ISHPEMING– Including today, there are only four more bell ringing days until Christmas and the Upper Peninsula Salvation Army say they are behind on their fundraising goals.
Across the Upper Peninsula, the Salvation Army is struggling to make enough money for the upcoming year.
“The Salvation Army depends very heavily on the fundraising that we do in December,” said Salvation Army Auxiliary Captain Doug Winters. “Really, that fundraising is what sustains us for the rest of the year.”
However, this year Doug Winters says they aren’t sure that the holiday season won’t be able to tide them over. Winters said, “We’ve seen across the U.P., a shortfall against our budget goal.” He says that the Marquette County and Hancock Salvation Army’s have only reached two–thirds of their goals and the Escanaba Salvation Army has only reached around half of their goal.
Winters attributes this not only economic concerns, but also severe weather. He says some people are unable to stop in the freezing weather to donate and sometimes the temperature was so low that the bell ringers had to stay home. “Because of the wind chills,” Winters said, “we have to protect our workers against the bitter cold… These budget woes could seriously affect the Salvation Army in the upcoming year. There is a chance it could hurt programs in the community.”
“With the shortfall in our fundraising, it really will impact our programs,” he said. “The programs that we do to sustain feeding and helping those in need”
These programs go a long way in helping the community. “750 kids will receive toys this week during our toy give away, our feeding program runs daily… It’s those types of programs that will be impacted with our shortfall.”
If you would like to help out the Salvation Army, there are still a few more days until their Red Kettle collections end. You can also donate the Salvation Army directly here.