The organization hoped to bring in a total of $140,000 between mail-in donations, general walk-in contributions and the efforts of bell-ringers stationed at the kettles themselves. Captain Terry Selvege said they exceeded that by about $2,000.
The kettles brought in about $900 more than the $60,000 goal. The mail-in and general donation portions of the campaign, which are still ongoing until Monday, had a combined goal of $80,000 and have so far brought in about $1,900 more than that.
Being thousands of dollars behind a week before Christmas, Selvege says the mail-in and general campaigns played a game of catch-up in the last few weeks of the campaign.
“A lot of individuals stepped forward and made donations either through just stopping by the office; several people mailed in their “mail pill” envelopes and waited until the last week. It’s a thrill to receive it, thrill to see the community coming forward and supporting us once again,” Selvege says.
Better late than never?
“Right. We get nervous there towards the end when we’re not up to the percentage that we’d like to be, but we made our goal the last day on December the 24th for the kettles, and then the mail-in came in the week of Christmas.”
Selvege says the goal that was set was a bare-minimum amount for the Salvation Army to function normally. That means anything that comes in over the weekend will further its ability to prevent cutbacks.
“This is what decides during the year whether we have to cut down on just how much assistance we’re giving,” he says. “It allows us to continue on with feeding programs, all of the other character-building programs and after-school programs and everything. All of this is affected by what we raise at Christmastime.
Last year, the organization fell about $20,000 short of its $155,000 goal, which affected the number of staff at the Salvation Army store. Selvege says the kettle campaign numbers this year shouldn’t have any effect on the store’s staff or hours.