Red Kettle Campaign reaches yearly goal
Community generosity made it possible for the 2017 Red Kettle Campaign to meet its goal of $140,000, said Maj. Tim Nauta of the Jamestown Salvation Army.
“We actually raised $145,700 and that is great,” Nauta said.
The Salvation Army lowered its goal after two years of failing to reach it, Nauta said. The goals are based on historical giving levels and Jamestown is known as a very generous community, he said.
The donations were at 76 percent of the campaign goal just a week before Christmas, Nauta said. The red kettles were removed from stores on Dec. 23. The campaign giving continued online and at Salvation Army offices through Dec. 31, he said.
Meeting the goal was not the result of a few large donations, Naut said. There were large donations but it was across-the-board community giving that made the difference, he said.
The challenge was finding enough volunteer bell ringers at the red kettles at Walmart, Buffalo Mall, Cash Wise Foods and Hugo’s Family Marketplace locations, he said. A surge of volunteers to stand by the busiest spots in front of Walmart made the difference in the final week, he said.
“Giving at Walmart was in the $9,000 range last year and this year it was almost $20,000,” Nauta said. “We did have a really significant uptick in volunteers who were willing to be outside at Walmart and that really helped us immensely.”
The Walmart total offset the drop in giving at the Buffalo Mall where totals were about onethird that of giving in 2016, he said. It might have to do with the closing of the J.C. Penney store or that bell ringers were not in place during optimal times, he said.
The giving at the grocery stores was also strong, he said.
The funds raised will enable Jamestown Salvation Army to provide basic safety net assistance to people in need throughout 2018, Nauta said. The assistance is case-by-case and could include rent or other housing assistance such as utilities, along with food, prescription medication, clothing, furniture and other support, he said.
“Giving at Walmart was in the $9,000 range last year and this year it was almost $20,000.
MAJ. TIM NAUTA, Salvation Army