Salvation Army's kettle campaign in the red so far
Black Friday didn't do enough to put the Salvation Army on track to meet its Christmas fundraising goals for Western Pennsylvania, officials said Thursday.
The iconic red kettle campaign is more than $91,000 behind last year's total at this time — a decline the divisional commander attributed to everything from tight budgets to nice weather.
“People are not in the spirit yet,” Maj. William H. Bode said.
But he thinks the main factor is likely a sluggish economy.
“People need to stretch their budgets,” Bode said. “Some people may not be able to give. Some who usually give a buck before might only give a quarter this year.”
Chicago-based ShopperTrak, which monitors retail foot traffic, estimates Black Friday retail sales decreased 1.8 percent from last year.
The Salvation Army Western Pennsylvania Division's campaign goal is $2.8 million, and collections continue until Christmas Eve at about 500 locations in the area. The Allegheny County goal is $785,000.
The organization experienced a similar early slump last year, Bode said, but was able to surpass its $2.5 million goal after getting the word out that donations were down.
“We trust the public can step forward and help,” he said.
Proceeds from the red kettle campaign account for about 20 percent of the Salvation Army's annual budget, according to the organization. In Allegheny County, donations are down most in towns and neighborhoods such as Homewood, North Side, Mt. Lebanon and Homestead.
Pamela K. Teeter, 51, of Ross, one of thousands of volunteer bell ringers in Western Pennsylvania, said the generosity she's witnessed at the Giant Eagle off McKnight Road “has actually brought tears to my eyes.”
The first-year volunteer said while many people donate, not everyone can give as much as they'd like to.
“Some say they just have change and they're sorry they can't give more,” she said. “I tell them every little bit helps.”
Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mt. Lebanon High School to sell its planetarium equipment
- Storm could drop 4-6 inches of snow on Pittsburgh area
- Lure of tuition aid, gifts draw college students to ‘sugar daddy’ sites
- Long-term solution for wastewater disposal eludes shale gas industry
- Tribune-Review photojournalist Goldband wins 1st place in national competition
- Homestead struggles to pick up pieces left by devastating fire
- ‘Line is definitely blurry,’ state police say of dating websites and prostitution
- Man arrested in massive Homestead fire
- Commander: City police working to improve accountability
- Flood victims’ family to receive $1.5M in damages
- Missing Shaler man dealt with family losses