Salvation Army donations down due to fewer volunteers

DOVER— The Salvation Army’s iconic Red Kettles are a familiar symbol of the Christmas season.

The red kettle is an integral part of the Christmas shopping scene with donations collected throughout the holiday season not only to help needy families, but to help support the entire organization’s efforts year round.

However, at the current rate of giving, the Salvation Army in Dover will fall short of its $68,000 kettle goal for the year.

The volunteers play a crucial role in the Salvations Army’s ability to inspire people to place donations of cash and checks inside the kettles.

Dana Smith, business manager of the Salvation Army in Dover, said donations are down due to the lack of volunteers this year.

“We just don’t have enough volunteers to cover the many places in the area,” Ms. Smith said. “I have no idea why our volunteer count is down this year. But we really need help.”

The campaign started on Nov. 16 and will continue until Christmas Eve.

“We’re nowhere near our goal,” Ms. Smith said. “The less money that we have the less people we can help for the holidays.”

The red kettle program originated in San Francisco in 1891 when Salvation Army Capt. Joseph McFee placed a large pot at the ferry landing in Oakland to raise money to provide Christmas dinners for the area’s poor.

Donations help provide more than 10 million nights of shelter, roughly 58 million meals, and after-school and substance abuse programs.

During the holiday season, nearly 4.2 million people rely on The Salvation Army to provide their families with warm meals on Christmas Day or toys for their children.

Volunteers are at Redner’s Warehouse Markets, Walmart, Sam’s Club, JCPenny and Safeway.

The hours are from 10-9 Monday through Friday.

“This year has been tough for us,” Ms. Smith said. “But the more volunteers we have, the more money we can raise to help out the families in need for the holidays. Anyone can help.”

For more information contact Ms. Smith at 302-678-9551.

Staff writer Arshon Howard can be reached at 741-8230 or

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