Salvation Army sees rise in demand, drop in Red Kettle Campaign donations

Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 10:53 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign is in full swing this holiday season, a large fundraiser that helps support programs the Salvation Army provides to people in the Upstate.

“Every time you see a red kettle, the money stays right here in our community,” said Director of Community Relations & Development Bea Walters Smith.

Volunteers like Karen Scott ring the bell to help raise money.

“I’m part of a Sunday school class that we do this every year, and it’s just wonderful to be able to give back,” said Scott.

Each holiday season, the Salvation Army aims to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars to help people with utility assistance, shelter, food, and more throughout the year.

But so far this year, the number of donations collected compared to years prior is not there.

“It’s down quite a bit. Our giving is down,” said Walters Smith.

A leading theory as to why is the current state of the economy. Combined with the lower-than-expected donations at this point is an unprecedented level of people reaching out to the Salvation Army in need.

“I field phone calls all day long, people asking for utility and rent assistance. We want to keep people in their homes. Our shelters are full, especially with the colder weather people need a place to go. We can provide a warm meal, a shower, and a place to sleep,” explained Walters Smith.

As the countdown to Christmas is on, the rush to receive enough donations to meet the demand is there too.

The Red Kettle campaign lasts thru Christmas Eve.