Kettle Campaign falls shortThe Salvation Army’s annual Kettle Campaign ended $16,000 short of its goal for 2013. The Salvation Army set a goal to raise $146,000. Officials here raised the goal by $28,000 to meet increased needs the community has been seeing in the past year.
By: By Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
The Salvation Army’s annual Kettle Campaign ended $16,000 short of its goal for 2013.
The Salvation Army set a goal to raise $146,000. Officials here raised the goal by $28,000 to meet increased needs the community has been seeing in the past year.
“The kettles, we came in higher this year than last year and I am comfortable with the kettle amount we got. I’m just a little more worried about the shortfall we hit on the mail and other donations,” said Lt. Mitch Brecto. “There’s more of a gap there, which gets us about 89 percent of the goal.”
Donations to the kettles brought in $66,782, short of the desired amount of $72,000. Mail and other donations totaled $63,000, short of the desired amount of $74,000.
A few special donations made a major impact on the total received here, even though no gold coins were donated. Larger cities routinely see gold coins in kettles during other kettle campaigns.
But larger donations made an impact. The Salvation Army in Jamestown received a card in the mail from Santa with 10 $100 bills and it also received an anonymous check for $9,000 in a kettle.
This past campaign was also the first time people could donate with a credit card online, although Brecto said he didn’t see a significant amount of donations with credit cards.
“I think it is a hindrance in a way too,” he said. “But most people will know how to donate in other forms too.”
More and more people don’t carry cash but use plastic. Brecto said he would like a credit card machine at the kettles, but people are also needed to work the kettles as well.
This campaign involved more work than in the past.
“It was definitely hard work. I’ve never worked that hard before on a Kettle Campaign than we did this year,” Brecto said. “There were many nights of three, four hours of sleep. But we love this time of the year.”
The total $129,782 raised will go to programs throughout the year. The Salvation Army has a food pantry, and helps people pay bills and rent to keep them from getting evicted. It also runs various groups for people in the community, among other things.
“The assistance we give out will have a slight impact,” Brecto said. “We’ll have to try to be more creative.”
He said the Salvation Army here will have to figure out ways to stretch dollars allocated for programs in 2013 because of the shortfall in donations here.
Brecto said people tend to notice the Salvation Army more during the holidays, but the church does accept donations year round.
“I know our Christmas campaign we’re closing out but hopefully there will be some more last-minute donations that will help us out so there won’t be such an impact on our budget,” he said.
Still, many groups went above and beyond during the campaign this year, he said.
The Jamestown Lions Club raised the most out of any service organization that rang bells in Jamestown, with $10,788 raised. Kiwanis raised $5,573 and Rotary raised $4,313.
“It was a surprise we upped it quite a few dollars from the last campaign,” said Harold Trautman, Lions Kettle Campaign organizer and Salvation Army board member. “So I was surprised we were able to raise that much and I really give the guys a lot of credit and the people who contributed all over the city.”
The three service clubs together raised 30 percent of what was donated at the kettles.
St. John’s Lutheran Church also rang for five full days during the hours bells were rung. RSVP+ contributed 245 total volunteer hours, filling gaps in Brecto’s schedule.
“Bell ringing volunteers, it took a slow start, we started ringing Nov. 16 and there were quite a few open spots,” Brecto said. “We didn’t start warming up until December, but there were still quite a few more openings then I would have liked. It was just harder to get volunteers this year.”
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com