Jacksonville Salvation Army Short of Goal With Two Weeks to Go in Fundraising

By Benjamin Cox on January 18, 2024 at 5:49am

The Jacksonville Salvation Army is still well short of its annual Red Kettle Campaign fundraising goal with just two weeks to go.

Major Chris Clarke says the funds raised in the kettles is one of their biggest sources of income towards providing services to the needy in the Jacksonville community: “We are still about $22,000 short. We’ve got until the end of the month, so about two weeks. If people want to give, we’d certainly appreciate it. The easiest ways to give would either be to do it online through the website, or people could mail in or drop off their donation in person at 331 West Douglas Avenue.”

Clarke says that the money will be used for a variety of needs to help people who are struggling to make ends meet: “This money is used for things like food, shelter, financial assistance, keeping people’s utilities on, keeping people in their homes. We see or talk to a couple hundred people a day, whether they are coming through our doors or calling us on the phone. So there are a lot of people in need, especially with the increase in costs. $20,000 goes a long way when you think about it, especially with food. We are able to access food for a fraction of the retail price. The same thing with utilities. We have partnerships where we are able to keep people’s lights and heat on for a fraction of what they would have to pay. It’s been super cold. We are a daytime warming center. Also, it’s costing more for people to heat their homes. We’re seeing more people who are struggling to keep their lights on. Many people are calling or coming in requesting assistance for their utilities. We want to be able to be there and be able to help.”

Clarke says he would hate to have to cut back on services, after serving so many people last year. Besides providing utility assistance and food security, the Salvation Army also provided over 16,000 personal care items; nearly 1,300 nights of shelter to the homeless at local hotels; Christmas gifts to over 400 children, and clothing to over 500 people.

For more information on the Red Kettle Campaign or any other Salvation Army programs, please call (217) 245-7124, or visit the Salvation Army at 331 West Douglas Avenue in Jacksonville.