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Silent Salvation Army Bell Ringers Rely On Charm

6:04 PM, Dec 5, 2012   |    comments
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Greensboro, N.C. -- 'Tis the season for organizations like The Salvation Army to raise money that will support the charity for the upcoming year. 

However, in Greensboro, donations are down $34,000 compared to last year. Some stores asked the group to start collecting money later than in previous years, which the organization says is partially to blame for the dip in donations. 

At one location, managers do not allow volunteers to ring the bells indoors. Instead, those Salvation Army bell ringers rely on their charm and comedy. This is something you have to see...click on the video to watch the story.

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In Winston-Salem, there are twice as many bell ringing locations.  Plus, volunteers started a week earlier than Greensboro. As a result, donations there are up $38,000 compared to last year.

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The Salvation Army sent WFMY News 2 the following information about the national Red Kettle Campaign:

The Red Kettle Campaign is the longest running fundraiser of its kind and was started as a fundraiser by Salvation Army Captain Joseph Mcfee in San Francisco in 1891. Since that time, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable campaigns in the United States.

As part of the campaign, more than 25,000 Salvation Army workers and volunteers spread throughout the country to ring bells daily and solicit spare change donations to the iconic red kettles from holiday shoppers.

In 2011, the campaign collected more than $146.7 million nationwide, a new record supported by the public's nickels, dimes, quarters, dollars, credit cards and helped The Salvation Army serve 30 million people in communities where the money was raised.

Here are the Red Kettle fundraising totals for the past five years:

2011 - $147.6 million
2010 - $142 million
2009 - $139 million
2008 - $130 million
2007 - $118 million

History of the Red Kettle Campaign:



From its origin as a fundraiser started by a Salvation Army captain in San Francisco in 1891, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable campaigns in the United States.

Now in its 122nd year, the Red Kettle Campaign includes more than 25,000 Salvation Army workers and volunteers throughout the country who ring bells daily and solicit spare change donations to the iconic red kettles from holiday shoppers.

Last year, the campaign raised a record $147.6 million in kettles
nationwide - well above the $142 million raised in 2010.
These funds helped The Salvation Army provide food, clothing, toys
and other assistance to nearly 30 million Americans in need.

The Salvation Army relies on money raised in the red kettles -- in coins, dollars and credit card gifts (and the occasional diamond ring or gold tooth) -- to serve in more than 5,000 communities nationwide. Nationwide, The Salvation Army receives generous and unique contributions each year.


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