Salvation Army campaign
Tuesday, December 24, 2013 10:00 AM
The Salvation Army in Madison is making a final push to meet its kettle drive and Christmas giving season goal.
The organization has reached about 87 percent of its goal, or nearly $100,000.
Lt. Matthew Phelps said the most recent tally came after Thursday's donations. This year's goal is $113,000.
The drive ends at 6 p.m. today. Bell ringers will be at Walmart, Kroger, JC Penney, Walgreens, Big Lots and all three Dollar General locations in the county.
Lt. Emily Phelps said the organization has taken a small hit this year because of inclement weather in early December and the shortened time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The drive began on Nov. 15. The funds help with Salvation Army hot meals, food pantry and children and adult assistance programs.
"The big thing for us has been losing the five days between Thanksgiving and Christmas," Emily Phelps said.
While the kettle drive ends today, Emily Phelps said the Salvation Army will continue to accept monetary donations for this year's drive until the end of the year.
Salvation Army officials in some parts of Indiana are blaming a lackluster response to this year's campaign on fewer people carrying cash they can drop into the buckets.
Officials with Salvation Army Muncie said they've raised more than $80,000, but that's less than half of their $165,000 goal heading into the final days.
Lt. Mary Robbins with the Muncie chapter said this year's shorter holiday period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is partly to blame. But she said the bigger issue is that fewer people have cash on hand these days because consumers are increasingly making purchases with debit or credit cards.
"We know people are communicating differently than they used to, so how they donate and spend money changes, too," she said.
"I really don't believe we have a drop in supporters. We have to find ways to get them online and thinking of us when they give," she said.
The Indianapolis-based Central Indiana Salvation Army office has to date raised only $1.9 million toward its $3.2 million goal to help aid low-income families.
Some Salvation Army chapters have found success with their kettle campaigns by providing credit card donations at the site and by using social media to promote their online kettle campaigns.
Others have used texting campaigns where "KETTLE" is sent to a particular number for a $10 contribution.
The AP contributed to this story.