Salvation Army Might Not Hit Red Kettle Goal in Dover - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Salvation Army Might Not Hit Red Kettle Goal in Dover

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - The Christmas season is full of bells - sleigh bells, jingle bells and Salvation Army bells.

The ultra-recognizable red kettles are all over the place this time of year. But this year the Salvation Army in Dover says the kettles just aren't ringing up the money they usually do.

The Salvation Army relies on the money it gets from the bell ringers and kettles. Red kettles are the organization's biggest annual fundraiser, and there's concern in Dover the collection won't reach this year's goal.

If you want to see and hear the holiday spirit clear as a bell, just watch Allen Drummond ring his bell for the Salvation Army.

"I'm a blessed man. So, if I can help out a little here or there, I think that's a good thing," said Drummond.

He greets everyone who passes by with a smile and a kind word. And from time to time, they return his kindness with some kindness of their own - a little money in his kettle.

"A lot of people do, because they like to share with their community - probably two out of every five folks."

But this year the money just isn't dropping in like the Salvation Army would like.

"This year our goal was $97,000," said Dana Smith, business manager at the Salvation Army in Dover. "So far we've raised about $25,000. We only have two weeks left to come up with the remaining $72,000."

Smith says this campaign has actually seen growing totals since the economic downturn started, so this year is surprising. She thinks a number of factors could be contributing.

"Not enough people to volunteer, not enough donations, the weather. It rained all day Saturday, which made it hard," Smith said. "The fallout is always the same. The less money we make the less people we can help."

"It concerns me," said Drummond. "I'd love to see them do more. The more they have, the more they help."

Drummond hopes his bell ringing rings a bell in people's minds and reminds them to give. The Salvation Army's goal is still a long way away. But then again, Smith points out this is a time of year for miracles.

"We are believers in miracles here at the Salvation Army... If we get enough people, enough people who are interested in helping, you never know."

Smith says the two weeks before Christmas are the best time for donations. This campaign was at just $31,000 at the same time last year. But this time around the Salvation Army may just not have enough volunteers to have enough kettles out to raise all that money.

Dover Air Force Base has a bunch of people helping the next two Saturdays. But things are sparse during the week. Smith is asking people to call in and volunteer.

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