Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign Struggles To Reach Goal

Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign Struggles To Reach Goal

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The bell-ringing sound is familiar for shoppers every holiday season. It's the Salvation Army asking for help with its Red Kettle Campaign. Major Karen Smullen says the Watertown Salvation Army already reduced $80,000 goal to $60,000. They're still 20 percent short of that.

"We don't want to give up. We just keep working at it," said Smullen. 

Smullen says some red kettle locations don't have many shoppers. One possible reason is more people shopping online and less traffic in places like the mall where kettles often are.

"The foot traffic is not what it was last year; after a certain time at night during the week it's basically very quiet there,"  she said.

Erika Bridgette who has been volunteering on and off since 2010 says fewer people are carrying change.

"It's been a little slower compared to other years. Some of them say they just have cards on them now a days," she said. 

Smullen also tells 7 News there aren't enough volunteers to man the 11 red kettle locations every day. And if there's no volunteer, there's no kettle.

"Every year it gets harder and harder to find people to ring though the cold weather," she said.

The money from the red kettle campaign goes to the hot lunch program and the food pantry at the Watertown Salvation Army. 

For some that makes volunteering in the cold worth it.

"I don't mind it. It's helping out the community," said Bridgette.

The Salvation Army needing help and trying to make a difference one kettle and bell at a time.

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