CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Broken pipes, termite damage and downed trees are preventing an area camp from opening this summer.
Camp Happy Valley, a 167-acre camp in Teays Valley, usually serves about 120 kids per week for their four-week duration but does not have the funds this year to sustain the property, according to local Salvation Army officials.
Gilliam recited a laundry list of maintenance requirements: three large pieces of lawn equipment that are more than 20 years old, storm damage to trees, a cabin with termite damage that has the front door fallen a foot or so, damaged pipes for the swimming pool, and more.
In addition to $80,000 worth of necessary repairs, the camp needs $91,000 to fund 32 individuals' salaries -- counselors, cooks, etc. The camp needs about $200,000 total as an annual budget to maintain the camp, Gilliam said. And they've already started this year "in the hole."
The camp receives a small government grant each year that helps with food. It also receives money from the United Way, in addition to some other small contributions from other sources.
But the direct mail appeal is where they find donors. And donations have been down, which have played a significant role.