Online giving could close a gap in the Red Kettle campaign that is jeopardizing social service programs

CANANDAIGUA — It could be the warm fall making Christmas sneak up even faster than usual, or people feeling donation-weary in the aftermath of last month’s election. Then, there’s online shopping keeping people from the brick-and-mortar businesses where bell-ringers congregate.

Regardless of the reason, as of Tuesday Salvation Army social service programs were in jeopardy in Ontario County due to a drastic dip in Red Kettle donations compared to last year at this time. Canandaigua Salvation Army Envoy Jim Brennan said the campaign is down $11,300 from what it was last year at this stage.

It’s a worry.

The funds are necessary to continue programs such as the Phoenix after-school and summer day camp programs; crisis intervention programs; The Golden Spot Senior Center; The Youth and Family Center; and holiday assistance that provides food, gifts and other items to those in need.

In addition to donations, volunteers are also needed to keep the Red Kettle stations going around the Canandaigua area. Brennan said the Geneva Salvation Army is experiencing a similar crisis. The lag in Red Kettle donations is widespread, with the Rochester-area Salvation Army also reporting contributions down compared to last year, which includes donations to kettles in Victor and Eastview Mall. 

The Red Kettle campaign wraps up Dec. 24. The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign in Canandaigua raised $113,196 in 2015, with a goal of reaching as much this year. As of Tuesday, donations were at $57,844, down from $69,144 in 2015.

To urge giving, Brennan reminded people about the option to donate online at RedKettleReason.org. It is an easy option created especially for people who like shopping and donating online, he said. People can also create their own #RedKettleReason fundraiser. When you put in your zip code it ensures your donations go directly to help people in your community, Brennan said.

The Canandaigua Salvation Army will host its annual holiday distribution event on Dec. 22, when the organization’s holiday donations and gift baskets go to families in need. On Christmas day, Dec. 25, a free-of-charge community Christmas dinner will take place at the Salvation Army hosted by Rotary Club of Canandaigua. Deliveries will also be available for the dinner served at 1 p.m. at the Salvation Army at 110 Saltonstall St.

For more information about upcoming programs, donating or volunteering, call call 585-394-6968 or visit The Salvation Army Canandaigua on Facebook.

 

At RedKettleReason.org:

— Log on, donate from your device to your local Salvation Army

— Create your own #RedKettleReason fundraiser

— Ensure Salvation Army social service programs continue