ROCHESTER, Minn. – On Monday, the Mason City Salvation Army announced they are still around $90,000 away from reaching their Red Kettle Christmas Campaign goal. They are not alone, the Salvation Army Northern Division is reporting that donations are down dramatically compared to this time last year across Minnesota. With just five days left of the campaign, we’re finding out what is being done to reach those goals.
The Rochester Salvation Army is doing “6 Days to 20K” inspirational kettle match where they’re trying to pull in $20,000 from all 34 kettles across the city to help them meet their goal. We’re told they are still around $23,000 short.
“I would say the majority from the campaign really comes in the last ten days,” explains Anne Bashaw-Meyer, Director of Community Engagement with the Rochester Salvation Army.
However, while donations to the kettles may be ramping up these last few days, this is also the week they have the fewest bell ringers volunteer.
“If we don’t have someone ringing at the kettle we lose anywhere from $50-100 an hour,” she adds. “We really need about 500 more volunteers this coming week, just to fill kettle sights.”
Answering the need for volunteers in this final stretch have been local veterans services groups. We stopped by Scheels at Apache Mall where members of the Thor Detachment Marine Corps League are taking shifts ringing. Bashaw-Meyer says they will have bell ringers at that location every hour until the campaign wraps up on Christmas Eve.
“It’s been amazing, the people here are so generous, we’re running into a lot of friends and just the interaction with people it’s been really great,” says Dave Bikeras, one of the volunteers.
Besides bell ringing, Bikeras says the Marine Corps League will be matching donations up to a certain amount as well.
For information about volunteering for the Red Kettle Campaign at a location near you, follow the links below. Donations for the campaign will be accepted online through December 31st.