Salvation Army Behind In Annual Red Kettle Campaign

John Healy of Bemus Point rings the bell for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campain. The Salvation Army hopes to raise $112,000 in Jamestown and $57,000 in Dunkirk this season. P-J photo by William Mohan

With a little more than two weeks left in the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign, the clock is ticking to reach the nonprofit’s annual goal.

The annual fundraiser helps support essential services for the local Salvation Army and in New York state. The local branches are trying to raise $112,000 in Jamestown and $57,000 in Dunkirk. For Jamestown, this is especially important as the organization fell short of its goal last year.

The Salvation Army has so far raised about $27,200. To reach this year’s goal, $88,032 needs to be raised in the next couple of weeks.

“To reach our goal we need to raise $29,344 each week until Christmas Eve,” said Maj. John Merchant of the Jamestown Salvation Army.

As of now, the Salvation Army campaign will need to pay bell ringers to fill shifts. This also occurred during the 2017 campaign.

The Red Kettle Campaign has collection points in all Jamestown and Falconer Tops Markets locations as well as Kmart, Walmart and other locations. However, one location in particular is proving hard to find volunteers this year.

“We are having a hard time finding anyone to ring at the Randolph Tops,” Merchant said.

Elsewhere, 500 volunteers are serving in the Salvation Army proper during the holiday season. All of them contribute to the various programs Red Kettle funds.

Funds received in the Red Kettle Campaign help Salvation Army provide numerous services to the community.

The programs that receive funding include the Christmas Assistance program, the Community Cares program and the Bundle Them Up program. The ANEW Center also benefits from the Red Kettle donations.

Christmas Assistance in turn provides the Angel Tree Ministry Christmas gift and Christmas food basket programs. Angel Tree provides presents for needy children and meals to families to last them into the new year.

“This year we have 500 families looking to us for help in the Christmas Assistance Program,” Merchant said.

This year there are 800 children in need of Christmas gifts. Each child ages 12 and under receives three presents each and every family receives three meals.

In addition, Merchant also said that the pantry and domestic violence shelter benefit from Red Kettle donations. The donations in question help their yearlong operation and the need is ever present.

“As the only pantry and shelter in the county we rely on these donations every year,” Merchant said. “We are currently in need of canned foods, vegetables, stuffing, and other nonperishable food items.”

Currently, there are eight locations where donations can be made to the Red Kettle Campaign. Hours for covering each kettle are also available.

The locations are the Tops Markets in the Jamestown area. They include Falconer, Frewsburg, and both Foote Avenue and Washington Street locations in Jamestown. Other locations include Brigotta’s Farmland Produce & Garden Center on Fairmount Avenue and Kmart. Donations can also be made at the Chautauqua Mall.

To learn how to donate, visit empire.salvationarmy.org. For more information, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or call the Jamestown office at 664-4108.

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