By Tony Wittkowski | City Reporter | The Times Herald
Dollars are still being counted, but the Salvation Army of St. Clair County expects to meet its holiday campaign goal.
Major Mark Turner said the tally is up to about $385,000, but once all online, mail and business counter kettle donations are added up, the $400,000 goal should be met.
“We should be able to serve the community according to what has been budgeted,” Turner said. “We should be bale to meet all our needs to help the poor.”
Matt Pickett, youth and young adult ministry coordinator, said bell ringers raised more than a third – or nearly $144,000 – of the total earnings.
There were 17 locations, and Pickett said bell ringers at Neiman’s Family Market in St. Clair raised the most. Bell ringers at Walmart in Fort Gratiot were second, followed by bellringers at the Sam’s Club and Kroger in Port Huron Township.
Laura Smith, coordinator of the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign, said officials felt they were within reach of their goal, having lowered it from the year before.
“Last year the goal was $430,000, but we did not make our goal, so we tried to budget what we thought we could raise,” Smith said.
Pickett said the Salvation Army raised $366,980.18 in 2013, with $119,969.97 coming from the Red Kettle campaign.
The money raised is used to support local families that come to the Salvation Army for assistance.
Support includes money for monthly utilities, rent and food. The food is walk-in only, but the others are by appointment, Smith said.
The goal the Salvation Army sets changes each year based on what the organizers believe can be raised, Smith said.
In 2012, Smith said the Salvation Army surpassed its goal and decided to increase it in 2013.
Smith said Salvation Army organizers set the goal after running through the numbers from the previous year’s campaign. The Red Kettle campaign for 2015 will begin in early November.
This year’s Red Kettle campaign ended Dec. 25, which completed a two-month effort that began Nov. 7. Smith said some countertop kettles at local restaurants have yet to be counted.
People who want to donate can stop by the Salvation Army Citadel, 2000 Court St., Port Huron, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday year-round. Donations range from money to clothing and food.
“We would really like to thank those who stepped up to give time and ring for us and also anybody who stopped by and donated any amount they could,” Smith said. “Every donation helps.”
(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Jan. 4, 2015)