The Salvation Army is falling behind on its 2016 Tree of Lights campaign goal. Donations have only reached 34% of the overall goal at this point in the campaign, which is about halfway over. Donations are down over 6% compared to this time last year. That percentage difference equals nearly $100,000.
“At this point in the campaign it is concerning,” said Major Mike Mills, Corps Officer. “The funds from this campaign are how we operate our programs year round. We are asking the community to help us by making a donation, no matter the size.”
The Salvation Army operates a wide variety of programs throughout the year. These include two shelters, summer day camp, after-school programs, back-to-school assistance, emergency social services, and three daily feeding programs including Front Line Feeding. Front Line Feeding has seen a substantial increase over the past several months and serves nearly 200 meals daily.
Salvation Army officers are not sure as to why funds are down this year, but think there might be several contributing factors to the decrease.
“I hear of more people shopping online, which means they are not going to stores and therefore not walking by the kettles,” said Major Mills. “People also often don’t have as much change in their pockets and we have seen a 15% increase in applications for Christmas Assistance. That tells me more people are struggling, but that also means we need additional funds to meet the needs in the community.”
To support The Salvation Army’s efforts, residents can make a donation in a variety of ways. Donations can be mailed to The Salvation Army at PO Box 9685, Springfield, MO 65801 or brought by the office located at 1707 West Chestnut Expressway in Springfield. The iconic Red Kettles will be out at various locations until Christmas Eve. To donation online visit www.salvationarmyspringfield.org and click Donate Now at the top of the page. Area residents can also find additional information about programs and services on the website.
For more information please call The Salvation Army at (417) 862-5509.