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Sussex Countian
  • Red kettle donations fall short of goal in Sussex County

  • A decrease in donations to the Salvation Army’s 2013 Red Kettle Campaign is being attributed to a late start, according to officials.
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  • A decrease in donations to the Salvation Army’s 2013 Red Kettle Campaign is being attributed to a late start, according to officials.
    Lt. Aida Rolon, of the Seaford Corps, said because Thanksgiving fell on Nov. 28, seven days later than last year, the Salvation Army lost five valuable bell-ringing days, causing Sussex County to fall short of its annual goal. Traditionally, bell ringing does not begin until after Thanksgiving.
    “At first I thought we were low on our goal because of the economy,” Rolon said. “But towards the end, I really believe it was the lost time. We met our goal last year; but we had that extra week.”
    Sussex County’s goal was $120,000 and bell ringers managed to bring in just under $115,000. Rolon said 16 kettle stands were erected at various locations throughout the county over the course of 22 days.
    Across Delaware, donations totaled $411,000, down 15 percent from last year, according to Maj. Tim Duperree, statewide coordinator for the Delaware Salvation Army. New Castle County raked in about $230,000 and Kent County raised roughly $93,000.
    Duperree said the Wilmington area saw a big hit this year due to the loss of two locations, combined with the late Thanksgiving holiday. He declined to name the businesses, but said “one decided to support us in a different way and another wanted to allow other entities to come in and collect donations.”
    The Middletown area, on the other hand, exceeded its goal of $25,000 with a total of around $27,000, Duperree added.
    “It seems donations were down significantly in the northern area of the state,” he said.
    As a result of the decreases, the state Salvation Army will have to revisit this year’s budget to make some adjustments.
    “We’re praying for additional funds,” Duperree said. “Our budget year ends Sept. 30 and being that we’re only a quarter of the way into it, we’ll revise the budget a little with the hope there will be other resources so we don’t have to turn anyone away for services.”
    Rolon said the Seaford Corps will also take another look at its budget.
    “It’s our goal to not interrupt services at all,” she said, adding Sussex County’s decrease was not too severe. “We’re going to wait a little bit to see if we receive donations through our mail appeals campaign; but we’ll probably have to look into our budget again to see if everything is going to balance out.”
    The Red Kettle Campaign dates back to 1891. Donations raised through the campaign are used to fund community needs of food and clothing, in addition to various social services like disaster relief and shelter and job placement for the homeless.
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