Salvation Army red kettle donations decline - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Salvation Army red kettle donations decline

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The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Salvation Army is struggling to meet their Red Kettle donation with one week left in their campaign.

Currently, the Salvation Army has twenty different Red Kettle sites outside of HyVee, Walmart, Hobby Lobby and Scheel's across the Cedar Valley. However, Resources Coordinator Niki Litzel says those kettles are sitting rather empty. 

"We are behind by $60,650, only 52% to goal, with a week left to go."

82 cents of every dollar donated goes right back into the Cedar Valley, and the rest is used for operational funds. Litzel says six programs in the community are supported by the kettle donations. 

"We're hearing a lot of people say, oh I don't have change on me," said Litzel. "I don't have change on me."

Another contributing factor, is the number of donations made to help relief efforts with natural disasters earlier in the year. 

"And so a lot of people gave earlier in the year in September and October for our hurricanes," said Salvation Army Associate Officer Natalie Austin. 

The Salvation Army has turned to other way to raise money. One new addition is the option of purchasing a season pass pin-at $20 or $50.

"You can come into our office and purchase that pin and wear it on your coat," said Litzel. "And then as you walk by that kettle-the bell ringers will know that you've already made a donation."

In other markets, Salvation Army locations have started experimenting with technology giving donations electronically. 

"Some Salvation Army locations even have a QR code that you can scan with your smart phone and give a donation through a QR code," said Litzel. "The dip jars are also available. In most cases all of those things have fees involved-so that's the challenge in making that work with the fees involved."

Despite efforts to find other avenues to raise money, they're still struggling. 

"We have about 60,650 left to raise for the season-in less than ten days," said Austin. 

The women's shelter in Waterloo is funded by the kettle campaign. The shelter provides a place to eat and sleep for women and single mothers. However, if the organization doesn't meet their goal-the shelter will be affected. 

Another program on the chopping block is their emergency services program. 

"Sometimes it's utilities, sometimes its prescription medications,' said Litzel. "Whatever their needs are. We have those emergency funds available. But we have so much need and so many people that come to use that those funds run out right at the beginning of the month."

The Salvation Army is still looking for volunteers to help fill shifts for their Red Kettle campaign. Visit their website for more information on how to volunteer. 

Aside from the Red Kettle campaign, and purchasing a season pin, you can also donate online

KWWL has teamed up with the Salvation Army for their Metal in the Kettle campaign. Anchors Abby Turpin and Ally Crutcher will be at the Cedar Falls WalMart this Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 

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