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Salvation Army says “Red Kettle Campaign” is 25% Behind Target Goal

Local News

The Salvation Army says this year’s Red Kettle campaign got off to a slow start and that the annual fundraiser is about 25% behind where it should be at this point in the season.

Officials say a large part of this can be associated to this year’s late Thanksgiving, leaving five fewer days this year for bell ringers to collect donations at the iconic Red Kettles.

State Commander Major Ivan Rock says a slow Red Kettle Campaign could lead to dire consequences.

“Right now, donations are down at almost every Salvation Army location across the state and we believe it is from the shortened season,” Major Rock said. “We’re losing 5 days and it could have a devastating impact that will be felt next year if we don’t make up some ground.”

To help fill the gap, The Salvation Army is launching a couple of new promotions this week.

On Thursday, law enforcement officers will help ring the bell at Kettle locations across Upstate New York to raise support during the “Bells & Badges event,” including city of Cortland Police manning their Kettle at the Riverside Plaza from Noon until 8 PM.

On Friday, the Salvation Army is asking neighbors to donate a $20 bill, check, bump or scan at the Kettle to help them close out the season successfully.

Financial support from the community during the holidays supports The Salvation Army’s efforts to help more than 225,500 people in need across Upstate New York.

Their year-round programs and services include warming centers for the homeless, anti-human trafficking programs, counseling for domestic abuse victims, after-school programs for children, and helping families escape poverty by addressing challenges, like unemployment, unstable housing, and lack of education.

“This isn’t just about our bottom line. It’s about transforming lives,” Major Rock said. “It’s about providing hope where there is none. It’s about the look we see in a child’s face when they see the love that comes from the entire community.”

The bell ringing and iconic red kettles have been a fixture of the holiday season for 128 years, with funds raised providing for Christmas assistance programs and year-round support for a list of programs, including homeless services and shelter, utility assistance, and feeding programs.

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