Weather taking toll on Salvation Army collection

Posted By: Kelsey Murphy

Little bells and hanging red kettles.

Every year the Salvation Army recruits an army of their own to ring bells and collect holiday donations.

The weekend before Christmas is traditionally the busiest collection time of the season. This year, the bell sounds weren’t as strong and the donations have been far less than they’ve seen in years past.

"Those kettles that we did have out weren’t doing very well, because people weren’t out or they just wanted to go from their car back and fourth to the store and they didn’t want to take the time to donate," Major Jamie Pennington, Salvation Army Corp Officer, said.

The below freezing temperatures dropped the number of volunteers from 32 to 10 and cut donations by nearly $35,000 in just two days.

The Salvation Army aims to raise about $600,000 in just the Lincoln area.

With only six days left to collect, they are short about $200,000.

"Trying to explain to a kid why Santa Clause forgot them this year is really a difficult process to do so toys and food for Christmas day is really where it goes," Pennington, said.

In addition to holiday gifts the money raised stays local; it’s 40% of the Salvation Army’s annual budget. They use it to feed people, for after school programs, and heating different facilities.

Donations don’t have to put a whole in your holiday budget. Anything helps.

"Change goes a long way we always say change goes into the kettle and change comes out the other way because we are changing people lives with the change," Pennington, said.

The red kettle collection will officially end at 4 o’clock on Christmas Eve.