Donations to the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle fundraiser are down this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the charity said.
With a $1.1 million goal, there’s a 30% gap in donations as the Salvation Army National Capital Area Command tries to meet an increased demand by people, including area families and veterans, who are financially struggling.
“There are a few reasons for the dip in kettle donations,” said Mark Woodcock, an area commander major with the nonprofit.
Woodcock said it has been a shorter-than-usual bell-ringing season and there’s been lighter-than-normal foot traffic at area retailers.
“This has been a rough period, financially, for many families — some of whom reached out for the very first time to receive help from The Salvation Army,” Woodcock said.
The Salvation Army typically has 200 red kettles across the D.C. area during the holiday season, but this year there have been “a few fewer” this year, said Ken Forsythe, communications manager for the Salvation Army National Capital Area Command.
Forsythe said red kettles can be found in front of many Giant Food, Safeway and Walmart stores throughout D.C., Maryland and Virginia through Thursday.
The red kettle campaign began last month with new safety measures amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Donations can be made online or by phone at 1-800-725-2769.
Forsythe said all of the money collected across the D.C. area stays in the area.