YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – We’ve just come off an election where every vote counts. Now, we’re in a season where every donation counts.
And that includes the Salvation Army — although donations are down about $40,000 compared to last year.
“We are behind far more this year than we were in previous years,” Major Elijah Kahn of the Salvation Army said. “So this is a huge amount to make up.”
Still, the goal remains the same — to raise $350,000 locally this year, which would match last year.
As thousands get ready for Christmas, thousands more need assistance for food, clothing and toys.
The Salvation Army says more than 1,800 local children will receive Christmas toys and clothes this year.
“It’s a season that people are volunteering,” said Charley Althof, a bell ringer for the Salvation Army. “They recognize that people are needy and people have been very generous.”
“Each and every person making a donation makes me happy,” said Ted Roberts, another bell ringer. “It makes the Salvation Army have the ability to do for those who need the help.”
Corporate sponsorship is right on par.
The Red Kettle campaign got a big boost around the nation when Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott — a former Ohio State player — jumped into a bucket during the Cowboys game Sunday night.
In the first 12 hours, it led to $182,000 in online donations — a 61 percent increase over the previous week.
“So we are hoping donations for us will pick up here in the Mahoning Valley since Zeke is a Buckeye,” Kahn said.
— NFL (@NFL) December 19, 2016
The Red Kettles will be out through Saturday night. But the Red Kettle campaign continues thru Dec. 31.
Contact the Salvation Army at 330-746-8403 or make a donation online at salvationarmyusa.org.