Jim and Alison Jaksa were long time supporters of The Salvation Army of Michigan City. Jim, being an architect by training, saw the need to properly maintain the physical buildings of the Salvation Army so that the Army can focus on providing the most basic human needs through “soup, soap and salvation.” In 2007, they worked with the Unity Foundation of La Porte County, to start The Salvation Army of Michigan City Major Building Repairs Fund. Jaksa said, “We realize that the maintenance of their building is essential for the Salvation Army to continue its service to Michigan City. With normal usage buildings wear out and equipment breaks. This fund will ensure that monies will be available to make the necessary major building repairs when the need arises without having to use money from the Salvation Army regular operating funds.”
Since 2007, the Jaksa’s championed the fund and went above and beyond to help build the corpus. Their goal is to get the fund principal to $200,000, which is now just over $100,000. The fund has so far, replaced the food pantry floor to avoid being shut down by health officials, replaced the carpets for safe walking, and most recently a new, remote controlled front door.
“For a donor to have the vision to see this need is very unique,” said Major Rebecca Simmons. “So many people focus on the tangible assistance that we do; however, to have an adequate and structurally solid facility to provide this service in is key to what we do. Michigan City is very blessed to have had someone with this vision.”
Tragedy struck when Jim passed away after a very short illness in 2020. In honor of Jim Jaksa’s memory and his vision to maintain The Salvation Army of Michigan City’s buildings, gifts can be made to the fund.