Kittanning Salvation Army raises red-kettle goal by 12%
Despite a shortened season, the Kittanning Salvation Army raised its goal for the annual Red Kettle Campaign by 12 percent.
The Kittanning Salvation Army raised its goal by $3,000 this year, marking the first time in a decade the organization increased its annual $25,000 goal, according to Lt. Amber Imhoff.
“The last couple of years we managed to keep the goal, even though our budget went up,” Imhoff said. “We thought if we can raise $25,000 with the red kettles, we can definitely raise the rest over the course of the year through other means.
“But this year, we're behind last year because, technically, we lost days during the holiday season this year.”
As of last Friday, the Kittanning Salvation Army is approximately $5,000 behind where it was at the same time last year, Imhoff said.
Typically, the Kittanning Salvation Army begins ringing its bells a week before Thanksgiving, when Kittanning Borough kicks off the holiday season with Light Up Night, Imhoff said.
This year, Thanksgiving was six days later than last year and the latest it's been since 2002, and the late start means fewer days to collect money.
Much like the Kittanning Salvation Army, the Salvation Army's Western Pennsylvania Division is behind in its goal due to the shortened holiday season. The division provides $7 million in aid across Western Pennsylvania to people who need food, clothing, shelter and utility assistance.
“We hope people give generously when they see our kettles out in the community, knowing we're going to be out shorter,” said Fran Brace, director of development for The Salvation Army Western Pennsylvania Division.
Brace said the division raised $885,852 at this time last year compared to $577,949 this year. That's a decrease of $307,903 or 35 percent. The target for this year's campaign is about $2.7 million for the 28 counties in Western Pennsylvania.
Division officials are considering having a “Christmas in July” campaign to compensate, but no decision has been made, Brace said.
In addition to the shortened holiday, Imhoff said there aren't many shopping destinations in Armstrong County, which limits the kettles' presence.
“There aren't a lot of stores where we can stand,” Imhoff said.
The Salvation Army posts seven red kettles in Armstrong County from Tuesday through Saturday — at Sprankles Neighborhood Market in Kittanning, at two locations at the West Kittanning Foodland, the Ford City Foodland, Big Lots in East Franklin, and at both doors at the East Franklin Wal-Mart.
If the organization has enough volunteers on Fridays, it posts kettles at Klingensmith's Drug Stores in Kittanning and Ford City, Imhoff added.
If need be, sometimes the organization pays minimum wage to some of its bell ringers, just to make sure kettles are manned, Imhoff said.
“It's next to impossible to find volunteers during the week,” she said. “But we're happy we can pay them minimum wage, because for a lot of our bell ringers, that means they'll be able to make their house payment and have a Christmas.”
It costs approximately $410,000 per year to keep the Kittanning Salvation Army operating and providing service, with the Red Kettle Campaign accounting for 6 percent of its income, Imhoff said.
The budget covers the costs of weekly church services, four days of youth programming per week, the emergency food pantry, community feeding programs, heating assistance and other needs that may pop up throughout the year, she said.
“Our bells ring around Christmas time because that's when most people think about giving back,” Imhoff said. “But our needs are ongoing throughout the year.”
Imhoff said she is confident the Kittanning Salvation Army will meet its goal this year, since last year, it exceeded its goal by about $7,000.
“We had a wonderful Christmas season last year, because our community really came out and blessed us,” Imhoff said, smiling. “God really moved in our community, because last year, there were a lot of Salvation Army locations struggling to make their goals, or that didn't make their goal.
“This community is like no other — people in Armstrong County care about each other, and you don't find too many communities where people genuinely care about one another.”
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or email@example.com.
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.
- Ford City man charged with molesting teen
- State agency honors Manorville man for hooking up kids with fishing gear
- Schools converge for Armstrong County Marching Band Festival
- Rayburn offices moving to regular business hours
- Program helping Armstrong jail inmates earn GED diplomas
- Conflicting stories leave police seeking answers in Ford City shooting
- East Franklin artist featured at Crooked Creek’s monthly speaker program
- Fall colors, Allegheny River the stars of Armstrong Tourist Bureau cruise
- Proposals submitted for use of Armstrong’s federal grant money
- 6 high school bands marching in West Shamokin at annual show
- Tractor show a hit in Dayton