File photo. Courtesy Getty Images.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The Salvation Army in Winston-Salem says donations to its Red Kettle Campaign are down.
The Salvation Army raised $58,000 less compared to this time last year. The goal for this holiday season is $400,000.
The Salvation Army speculates the loss comes from a shorter season because of a late Thanksgiving. This means it has five fewer days.
The group tried to make up for that lost time by allowing organizations to sponsor a kettle for a fee. However, that idea did not work as well as expected.
"That has not taken off as well as we anticipated. It has been difficult to get sponsors. I believe we have had three sponsors to date. We're still beating the pavement looking for additional sponsors as well," Major James Allison, area commander for The Salvation Army, said. "We believe, with our whole heart, that they're going to come forward and help us close this gap."
Donations during the Red Kettle Campaign help the Salvation Army provide services for the Winston-Salem community, including 22 programs.
One of the programs that relies on Red Kettle donations is the Salvation Army's emergency shelter. Lorenzo Jones and family have been saying at the shelter since later October. "I lost my job in April. Stuff started falling apart after that. I lost the house. Lost the car. I slowly just started losing everything," Jones said.
"Without it (The Salvation Army), I don't know where we would be. My family would probably be broken up and on the streets. The kids may have gotten taken. I don't even want to think about it... Before now, I didn't even know this place existed."
In a statement, Major Allison wrote, "The Red Kettles are a symbol of giving and represent a tradition of caring that is passed down from generation to generation. We're hoping that shoppers will remember their neighbors in need when they see a Salvation Army bell ringer in the community during the coming weeks and be as generous as they can to help."
More information about the red kettles can be found on their website: SalvationArmyWS.org.
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