You see them all over town, bell ringers for the Salvation Army. They stand in the snow wishing you a Merry Christmas. But their job has a year round impact.
Major Harold Poff, with the Salvation Army of Allen County says “This is critical for us. We don't want to have to be in a position where were going to have to say no to someone maybe next winter or spring or fall.” That’s a real concern for the Allen County branch. The economy is once again impacting donations. The additional hick-up is weather. Poff says ‘The last day or so, the weather has been an issue. It's kind of hard for the bell ringers. Folks don't really like to stop when it's cold and windy as it was yesterday.”
The red kettle goal is $300,000. They've gotten almost half. The overall goal is $675,000, but mail-in donations are behind. With only 18 days until Christmas, they have a long way to go. Poff says “If we fail to meet our goal we are not going to be able to help as many people throughout next year, as we would like to be able to do with basic needs: food, clothing, rent, utilities and those kinds of things.”
In addition jobs could be on the line. Major Poff says “Administration is always the first place we cut, and programs are the last place we cut. So obviously were going to do everything we can to continue to meet need and there could be some administrative cuts if were not able to reach out goal.”
The Red Kettle Campaign is their biggest fundraiser of the year. Through it 3,600 children will enjoy Christmas. The last day for the red kettles to be out is Christmas Eve. But they accept donations year round.
Link to donate