Kettle campaign falls short

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Some went unattended, diminishing collections

By Kelly Cantrall

Donation tallies are expected to be down this year for the local Salvation Army, as the organization struggled to post a bell-ringer with each red kettle it stationed around Hardin County.

A total for this year’s Red Kettle campaign has yet to be determined, but early tallies showed the organization raising slightly more than $51,000, down from nearly $78,000 last year, Salvation Army Director Faith Miller said.

Miller attributed the decline to a lack of volunteers serving as bell-ringers to stand alongside the kettles.

“A lot of the places would go all day without a ringer,” Miller said.

Miller said “just that presence there” positively affects the amount of money received at a station.

“It does make a difference if you have a ringer,” she said.

Last year when there were holes in the bell-ringer schedule, the organization hired  ringers. But Miller joined the Salvation Army in the middle of December and the transition didn’t allow her time to hire bell-ringers this year. She estimated the organization had between 50 to 100 volunteers to serve at 11 locations.

She expects the organization will return next year to supplementing volunteers by hiring because she will have more time to prepare for the campaign.

“Next year, I am very optimistic,” she said.

The Red Kettle campaign is one of the organization’s largest fundraisers. Donations are used to assist people with rent, utilities and food.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at 270-505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.