Watertown’s Salvation Army seeks help with Red Kettle Campaign

Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 5:57 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - As inflation makes it so many don’t have spare change, will it be tougher to get spare change thrown into the Salvation Army’s red kettles?

The Watertown Salvation Army says the campaign is off to a slow start, but officials hope with the community’s help it can be a successful season.

“We’re facing some challenges this year that are making it harder for us to find people to get out there,” said Captain Elizabeth Nicoll.

“Our Red Kettle Campaign is our main fundraiser for the year. We raise about 40 to 50 percent of the funds we need for the year in this two-month span.”

The iconic red kettles have been a staple of the holiday season since 1891. The group is looking to raise $70,000 this year to help with the cost of operating the programs it offers.

“Our Red Kettle Campaign really does support the programs and services. So if we don’t meet that goal, we really have to look at our budget and see what we have to stop doing or what we need to pull back on,” said Nicoll.

The bells can already be heard ringing at stores, with more locations to follow as the holiday season continues.

“I think this is really important to support our community. There are many people here that are not able to do a lot of things and the Salvation Army supports them during this holiday season and all year round,” said Linda Lepper, member of Watertown Elks Club #496.

Lepper and the Watertown Elks Club are one of the few groups that have partnered together to man the bells, but Nicoll knows to meet their goals, her army’s ranks need to be filled from the community.

“There’s no way that we could meet our goal without the community. Seeing the community come together and everyone pitching in and helping out to make this happen, it really is very meaningful for us,” she said.

The Red Kettle Campaign runs through December 24. The Salvation Army is still looking for more volunteers to help at the kettle stations. You can head to our website for more details.

Volunteer with the Salvation Army at savolunteer.org

Donate to the campaign at www.salvationarmyusa.org