Red Kettle donations fall far short of goal

red kettle image from salvation army

The Salvation Army of the Quad Cities is pleading for the community’s help after this year’s Red Kettle Campaign brought in donations far short of the organization’s goal.

Tuesday, development director Holly Nomura said the 2013 campaign was still roughly $80,000 short of its $750,000 goal. At this time in 2012, the campaign was only $20,000 short of the same goal.

For that reason, The Salvation Army has extended its 2013 Red Kettle Campaign an additional two weeks.

“We still have a lot of faith that everything’s going to be fine. We actually know that it has to be fine, because people depend on us,” said Nomura.

Bitter cold temperatures have emphasized the need for Salvation Army services. The organization runs both a shelter for homeless families and a meal site in downtown Davenport.

“They come in here with nothing. Half of the time, they don’t even think they have any dignity,” said cook Steve Baker. “So, if I can restore some of that to them, even if it’s just by giving them a variety of food to choose from… they’re making choices.”

The Salvation Army has also opened a warming center at the downtown building, where those without a home can trade the cold for some cards or crossword puzzles.

“They can’t go walking the streets looking for cans to cash in. They can’t go walking the streets to even look for jobs. It’s just too cold,” said Baker.

The shelter’s warmth, though, comes at a price.

“In the last two days, I bet that must have been about a $2,000 heating bill. I imagine that’s heating the shelter for a year, that $80,000,” said Nomura.

The shortage of donations could be due to the six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this holiday season. Bell ringers had fewer days to be outside, and Nomura estimates that $50,000 was lost in the kettles. Organizers say even the smallest donations, though, can make a difference.

“If we can even warm up one person, it’s well worth it,” said Nomura.

To donate to the Salvation Army, you can send checks to the Family Service Center at 301 W. 6th Street in Davenport, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY to donate by credit card, or visit http://www.salvationarmyqc.org. All donations help families in the Quad Cities.

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