The Salvation Army says the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted its famous red kettle fundraising drive. A decrease in foot traffic, more people shopping online, and fewer people carrying cash are believed to be the reasons.
The Salvation Army created its Rescue Christmas campaign recognizing that these factors could diminish donations, which help keep its programs and services going. In-person kettle contributions so far are down 46-percent.
“This is what we were concerned about as we developed the Rescue Christmas messaging in the first place,” Lt. Colonel Larry Ashcraft, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army Eastern Pennsylvania & Delaware Division said. “We feared the pandemic would have a direct effect on kettle income which is why we started the fundraising season early for the first time in 130 years. To date, though, our Division has seen a 46% decrease in in-person kettle donations. Retail foot traffic was down by 50% on Black Friday, according to the Wall Street Journal, while online sales are surging. We are at a critical moment where the success of our efforts will directly impact our ability to meet the increased needs.”
Donations can also be made to the Salvation Army online, as well as through Apple pay and Google pay.
No amount of change is too little to bring about change. We need the community’s help now, more than ever,” Lt. Col. Ashcraft added. “We don’t want to turn anyone away because we don’t have the resources to help, and we don’t want to cut any programs that give our clients new hope, new opportunities, and new life.”