Salvation Army changes could be coming if kettle campaign falls short

For the second year in a row, The Salvation Army in Central Indiana might come up short in its red kettle campaign. (WISH Photo/Nick Natario)
For the second year in a row, The Salvation Army in Central Indiana might come up short in its red kettle campaign. (WISH Photo/Nick Natario)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — With just days to go before 2017, the Salvation Army is bracing for changes because it’s well short of its goal.

175 Salvation Army kettles were set up across Central Indiana this year. A drive used to fund the group’s programs, including a low-income apartment complex where Debra Day’s mom calls home.

“It has been very beneficial for me,” Day said. “My mother is 80 years old, and they always want to be independent.”

But this year, the Salvation Army might have to examine its programs, and staff, because its kettle drive is more than a million dollars short. “It’s something that’s necessary, and we as citizens, if we can, we should give,” Day said.

With days to go, the Salvation Army is still well short of its red kettle goal. (WISH Photo/Nick Natario)
With only days to go, the Salvation Army sign on Meridian Street in Indianapolis shows how short the group is with its red kettle campaign. (WISH Photo/Nick Natario)

One of the issues is the campaign still relies heavily on change. With fewer people carrying it, the agency is trying to find more ways to get people to swipe cards.

“We all like to swipe,” Salvation Army Major Jolene Hull said. “It’s easy and fast. We are in the middle of making that adjustment.”

The Salvation Army looked to raise $3.5 million across Central Indiana this year. So far, it’s only collected 59 percent of its goal.

“It shifts our focus as to how are we going to make ends meet, instead of being out there and responding to the needs that are so relevant and so day to day,” Hull said.

In 2016, the Salvation Army in Central Indiana assisted 27,000 people, with more than 450,000 meals, and 113,000 nightly stays through its lodging programs.

The kettles are out of stores, but you can still donate through Saturday.

“Drop some coins, you know,” Day said. “Whatever it is that you have that you can spare, please give.”

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