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Salvation Army Taking Donations for Adopt A Child

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LAWTON Okla_ There's just one week left in the Lawton Salvation Army's Boys and Girls Club Adopt A Child program.

Officials say the goal is to raise $40,000. They say that amount will help 137 kids attend the club for a year, but so far, they've only received about $14,000. That's just enough to help 46 kids whose families don't have the money to send them.

Just a few hours ago, the Boys and Girls Club was packed with children, many of whom benefit from the Adopt A Child program. Salvation Army Captain Ernie Hull said if they don't receive more money soon, most of those children will have to say goodbye to coming here.

Dozens of kids fill the auditorium of the clubhouse everyday. Some play a game similar to musical chairs but with hula hoops, while others dance to good music.

Hull knows how special they are.

"These are children who are your neighbors," Hull said. "Because of access to our club, they generally turn out to have higher GPAs and usually be the kind of neighbors you want to have living next door to you."

He said that reputation is being challenged. Only $14,000 has been raised toward the $40,000 the club needs to help 137 kids in the program continue enjoying the club.

"I look at that a number of children who are not going to be able to be served as a result of not reaching our goal," Hull said.

He said that's about 90 kids, but he's staying optimistic things will work out.

"Last year, we fell a little bit behind as we near the end of the program," Hull said. "We put out the information we needed the funds, and they came right in."

Club Director Christal Durham said there may be a reason for the low funds in pocket so far.

"We did start earlier this year, so the word is just really getting out to the community about it," Durham said. "So, I think we have good support in the community, and we probably will reach our goal."

Durham said many of the children who benefit from the Adopt A Child program come from lower income households. So, they may not have the means to provide them all the things the Salvation Army has to offer.

She said her heart sinks thinking about any of these children being forced to stay home, possibly alone.

"We would not like to see them disappear from the club, and we would not want to turn them down just because of financial reasons," Durham said. "The club is here to serve the kids who need us the most."

"We want every child to be able to have a club to call their own and this club helps us do that," Hull said.

Hull said if they don't see reach their goal, the earliest they will see the number of children attending the club decrease is around the summer time.

For $300, you can pay for the child to attend the Boys and Girls Club for one year.

If you'd like to help, contact the Lawton Salvation Army at 580-355-1802.

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