BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) – The Salvation Army of Beckley is reporting a drastic drop in holiday donations this year.
According to Major Ronald Mott, donations from the Red Kettle drive, the Salvation Army’s biggest fundraiser of the year, are down approximately 70% from this time last year. And that’s after last year saw a $50,000 decrease from the year before.
Still, they’re hoping to provide gifts for nearly 400 children in Southern West Virginia this year.
But what’s the reason for the massive decline in donations?
Major Mott says fewer stores are welcoming the Salvation Army bell ringers outside their doors this year, and a few other reasons are contributing to the lack of donations too.
“Well, the economy for one. People are just walking by the kettle,” Mott told 59News. “And the other thing, I believe, is people don’t carry cash anymore.”
Mott said they have the technology to accept credit card donations at some locations, but it doesn’t work outside with no wi-fi.
He also says nearly 100 more kids are signed up for the salvation army’s giving tree this year than there were last year. So they’re trying to figure out how to help more people, with significantly less money.
“We are desperately hurting right now,” said Major Mott.
Mott added the Salvation Army is nowhere near its $50,000 goal, and that’s even $30,000 less than its goal of $80,000 last year.
If you want to donate, you can do so by dropping off or mailing a check to the Salvation Army building at 324 Fayette Street in Beckley. Or of course, by dropping cash into any of the red kettles beside the bell ringers.