It’s only the beginning of the year, but Tania Yount, the new development director of The Salvation Army, already has her hands full. She’s been with the organization for over 14 years and recently moved to Jacksonville from Clearwater to take the job.
WHAT WILL SHE BE DOING WITH THE SALVATION ARMY?
Among the many tasks at hand for Yount are her efforts to secure funds for the many programs produced locally by The Salvation Army; 20 in all. Yount is especially enthusiastic about the Child Development Center, which opened its doors five years ago. Currently, it is the only center in Jacksonville that accepts homeless children free of charge. “It’s hard to focus on just one program, it’s really a juggling act.” Yount also will be doing some grant writing and direct mail work.
READY FOR A CHALLENGE
While admitting that her job can be demanding at times, Yount says the challenge is what keeps her motivated. “I like learning and investigating all the time. My job sustains that. I’ve got a good balance of working in the office but also with different people outside. I get a little bit of everything.”
With all her close work with the homeless and children, Yount said that sometimes it can be difficult separating her emotional side from the professional. “Sometimes it’s hard not to get attached.”
A FEW GOOD MEN
Jacksonville’s steady string of cold nights have left The Salvation Army strapped for volunteers. When the temperature dips, auxiliary shelters are opened for the city’s homeless to keep them out of the cold. “It’s just not healthy to be outside in that kind of weather, so we try to make more space available.” She added that anyone wishing to contribute time or money should call 301-4800.
Yount is native of the Midwest; Columbus, Ohio to be exact. “I moved to Florida in 1989 and Jacksonville in 1992.” What brought on the move? “The weather. In Ohio you can go for almost two weeks without seeing the sun.”
When she’s not working, Yount divides her time among a variety of activities. “I like to run with my dog and also play tennis,” she said. “I also love to sail.” Yount owns a sailboat but, for now, it remains unnamed. “We’re still tossing names around.”
Yount owns one dog, Frisky, that she got from the pound. “He was already named when I got him, but it definitely suits him. The last dog I owned also came from the pound.”
A classic rock fan, Yount said the last good book she read was actually about the Grateful Dead. She estimated that she has seen the band more than 10 times in concert. “I saw them in the Akron Rubber Bowl when Tom Petty and Bob Dylan opened. It was fantastic.” Yount is also a big fan of Stevie Nicks.
IT’S A TALL WORLD AFTER ALL
Taking a cue from Nicks, the 5-foot-2-inch Yount is prone to wearing shoes with thick soles in an effort to get a little more height. “My son, John, is only nine years old and he’s almost as tall me.”
Yount is looking forward to this year’s competitive mayoral race. Her choice right now? “I like John Peyton,” she said. “He was on our advisory board and was great to work with. I hope he wins. However, if the sheriff [Nat Glover] were to run, that would be a tough choice.”
— by J. Brooks Terry