A Mississippi charity that relies on holiday donations to operate throughout the year is falling far short of its goal. As MPB's Kobee Vance reports, they've only raised 37 percent of what they need.
The red kettles outside many businesses are raising money for the Salvation Army. So far they have raised around $166,000, but their goal is $450,000 according to Michelle Hartfield. She's the Director of Public Relations at the Salvation Army in Jackson. Hartfield says the holidays are the most important fundraising season for the organization.
“These are such important programs that are being funded through this, you know and our homeless shelter, children’s education, feeding programs. You know this is the way that we keep all of our services running and we really have to fund them.”
They also fund services such as disaster relief and toys for children through their Angel Tree program. The kettlebell ringers are volunteers and partners of the Salvation Army. At a grocery store in the Jackson area, Lamar Barnes rings his bell hoping people will give. He speaks about his own experience with the agency helping people during disasters.
“Well I actually used to roll out into disasters with one of the Captains, and we would actually save people, feed, canteen water, whatever they needed. It just feels good to take care of people.”
This is the first year there are stickers on kettles people can scan with their phone to make donations. Hartfield says their Angel Tree program has served over 2,400 children this year. The last day of the red kettle campaign is Christmas Eve.