Salvation Army Keeps the Bell Ringing for Cash

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The Capital Area Salvation Army has extended it’s Red Kettle Campaign through the end of January, because the annual holiday fundraiser fell about $78,000 short of it’s $975,000 goal.

Major Alan Hellstrom says a late Thanksgiving, and a crippling December ice storm put the freeze on giving this season. “People really had to concentrate on their houses, their families, and making sure they could make it through Christmas before reaching out to someone else."

The charity reached out during the massive power outage in late December, by providing meals to people at a Red Cross shelter in Dewitt. Hellstrom says he understands people who normally give, were distracted. Now the charity is reaching out for donations, with a mailing. The donation envelope was sent out between Christmas and New Years, but checks have been slow to come in. “As things have settled down, we're hoping that people now will return to those envelopes that they received in the mail and put something in it and send it to us." said Hellstrom.

Hellstrom says the Capital Area Salvation Army operates on a budget of a little more than $1 million a year. The money helps pay for several programs, including energy bill assistance and rent assistance. The charity also offers a community meal, a produce program, personal needs assistance, and a Food Pantry.

If the charity can’t meet it’s fundraising goal, it will have to cut back on supplies. Hellstrom says, “We certainly will hurt, it won't close a program, but it will certainly lessen what we can do to help the people in the community and we would like to keep things going, at the level that we already have obtained.”