Last month’s winter weather was a real Grinch to the annual Red Kettle Campaign, says Patty Mixdorf, Development and Volunteer Coordinator with the Salvation Army of the Quad Cities.
“When we got to those last three days, those are our biggest days for kettle fundraising, (but) the weather was so horrible. We couldn’t put out bell ringers because it was dangerous to put them out in the weather. People weren’t going out, they weren’t shopping, they weren’t even going to the stores and so forth. It was just impossible to have those last three days that we usually get, so that has really affected our bottom line.” Even though they didn’t hit the goal with the kettles, that doesn’t mean the campaign is over, says Mixdorf. “We’ve always accepted donations for the kettle campaign until the end of January, but I don’t think a lot of people have really realized that. Now that we’re only about 71% of our goal, we really need to put a push now until the end of the month and let folks know that they can still donate.”
“The goal was $770,000 so we’re about $223,000 short right now. It affects a lot of our programs, not just our food pantry.” The shortfall will affect other programs they provide, such as toy distribution at Christmastime and helping homeless people get set up in new housing. “Once we move someone into a facility or apartment, we make sure that they have everything they need to get started, from furniture to bedding to dishes. That gives them a step in the right direction and hopefully from there they’ll move on and be able to be on their own again. But those are very important services and, without reaching our goal, it really does affect how many people we can take and help in the Quad Cities.”
Higher costs for necessities like groceries and rent affect nonprofits like the Salvation Army too, so budget shortfalls mean they can’t help as many people. But Mixdorf has faith in the residents of the Quad Cities and looks forward to serving them in 2023. “The community has always been great to us, they’ve always come through. We know that they certainly have come through this year, but we just need a little bit more and we can end up the year with us being able to provide all those things that we do throughout the year. I just want to emphasize the thanks to the Quad Cities community for what they have done for us this last year, and years before and that we really look forward to serving the community again this year to the very best of our ability.”
To donate online to the Red Kettle Campaign, click here. Checks can mailed to The Salvation Army of the Quad Cities, 100 Kirkwood Blvd., Davenport, IA 52803