Late Thanksgiving Means Fewer Donations for Charities

By: Josh Sidorowicz Email
By: Josh Sidorowicz Email

There aren't just six fewer days for shopping this holiday season, but the late Thanksgiving also means fewer days for giving.

Local charities like the Salvation Army say, while it might not seem like much, the shortened kettle campaign season is already having a big impact.

"We are definitely running behind in our donations," said Jeff Prisner, a local kettle coordinator in Lansing.

The six fewer days has resulted in about $20,000 fewer dollars being donated to the Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign in Mid-Michigan, Prisner said.

While a select few stores like Kroger and Walgreens did allow bell ringers to set up last week, most of the bigger retailers like Wal-Mart do not allow it until the day after Thanksgiving.

And the Black Friday crowd makes all the difference, according to Prisner.

"It's a very big impact," he said. "We were able, starting today (Friday), to increase our kettle sites by about twice as much, and we are definitely hoping that it will pick up."

There will be about 40-45 bell ringers spread out across Mid-Michigan for the year's Red Kettle campaign, and Prisner says they've set a goal of $236,000 for Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham counties.

"When you come to the holiday season and you're trying to do something extra for your children, it's tough," Prisner said. "When you walk by a kettle stand we definitely would appreciate any contribution."

Donations collected through the Red Kettle campaign go toward providing food, shelter, and clothing for people in need year-round.

For those who don't carry spare change or cash on them, Prisner said individuals can still donate by either going online or mailing a check.

Salvation Army isn't the only charity in need of extra help this holiday season, following the federal cut to the SNAP program in Oct., the Greater Lansing Food Bank is one of several Mid-Michigan charities looking for extra donations.

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