Twin Cities Salvation Army still short of Christmas goal
The Twin Cities Salvation Army is $2 million short of its $10.8 million Christmas goal. The fundraiser ends on December 31. With just two days left in the year, the organization is hoping to see a record number of supporters using online giving as well as mailing in year end gifts.
“Our red kettles were off the streets as of Dec 24,” said Major Jeff Strickler, Twin Cities Salvation Army commander. “And unfortunately, we never quite recovered from a sluggish bell ringing season that ended $450,000 down from last years’ kettle numbers.”
Although the double match red kettle weekend of Dec 20 – 21 was exceptional, according to Strickler, it just couldn’t make up for the large deficit.
“Now we must rely on year end giving which largely comes from online gifts and those sent through the mail,” Strickler said. “Historically Internet giving to nonprofits is the largest on the final day of the year. It may seem like an impossible task to raise $2 million in two days, but we will faithfully serve with whatever we are blessed with.”
Money raised in November and December accounts for one-third of The Salvation Army’s annual budget.
“At this time of year, most people are hearing about the Christmas service we provide,” Strickler said. “The 26,000 children who received Christmas presents, the coat give-aways, the holiday dinners, Christmas food baskets and other holiday services – but we are still housing 1,000 people each night and serving more than 2,000 free hot meals each day. And doing that consistently 365 days a year.” . Along with the critical funding needed to support Christmas and year ’round programs, volunteers are still needed to help The Salvation Army serve into 2014.
“We are so grateful for our faithful volunteers – those standing out in the frigid weather to gather coins at the kettles and those helping in our toy shops and meal programs,” Strickler said. “As we head into a new year we welcome people to stand alongside us as volunteers - to reach out to those who have lost hope in the Twin Cities. We need to be there for them. We can’t do it alone.”
Give online or by calling 800-SAL- ARMY or mail a check to The Salvation Army, 2445 Prior Ave, Roseville MN 55113.