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Donations, Volunteers Decline For Salvation Army

The Salvation Army went into their holiday fundraising campaign with an optimistic goal of 500 thousand dollars from the Louisville area. That would be an 18 thousand-dollar increase over last year.

But that optimism hasn’t matched up with reality this holiday season.

Donations are down this year for the Salvation Army. And the major issue isn’t so much a lack of generosity from the donors who pass by the Salvation Army’s red kettles and bell ringers. A bigger problem is a lack of bell ringers. The Salvation Army organizes volunteers into shifts at each of the 55-kettle locations in the Louisville area. According to Salvation Army Major Keath Biggers, more than a few shifts have gone unfilled:

“I would say three to four hundred shifts less than last year being covered, which a shift being a three-hour period during the day,” he says.

The holiday season is when the Salvation Army raises most of the money that it uses to operate throughout the year. That money goes to pay for food and shelter for the homeless among other programs.

The Salvation Army is still accepting volunteers through its website.

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Local News

Salvation Army Short On Volunteers

Local Salvation Army officials say they are in desperate need of bell-ringers for this year’s red kettle fundraising campaign.

The campaign began on November 1st. Major Keath Biggers says 171 volunteers have signed up to stand with the kettles. That’s less than half the number that signed up by this time last year. Biggers says more volunteers are needed to help raise half a million dollars by Christmas Eve. If the money doesn’t come in, he says the Salvation Army will need to rethink its finances.

“We would have to look at other sources of possible revenue that we have not thought of yet, or measures of reducing operations,” he says. “We’re already on a shoestring budget and have been for the last three years.”

Last year’s fundraising goal was also half a million dollars. Biggers says they raised 482 thousand. That’s one hundred thousand dollars above the previous year’s total.

To help bring in more money, the Salvation Army has expanded its capacity to accept donations, through text messages. Also, many kettles in Louisville will have credit card scanners on them.

“We’re trying to do everything we can to make it easier, but we’re also in desperate, desperate need this year of volunteers,” says Biggers.