Do you have a spare $24,000? That's what the Salvation Army needs by this Saturday. Donations to the iconic Red Kettle Campaign are coming up short and officials say it could impact services in our community.
Donations to the iconic Red Kettle Campaign are coming up short in Rochester. And officials say it could impact services in our community.
The Salvation Army says its fundraising efforts are down more than $59,000 compared to this same time last year.
To be able to meet this year's goal of $450,000, the Salvation Army needs to raise more than $24,000 by this Saturday.
The organization helps fund organizations like the Hope House -- an emergency shelter helping women and children. The coordinator tells us without the donations every year, they wouldn't be able to serve as many local families. She says that would be devastating.
"Especially during this time of year, the weather, Christmas, the holidays, it's essential that these women have shelter," says Christina Barnwell, Hope House program manager.
News10NBC: "Paint us a picture of what these women have gone through and how important it is to have a place where they can feel safe."
Barnwell: "Absolutely. A lot of the women that come here are fleeing domestic violence."
Barnwell says the shelter helps women and children who have become homeless. The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign is key to making that happen. She says donations provide food, after school programs, and counseling throughout the year. But the campaign's fundraising efforts are down.
News10NBC: "Any idea why it's just not reaching that goal?"
Robert Barlow: "We know that people are carrying less cash around. They're using credit or debit cards even for small purchases."
Plus, Barlow says more people are shopping online, meaning less foot traffic at stores where red kettles typically are. He says their efforts help not only those in need, but the entire community.
"We're helping to end homelessness and that's going to help the community as a whole," says Barnwell.
As we have said, there is still time to help out. The bell-ringing and red kettles may be gone, but you can still make a donation.