The Salvation Army of Massachusetts is asking the public to help close a $800,000 gap in its fundraising needs for 2017.
Saturday is the final day of the Red Kettle Campaign for 2017 and the organization says that communities served by The Salvation Army in Massachusetts are now at risk of losing assistance because of the shortfall.
“We are just hours away from the end of this campaign, and we desperately need help to reach our goal and to meet all of the need we anticipate in 2018,” said Major David B. Davis, Massachusetts Divisional Commander. “Time and again we’ve seen the miracle of human kindness and generosity take over when the people we serve most need it. This is one of those times, and The Salvation Army will be staffing every Red Kettle in Massachusetts to the very last moment possible.”
The organization set a $3.5 million fundraising goal for 2017, however, many communities are seeing reduced fundraising.
In comparison to last year around this time, Athol is down 30 percent, Lawrence is down 40 percent, Malden is down 50 percent, Milford is down 22 percent and Plymouth is down 23 percent.
In order to reach that goal, close to $800,000 in new Red Kettle donations must be received by the end of the day on Saturday.
Davis believes that the changing consumer habits may be the main reason for the shortfall.
“People don’t necessarily carry and use cash in the same ways they have in the past, and every year more and more Christmas shopping transitions online,” he said. “This is something we are experiencing in 2017 perhaps more than ever before – and the impact on our fundraising has been severe.”
Programs that the Salvation Army supports include feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, supplying meals at Thanksgiving and toys for children at Christmas, helping natural disaster victims, and much more.
Those who are not nearby to donate, can still make a donation by texting KETTLE17 to 4144 to give securely from a smartphone.