It is the largest non-profit fundraising campaign in the nation and isn’t doing as well as it used to.
The Salvation Army’s red kettles and ringing bells are a sign of the holiday season. But, according to the Salvation Army’s Brooks Gilliam, this year donations are down — in large part, thanks to a lack of volunteers.
“Compared to last year, we’re down by about $14,900,” Gilliam told 13 News. “Our goal, locally, is $250,000… so we’re still about $45,000 shy.”
Christmas Eve is the last day that volunteers will be stationed in front of retail and groceries store around town. Gilliam said it would be a Christmas miracle to reach this year’s goal in one day.
“If you don’t have the buckets out, there is no way for people to give,” Gilliam added.
Gilliam said there is a number of reasons why donations are down — everything from the economy, to an increase in on-line shopping. But the biggest problem, according to Gilliam, is a shortage in volunteers.
Here in the Greater Kanawha Valley they average about 40 red kettles a year. This year on any given day, Gilliam said the had about 20 sights of the 40 or so manned.
While many people associate the red kettle and bell ringing with the holidays — they provide help to the community year round.
“A lot of people don’t realize that we are here year round.” He added, “We could use the help year round too.”
You can still donate to the Salvation Army online by clicking here.