Retired highway contractor donates $1.1 million to The Salvation Army
Bob Freesen, Sr. knows what it is to be poor. "I still like beans and cornbread," he says with a smile, as he recalls his upbringing on the heels of The Great Depression. "I remember my own days. I had one brother, no sisters, and growing up in Colorado, I remember how tough it is to be poor."
Because of his own intimate knowledge of the struggles of poverty, Bob became affiliated with The Salvation Army in Jacksonville, Ill., serving on the local Board of Advisors for more than a decade. He remembers fondly the opportunities he was afforded as part of his involvement to make a difference in his community, participating in the annual Christmas Basket program and working to raise funds to secure new vans to transport local children to and from after-school programs and worship services.
When the retired highway contractor learned that the Jacksonville Community Center was running a capital campaign to raise funds for a new community center which would allow them to serve the community more effectively, Bob and his wife Deb quickly made a $100,000 donation to the cause.
A few months later, while reviewing his estate and financial plans with his son, he decided to donate a $1,000,000 annuity from his portfolio to The Salvation Army. The donation will provide collateral, if needed, for any construction borrowing that might need to be undertaken, and will pay out the full benefit upon his death.
"In our economy today, it keeps getting worse and worse. The Salvation Army has always tried to step forward and help people in dire circumstances," says Freesen, noting that he made the initial gift in an effort to motivate others to step forward and do the same.
Captain Terry Selvage, the Corps Officer for Jacksonville reports that an additional $400,000 remains outstanding in their capital campaign. "We hope that generous donors will come forward in the coming months so that we can break ground on the new citadel in the spring."
The new community center will replace a too-small and wholly antiquated facility, which has long served the Jacksonville community. "In addition to raising the remaining capital, I am focused on ensuring that our present facility lasts until the completion of construction on the new facility."
The Salvation Army location in Jacksonville provides food pantry services, in addition to rent and utility assistance to residents in need. It provides educational and religious classes and programs for children, adults and senior citizens.
Freesen has chosen to continue supporting Jacksonville's Salvation Army though he now lives in Texas and travels full time in an RV, because he knows the vital role it plays in the community he used to call home.
"We chose to make this donation to ensure that the services The Salvation Army provides continue. We're all created by the same Creator, and some are more fortunate than others. The ones who can afford to do so should help others who are down and out."
Welcome to The Salvation Army Jacksonville. We are commited to meeting human needs in Jesus name without discrimination.
As the needs of the community continue to grow, The Salvation Army of Jacksonville, promises to "Do the Most Good" with the donations and gifts from the community.
We are focused on making any person's visit to The Salvation Army a pleasant one. We try to first meet the physical needs, emotional needs, and the spiritual needs of those who seek out our help.
We would like to take a moment and thank all of the individuals and groups that are generous with their time and resources, to support our ministry in Morgan County. "I am thankful for all of the support that is given, because it shows that the community has an idea of the needs and is willing to be a part of meeting those needs through The Salvation Army." says Captain Amos Shiels.
Our goal is to be a resource to those who are faced with major trials and difficulties, and help them get back on their feet and stand tall. "We have seen people come into our facility for help, with the weight of the world on their shoulders. But when they have left, they were standing taller, and more confident."
The Salvation Army has many programs and activities that meet the spritiual, physical and emotional needs of those in our community. The Salvation Army provides food, shelter, clothing to meet the physical needs as well as worship services and fellowship opportunities that feed the soul and forge a stronger relationship with God.
If you would like to support the Salvation Army and their desire to meet the need, you can donate via the internet at http://www.salvationarmy.org or by mailing a check to The Salvation Army of Jacksonville, P.O. Box 220, Jacksonville, IL 62651.
You are a vital part of The Salvation Army's ministry. Your donations help The Salvation Army fight addictions, battle hunger, and promote education, care and compassion.
Your donation can give shelter to a family living on the streets, bring joy to a senior citizen who feels forgotten and opportunity to a child.
Find out more about ways you can donate and help The Salvation Army continue doing the most good in your community and around the world. Find out how you can help!