File photo. Courtesy Getty Images.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The Salvation Army of Winston-Salem said it is hopeful Tuesday, Christmas Eve, will uphold last year's trend as one of the most profitable days for the "Red Kettle" campaign. It also marks the last day of this year's campaign.
Major James Allison with the Salvation Army of Winston-Salem said on Christmas Eve 2012, in W-S alone, the red kettles generated approximately $15,000. He said he hopes to match, if not exceed, that goal this year--a time in which donations were down $58,000 in W-S as of Thanksgiving. Allison said as of this past Saturday, the shortfall was $56,000, but thanks to the $6,000 donation of a donor, it now is $50,000. Allison said he is hopeful the generosity of people in Winston-Salem can help make up for that $50,000.
Update: The Salvation Army red kettles for 2013 in Winston- Salem was: $312,640.20, a shortfall more than $33,000. The agency raised $345,945.55 in 2012.
Several stores across the Triad--including most Lowes Foods, Wal-Mart, Harris Teeter, and Macy's stores--will have active red kettles Tuesday during store hours (most close at 5 or 6 p.m.).
Recently, a few Triad kettles have struck gold. On multiple occasions, an anonymous donor or donors contributed gold coins to select kettles in Alamance County. In Winston-Salem, an anonymous donor contributed a diamond ring, accompanied by a note that read, "It's real! In loving memory of Benny & Phyllis." In 2012, a note with the same message accompanied a diamond necklace that the Salvation Army discovered in a Winston-Salem kettle.
Allison affirmed the Salvation Army agencies in the Triad operate as separate entities, in that they cannot share funds. Donations that will count toward the Salvation Army of Winston-Salem's funding must be made in Winston-Salem kettles.
Allison said the organization largely depends on the funding from red kettles in order to operate the Salvation Army's many services--including the Boys & Girls Clubs. But, according to the U.S. Salvation Army, the late Thanksgiving holiday and winter storms could cause a nationwide shortfall of $20 million in total red kettle donations.
The Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign began in 1891 in San Francisco, after Salvation Army captain Joseph McFee vowed to provide free Christmas dinners for all poverty-stricken people. While brainstorming how to fund the project, he remembered something he saw near a sailboat landing in Liverpool, England--a large iron kettle into which passers-by tossed coins to help the poor. McFee adopted the idea, which spread across the world.
Since then, the U.S. Salvation Army has assisted more than four-and-a-half million people during the Thanksgiving and Christmas time periods. Red kettles also are used in Korea, Japan, Chile and many European countries.
For list of several Triad Red Kettle locations, click here. [Note: WrestleCade at 100 S Main Street in Christmastown no longer is an active red kettle site.] The campaign ends upon the closing of participating host stores on Tuesday.
In addition to visiting an on-site kettle location, wishful donors can text the word "KETTLE" to 80888 to donate $10.
Tune into WFMY News 2's the Good Morning Show Tuesday, as WFMY News 2's Meghann Mollerus is live from a red kettle location to further explain both the need and how viewers can help the cause this Christmas.
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WFMY News 2