Red kettle drive falling far short in donations in Saginaw County

Kim Jones says seeing on Channel 9 that someone stole a Salvation Army kettle from the Harris Teeter supermarket in Matthews last weekend left her full of emotions.

The thief's bad behavior inspired Jones to replace the stolen money with a $200 donation.

The Salvation Army is asking for Horry County residents to show their holiday spirit by sponsoring over 100 Angel Tree program "angels" that were returned unsponsored Thursday.

The Red Kettle campaign is now down 13 percent compared to the income raised last Christmas season, according to the Salvation Army.

"I've been doing this now for roughly 15 years", Higgins said.

The week of December 18 is the last week for the Salvation Army bell ringing collection effort that helps the organization care for people in need.

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Those attempting to ease the pressures of Christmas for people in need this year include the Salvation Army, Anglican Family Care, Presbyterian Support Otago and Catholic Social Services. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs without discrimination.

"While it seems daunting when you look at it as a big number, the public is so generous, people do respond and we certainly appreciate it, and we appreciate it when people do return the gifts", he said. "Often times, people get irritated about all the commercialization of this time of year".

Just over half of the more than 700 hampers this year will go out Monday. While The Salvation Army provides feeding and sheltering to address the foundational need, we provide much more than that.

The shop's Facebook page was littered with hundreds of comments, including many that accused The Salvation Army of discrimination, after it posted about the fundraiser.

Shopping carts - sometimes two carts - loaded with toys and bicycles rolled out the door on distribution day for the Salvation Army's annual Angel Tree program.

"My father started the process years ago in Knoxville he organized the Kiwanis Club to ring the bells and he set an example for me, my brother and my sister", he said. "People have suggested that we "pretend" not to know of The Salvation Army's reputation".

  • Ronnie Bowen