It’s been a tough year financially for a lot of Brown County residents, and helping to meet their needs has resulted in budget limitations for the Salvation Army Service Center in Brownwood.

“It’s a privilege to help,” service center director Donna Harris said, “but now when you’re on the other side saying ‘We just can’t,’ it hurts so bad.”

Actually, Harris said, donations to the recently expanded center are up over last year, but so are ex-penses related to the new facility. Plus, local needs have grown substantially – and they are continuing to grow.

Harris said the center’s first fund-raiser in the nearly one year she’s held her position is scheduled for Saturday, when Goat Willie’s Cooking will serve hamburger and sausage wrap plates from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Meals will be served at the center, 403 Lakeway Dr. between West Commerce and Belle Plain, and the cost will be $5 or a donation.

This event and another campaign planned in the near future are expected to generate enough contributions for the center until the “red kettle” season opens during the Christmas holidays.

“We think that will pull us through,” Harris. “We’ll do as much as we can with those dollars.”

The Loaves and Fishes program that serves nutritious meals – no questions asked – to all who show up each weekday remains on solid financial footing, Harris said. Outside funds and the United Way support that initiative, Harris said. The other programs rely only on local contributions.

While the Salvation Army’s assistance programs for rent or utility payments and transportation have been suspended because of lack of funds, several new programs will debut next week thanks to the efforts of volunteers, Harris said.

Salvation Army Warriors for children ages 7 to 12 will set up its “base” at the center from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday with Bible stories, games, snacks and crafts. Mary Lou Ringler is the “sergeant in charge.”

“It’s like a backyard vacation Bible school program, but not oriented with a church,” Harris said. “None of the children will be offended in their faith, but they’ll find out that we love Jesus.”

From 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Mothers in Recovery will open its first week of class at the center. The 10-week class is designed for women recovering from substance abuse who need to learn how to reestablish their roles as mothers, women and wives, Harris said. The course will help with coping skills and applying Scriptures to daily life.

Julie Allred will lead the series, and women are invited to join at any time during the 10 weeks.

The Salvation Army also offers a weekly course from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesdays in household budgeting and finance. Anna Pierce is the leader.

Appointments are also accepted for Tuesdays and Thursdays for outreach substance abuse, indentification, screening assessment and referral. Sue Martini, L.C.D.C, is the leader.

For information, call 646-5369.