In 2012, The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign raised $128,000 here in Wilkes-Barre, but this year donations are down by 28%. Kettle gifts stay in the community where the money is donated and help provide meals and shelter for families in need, Christmas toys for thousands of children locally, and many other services throughout the year.
This year, because of a late Thanksgiving date, the kettle season is shorter by five vital days --which equates to potentially $20,000 less than in previous years --so donations coming in between now and Christmas Eve are critically important to The Salvation Army’s ability to meet needs here in Wilkes-Barre. Five fewer bell ringing days equates to about $20 million less in donations to The Salvation Army nationwide.
Additionally, cold temperatures and wet weather are a risk to our bell ringers’ health and safety and put a damper on donations by passersby. During particularly unseasonable weather, The Salvation Army sometimes must opt to not put the kettles out, even though it means less donations during the critical “giving season.” Several days of bad weather this year have already put The Salvation Army’s fundraising campaign even further behind.
“I am very concerned about the lost kettle days this year and how this will impact our ability to help those who are hurting. The red kettles are a symbol of giving and represent a tradition of caring that is passed down from generation to generation. We’re hoping that shoppers will remember their neighbors in need when they see a Salvation Army bell ringer in the community during the next couple weeks and be as generous as they can to help,” said Lieutenant Ted Tressler, The Salvation Army’s local commander.
The Salvation Army is encouraging the public to donate generously to the Red Kettles found on in malls and other local retailers --or online at www.salvationarmywilkesbarre.orgin order to make up the shortfall. Donations can also be mailed to 17 South Pennsylvania Ave., or called into 1 800 SAL ARMY. Gifts of stock are always welcome, too. Please call Lieutenant Tressler for more information about how to donate appreciated stock.
The public’s ongoing, generous support will help ensure that The Salvation Army can continue to do the most good for those in need this holiday season and through the year.
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, has been supporting those most in need in Christ’s name, without discrimination, since 1865. More than 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a broad array of social services that includes providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, supports for the elderly and ill, shelter and job placement for the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children to flourish. About 82 cents of every dollar raised is used directly to support these services and more where needed most in over 5,000 communities throughout the U. S. To learn more, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.