LAKE MARY, Fla. - Donations at the Salvation Army's Red Kettles in Orlando are down by 83%, the nonprofit organization says
Last year, $16,963 was collected during the opening weekend compared to $2,986 raised this year. There are concerns that this may be the trend for the season.
“Now, more than ever, we are asking our community to step up and dig deeper. Our need has increased this year by 155% and we will work diligently to meet the needs of the most vulnerable among us. The Salvation Army is grateful for all the caring hearts,“ said Captain Ken Chapman, area commander of The Salvation Army in Orange & Osceola Counties.
The iconic Red Kettle campaign is one of our largest fundraising efforts, and the donations received go to support programs and services year-round. Those services include emergency shelter, food, rental, housing, and other financial assistance.
In addition to a drop in donations, the organization says it has been struggling to find bell ringers for its Red Kettle campaign because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The church volunteers will be ringing at locations across the city over the next four weeks.
Members of Elevation Church in Orlando have volunteered to stand at 18 kettles. A pastor from the church says, his members jumped at the opportunity to help.
“It’s funny, one thing I’ve noticed is, even though people are losing work or are furloughed, they still want to give. They still want to be a part of the solution," says Pastor Petr Buzyan. "I think it speaks to humanity as a whole that we are people that want to help each other. That, we want to move the cause forward especially at a time when it’s needed most. So, we step up.”