Salvation Army campaign is behind schedule

Salvation Army campaign is behind schedule

Image Credit: Teri Stein

The annual Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign has fallen behind on donations this year, but Lt. Andrew Allen isn’t worried yet. The goal for this year’s campaign is $140,000, and it’s important to note all the donations stay in Tuscarawas County to help local families.

“Currently, we’re down about $10,000-$12,000 from where we were at last year on this date,” Allen said over the Thanksgiving weekend. “There’s so many different factors that go into that, but we are just so thankful for the community and the support that we receive. I’ve been here for about six years, and each year I really believe that the Red Kettle Campaign for this time of year brings out the best in people and the generosity of those in the community, whether it’s businesses that sponsor a red kettle or our $20 challenge matching donors, those who stop by the kettle and make a donation, and all our volunteers.”

All the income the Salvation Army receives through the Red Kettle Campaign goes to fund the programs and services they provide throughout the year.

The soup kitchen operates five days a week, and other services include an emergency food pantry. Their after-school program serves children grades k-5, and the same ages are served in the summer day camp program.

“Both of those programs serve children who are vulnerable and children whose families really are in need of these services,” Allen said.

They also provide free hot showers for people who are homeless and anyone whose water is not working, and they can provide towels and toiletries if needed. Other services include assistance with diapers, feminine hygiene products, personal-care items and weekly youth programs. They also provide an archery program.

“That program is completely free to the public because of funding that we receive through our Red Kettle Campaign, and all donations that we receive stay here to help our neighbors in Tuscarawas County who are most in need,” Allen said.

This year look for red kettles located at Walmart, Buehler’s in New Philadelphia and Dover, Rural King, Big Lots, Giant Eagle, and Mako’s Market in Uhrichsville. Kettles also will be added at Drug Mart in the Dover and New Philadelphia locations later in December.

Donations also can be made at the Salvation Army website or on your mobile phone. The virtual kettle can be found both on their Facebook page, The Dover/New Philadelphia Salvation Army, or on their website at easternusa.salvationarmy.org/northeast-ohio/dover-new-philadelphia/. In addition to the traditional red kettles at area stores, there are counter kettle locations throughout Dover and New Philadelphia.

Saturday, Dec. 18 will offer an opportunity to double your donations. As of press time, those donating $20 or more will have their donation matched up to $5,000.

Discussions are ongoing with the matching donors to increase that amount. Last year donations were matched up to $11,000.

“We are hoping for a similar amount this year. It’s our single largest initiative during our Red Kettle Campaign, and that’s really what puts us over the top,” Allen said. “It’s definitely a big day.”

Hope and assistance for a better life is one of the most important things provided by the Salvation Army. The organization saw the highest needs this year were for the emergency food bank and rental and utility assistance.

“The pandemic has really affected the lives of many people in our community,” Allen said, adding people from all walks of life have been affected and the organization has seen an increase in many of their programs.

Allen recently covered an unfilled volunteer position by playing the cornet at Walmart in New Philadelphia. “It’s such a big need, and we’re here to meet the need of those in our community. That’s why I’m out here,” he said.

More volunteers and seasonal workers are needed to man the kettles.

“Our numbers are down this year in terms of available bell ringers and volunteers, so we can use all the help that we can get,” Allen said.

To become a volunteer, sign up online at SAVolunteer.org or call the Dover/New Philadelphia Salvation Army office.

The Dover-Phila Federal Credit Union is the 2021 campaign sponsor this year. Local red kettle sponsors are Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital, Commercial and Savings Bank, Dover-Phila Kiwanis Club, Dover Exchange Club, ProVia, Allied Machine and Engineering, Dover Chemical, Park National Bank, and Shane and Kelsie Gunnoe.

For more information or to help with the Red Kettle Campaign, call the Dover/New Philadelphia Salvation Army at 330-364-3811.

“We’re just so thankful for the generosity of our community members and the support they’ve shown to the Salvation Army,” Allen said.