CARNEGIE – It’s been a slow year for fundraising this holiday season.
With just one week to go until Christmas, The Salvation Army is praying that last-minute shoppers will help them fill the kettles to serve those in need in the year ahead.
The fundraising goal for all of Western Pennsylvania is $2.5 million. Right now, The Salvation Army is at just 60 percent of that goal.
The red kettle has become synonymous with Christmas and the season of giving. Dating back to 1891, The Salvation Army has used the symbolic kettle to raise money to help those in need throughout the holiday season and all year long.
Kettle donations stay in the community where they are given, as every service center has its own individual budget goal to raise the money needed to fund their specific community programs.
These include basic needs such as food, clothing, emergency housing, and utility assistance, along with community-specific programs such as the daily hot lunch program in Butler, the after-school program in New Kensington as well as the youth programs in Allegheny Valley.
This year, the weekend weather has been very rainy and that combined with changing shopping patterns, store closings and shoppers who don’t carry cash have been having a negative effect on Kettle fundraising.
According to Major Raphael Jackson, Divisional Commander for Western Pennsylvania, “We have faith in our communities. We know our neighbors will come through if they know how much we are depending on them.”
Areas with the largest shortfalls, compared to last year at this time, currently include Aliquippa, $15K; Indiana, $24K; McKeesport, $21K; Washington, $10K; Sharon, Butler and Johnstown each down $13K.
“We really need each community’s support to ensure we can provide for our neighbors in need throughout the year,” said Jackson.
“Everyone can donate to the campaign even if they don’t see a kettle in their neighborhood. You can give from the comfort of your home or office by contributing to our Online Red Kettle at https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/GIVEWPA.”
Celebrating over 150 years of global service as both a church and a social service organization, The Salvation Army began in London, England in 1865.
Today, it provides critical services in 129 countries worldwide. The 28-county Western Pennsylvania Division serves thousands of needy families through a wide variety of support services.
To learn more about The Salvation Army in Western Pennsylvania, log on to www.wpa.salvationarmy.org.