Salvation Army hopes to raise $325,000 with annual holiday campaign
JANESVILLE The local Salvation Army hopes its holiday red kettle campaign will raise $325,000, matching last year's goal.
Volunteers will start ringing bells at 4 p.m. Thursday at center court of the Janesville Mall, 2500 Milton Ave.
The fund drive will continue through Monday, Dec. 24, at 18 Janesville locations.
The goal is to raise $325,000—the same as 2011, when $326,200 was raised, Maj. Bob Fay said.
"Initially, we budgeted a little bit more because demand for services is up. But just for the sake of being able to do what we do, we've kept it the same, given the economy," he said.
To meet rising demand without raising the fundraising goal, the Salvation Army will network with other nonprofit agencies to serve those in need countywide, he said.
"We'll communicate, collaborate and work closely together with churches and agencies to make sure we eliminate duplication of services so that everybody has an opportunity to receive what's necessary and without one family getting (help) from four or five different groups," Fay said.
Volunteers are needed to fill 2,900 two-hour bell-ringing shifts. So far, 20 percent of the slots are taken, he said.
"We were hoping to have 25 percent of the shifts signed up by Friday, but there will always be more time slots and locations than we have volunteers," Fay said.
Dollars raised during the holiday make up 30 percent of the local Salvation Army's cash budget, which is about $1 million this year, he said.
"We're projecting a 7 percent increase in the number of people who have come and asked for assistance this year," Fay said.
The holiday red kettle campaign includes bell ringers at kettles, direct mailing, unsolicited donations and 40 smaller, countertop kettles placed at Janesville businesses, he said.
In addition to bell ringers, volunteers and donations are needed through Christmas Eve for the Salvation Army's Angel Tree at the Janesville Mall. Paper angels on the tree list specifics about real children whose parents have asked for help.
"We served 1,583 kids last Christmas, including children who received some sort of toy or assistance," Fay said.
In addition, 163 seniors received a food basket, 1,233 residents in nursing homes were visited and given small gifts and 249 people were served during the Thanksgiving meal.
The Salvation Army also offers Adopt-A-Family and Toys for Tots programs to serve clients at Christmas.