Salvation Army's red kettles lighter; 44% drop in donations from last year to blame

CLEVLEAND - The Salvation Army's red kettles are lighter than last year following a 44 percent drop in donations from the same time last year.

A shorter kettle season is blamed for less donations, according to The Salvation Army in a news release. Bell ringers will spend five less days collecting money because Thanksgiving day feel late in the month of November.

Nationwide, this means about $20 million less in donations is coming to The Salvation Army, the organization said.

This year, kettle donation are also not keeping up with contributions from last year, according to The Salvation Army.

Last year, The Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland chapter raised $665,893, the organization said. Its goal for the Red Kettle Campaign this year is $693,000.

“I am very concerned about the shorter kettle season,” said Major Lurlene-Kay Johnson, Divisional Secretary for The Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland, in a written news release, “but I know Cleveland is a generous community. I believe The Salvation Army will still reach our goal and continue to be able to help the hurting in our community.”

Donations stay in the community, according to The Salvation Army. In the Cleveland area, the organization spends about $15.5 million to provide meals and shelter for families in need, Christmas toys for children and other services each year.

The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign started Black Friday and runs through Christmas Eve at participating retail locations.

People interested in donating can give online . Texting “Change” to 80888 will add a one-time $10 donation to your phone bill. Donors can also call 1-800-SAL-ARMY to give.

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