The Salvation Army of Jacksonville announced on Tuesday the successful completion of the 2023 Christmas Campaign.
Major Chris Clarke says that they were able to get over the hump with help again from a generous anonymous donor right before the close of the campaign: “At the end of January, we were able to meet our goal of $185,000 for the Red Kettle Campaign. Again, similar to last year, a kind donor reached out and helped us make our goal. We were about $4,000 short, and they helped us meet that. With everything tallied up, we actually went over our goal by a little less than $500.”
Clarke says that this year’s goal was lofty because the need for their programs has gone up exponentially in the last year: “Our requests for help and the number of people we saw last year increased dramatically are the reasons why we upped our goal this year. We raised our goal by a small percentage, but we’ve seen increases as much as 5-6-700% in areas like our food service programs.”
Clarke says that right now the Salvation Army is in the midst of utility bill assistance season. He says both programs they help administer are getting multiple calls a day: “We’re helping a lot of people with utilities by working in conjunction with the LIHEAP program. There’s also another program out there right now called Warm Neighbors that we are able to utilize. If people make just a little bit too much money and don’t qualify for LIHEAP, they may qualify for the Warm Neighbors program to get assistance.”
Clarke says that Red Kettle donations were up this year while mail-in and online donations dipped during the campaign.
He says more major announcements will be made in the coming weeks about the Salvation Army’s attempt to move into a new space.
Clarke wished to thank the many individuals, groups, organizations, and businesses that supported the 2023 Christmas campaign through donations and volunteer efforts to help them continue offering services to the Jacksonville area this year.