Salvation Army kettles slow to fill in central Indiana

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Salvation Army officials are blaming a lackluster response to this year's red kettle campaign on fewer people carrying cash they can drop into the buckets manned by the charity's bell ringers.

Officials with Salvation Army Muncie said they've raised more than $80,000, but that's less than half of their $165,000 goal heading into the holiday fundraiser's final week.

Lt. Mary Robbins with the Muncie chapter said this year's shorter holiday period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is partly to blame. But she said the bigger issue is that fewer people have cash on hand these days because consumers are increasingly making purchases with debit or credit cards.

"We know people are communicating differently than they used to, so how they donate and spend money changes, too," she told The Star Press.

"I really don't believe we have a drop in supporters. We have to find ways to get them online and thinking of us when they give," she said.

The Muncie chapter isn't the only Salvation Army chapter in Indiana that's falling short of its fundraising goal. The Indianapolis-based Central Indiana Salvation Army office has to date raised only $1.9 million toward its $3.2 million goal to help aid low-income families.

Some Salvation Army chapters have found success with their kettle campaigns by providing credit card donations at the site and by using social media to promote their online kettle campaigns.

Others have used texting campaigns where "KETTLE" is sent to a particular number for an automatic $10 contribution to the campaign.

Lt. Kevin Robbins, also with Salvation Army Muncie, said kettles and bell ringers will always be part of the holiday campaign, but the chapter needs to explore ways to reach people online for donations.

"We've started making changes ... but we're still learning how the social media and online things work," he told the newspaper.


  • And, to Dan
    It would behoove you to do research beyond the company web site. The Salvation Army's history of discrimination and active lobbying (yes, your contributions pay lobbyists) against homosexuals is easy to find.
  • Sorry, Rick
    The days of hating someone because of their sexual orientation are going the way of hating someone because of their skin color. I'm sorry you find that so upsetting.
  • Duck Commander
    As usual the homosexuals come out swinging at anyone and everyone with differing beliefs and behaviors than their own. The bigots and intolerant are themselves. They could do worse than having the spiirit of caring consistently demonstrated over scores of years by The Salvation Army.
  • Non-discrimination views
    Based on the below comments and some of the 'controversy' statements on Wikipedia, it sounds like there's either some misunderstanding on Salvation Army's policies, or they have changed their stance over the years. Their official stance on their site is non-discrimination towards the LGBT community: http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/nodiscrimination
  • social awarentss
    I think more and more people are less likely to spend their dollars on organizations who promote bigotry and discrimination. I don't think you can be too involved in politics and I don't believe that you can know too much about where your money is being spent
    • Discrimination-based company
      I won't donate to them because they discriminate against gay people. Just like the red cross won't take my blood because I'm a gay male. There are better charities to donate to
    • Actually
      If more people were aware of who's providing the money behind candidates for office, of both parties, we would all be a lot better off. And, yes, Salvation Army needs to get real with themselves about the real reason their collections are half of what they expected. The phenomenon of people not carrying much cash isn't something that just happened in 2013.
    • Re: Fletchmom
      Sounds like maybe you're the one too involved in politics if you're refusing to give money to needy families based on an organization's endorsement of a particular political candidate. Just a thought.
    • Equality
      My money goes elsewhere because of their open policy of excluding gay families from receiving donations. They just don't align with my values.
    • Another Reason
      My donations go elsewhere since Salvation Army officially came out in support of and endorsed Bush's second election campaign. They have no business being involved in politics. There are many other food pantries etc where 100% of the $$ goes to the less fortunate.

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