SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – If you’ve gone to some local stores, you may have heard a familiar jingle outside, but the Salvation Army said they are struggling to meet their donation goal.
Their goal this year is to raise $135,000 through the Red Kettle Campaign, which is their biggest fundraiser of the year, but setting the goal has been a struggle.
“People just having hard times, you know. Everything’s gone sky high. And you know, they’re not, they’re giving, just probably not as much as they’re used to,” said Salvation Army Bell Ringer Stan Sallbaum.
“It’s very very important. I’ve been helped by the Salvation Army, you know, and organizations like that and when I’ve been down and out, and so it’s nice to help people,” said Sioux City resident Nikkele Peterson.
With this year’s Red Kettle campaign underway, the Salvation Army has noticed a decrease in donations.
“We are tracking pretty far behind. So we are sitting at about $52,000 out of a $135,000 goal and that’s with about two, two and a half weeks left till Christmas,” said Salvation Army Captain Karissa Zumwalt.
Zumwalt said last year, the Salvation Army raised about $10,000 more by this point in the holiday season and this year, finding workers has been a challenge.
“Typically we have about 30 sites, but we try to man about 20 of those regularly, but we have only been able to hire about 20 bell ringers overall which is a lot less than normal. We would probably have like 40 or 50 people hired,” said Zumwalt.
However, bell ringers, like Stallbaum, said spreading joy for the holidays is his main motivation.
“Well, you’re going to put a smile on some kids face on Christmas morning, when you donate for this because that’s what a lot of this goes to,” said Stallbaum.
“You know, it makes a big difference in their lives, even just the smallest thing can, you know, change their life,” said Peterson.
Zumwalt told KCAU the trend of not carrying cash also contributes to the declining donation figures.