The Jacksonville Salvation Army saw a good response from the Red Kettle Campaign in 2019, but the total Christmas Campaign still has a way to go, both in time, and donations.
Salvation Army Major Charles Pinkston says he was pleasantly surprised by the turnout for the Red Kettle Campaign.
“Our goal was $80,000.00 and we actually brought in $74,537.27 so we are only about $5,500.00 short of our goal for the Red Kettle Campaign which, I think was amazing considering we were only at 50% the week prior.”
Pinkston said the Red Kettle Campaign nearly reaching it’s goal was also a good surprise considering the closing of ShopKo earlier in the year that left the local Salvation Army with the loss of a major kettle stop that contributed heavily in years past.
Pinkston says that the overall Christmas Campaign goal still has a month of giving left and he hopes that the community will continue to support them during the White Letter Campaign.
“Our White Mail Campaign will still be coming in through January 31st. Anyone who wants to mail or bring in a donation here to the building, or if they get one of the envelopes in the mail asking for a donation, they can send that in as well and it all counts toward our overall Christmas Goal.
As far as our white mail and our mail appeal, we have be averaging about $20,000.00 in white mail and currently we are at just under $13,000.00. On the mail appeal we normally receive about $20,000.00 and we are right now only at $14,000.00, so we are about $30,000.00 away from that total goal, but we thankfully still have the whole month of January to hopefully raise that.”
Major Pinkston says that the success of the Christmas Campaign could not have reached this point without the help of the volunteer bell ringers as well.
“Just the fact that we have so many wonderful volunteers in the community, and they are all greatly appreciated. They all step up and get out there and ring the bells, and I think for the most part a lot of them have fun doing it and it is fun to drive by and go in and speak to them and to see the excitement and the Christmas cheer on their face, it’s really rewarding. We definitely want to thank the volunteers, individuals, groups businesses, everyone that participated this season.”
Pinkston also wants to make sure the public is aware of a large food distribution that will take place this upcoming Wednesday at the Salvation Army Citadel on Douglas Avenue.
“This next Wednesday we are back on a regular commodity distribution schedule, and this next Wednesday in particular we have a lot of food to get out the door. So for those who qualify for the community food program, if they are able to, bring a box, a wagon, a stroller, anything to load up and take home.”
Pinkston says that to qualify for the Commodity Distribution, simply go to the Salvation Army Citadel at 331 West Douglas Avenue and show proof of being a Morgan County resident.
He said that the line up for the event will start at 12:30 pm next Wednesday the 8th, and at 1:00 pm they will start to draw numbers to determine how everyone will line up.
Pinkston says there is a lot of food for distribution including meats, canned goods, breads and even some sweet options as well.