There’s one more day left, Saturday, to donate to the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign, which according to officials, has seen about a $40,000 drop in donations this year compared with last year in Mecklenburg and Union Counties.
“It’s quite a challenge to get enough people to be able to man all the locations we have in the Charlotte area,” Major Larry Broome with the Salvation Army said.
The Salvation Army hasn’t had as many people volunteer to be bell ringers and they’re even struggling to fill paid bell ringer positions in Mecklenburg and Union Counties this year, according to Broome.
He attributes the lack of bell ringers to the drop in donations, as well as fewer people carrying cash when they’re out shopping.
“I think it’s sad. I’m sorry that they would create a decline in donations, because they do a lot of good work,” shopper Linda Rogers said.
Bell ringer Donald Washington says donations tend to fluctuate. “It’s like the weather. It changes. Sometimes they’re very generous, and sometimes the spirit is not moving them,” Washington said.
Washington, a paid bell ringer, says he was once homeless and understands what it’s like to be in need.
“I guess that’s why it’s so easy for me to give and so easy for me to do this is because I know where I was to where I’m at now. To God be the glory.”