Want to help the Salvation Army reach their Red Kettle Campaign goal? Check out how!

RAPID CITY, S.D. – After coming up short of their goal during their annual Red Kettle Campaign in 2022, the Salvation Army of the Black Hills is continuing to accept donations to reach their goal of $450,000.

Black Hills Area Coordinator for the Salvation Army Major Jerry O’Neil explains what was the cause for the donation shortfall and how people can help during in the last week of the campaign.

How long is the Salvation Army accepting donations for?

Even though the red kettles are only seen from the end of November through Dec. 24, the window for donations has been extended to Jan. 31.

“We’re about at 75% of our goal. We took a really bad hit with the storm,” Major O’Neil said. “The cells were completely shut down during the storm. And then after the storm, we had the frigid weather. So we were able to be out, but not nearly like we should. And typically, a large percentage of the campaign comes in during that last two weeks. So that last week just decimated everything for us.”

Photos from previous Red Kettle campaign events in Rapid City

Why are the donations from the campaign essential?

The Red Kettle Campaign is the largest donation campaign of the year for the Salvation Army of the Black Hills, O’Neil says, and every cent of the money they get during the campaign goes back into helping Rapid City and surrounding communities.

“All of our seasonal programs, as well as our programs through the year, withholding assistance in our food pantry and our utility programs, so it’s absolutely essential that we get to that goal,” he adds.

What was the reason for the lack of funds?

Major O’Neil says the biggest factor was the weather, losing tens of thousands of dollars in donations. The winter storm that came through the area during the second half of December lasted for weeks and brought bitterly-cold temperatures to the area, along with hazardous conditions for people and drivers on the roads.

“Anywhere from $50,000 to $75,000 would have come in during those last two weeks just in the kettle piece themselves. And then we have the regular donations and online donations and things like that. So it’s pretty significant. And the Red Kettle portion of the Christmas campaign is very focused.”

On a regular basis, as many as 20 to 25 kettles are seen in the area during the campaign. In the last week of the campaign. Volunteers were only able to set up as few as four or five during the cold conditions, O’Neil explains, and people hurrying to get into the stores also cut down on the number of donations.

How can I make donations to help out?

Currently, residents can make donations online or by sending a check through the mail.

“They can do it online at blackhillsredkettle.org or they can send a check to the Salvation Army, 405 North Cherry Avenue,” he said. “That will be a great help to us because those funds run not only our seasonal programs but our programs also the year as well.”

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News