of the public is unaware that Salvation Army and Kentuckiana are two separate organizations, she said.

“Some individuals donate to a specific club and other individuals donate to the agency,” she said.

Helgeson couldn’t say when a decision might be reached, but both parties are taking steps to ensure a smooth transition should it happen, she said.

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