Cold temperatures and a shortened holiday season took their toll on the Salvation Army of Killeen’s annual Red Kettle Campaign.
The nonprofit came up $28,000 short of its $80,000 goal, the first time Capt. Christopher Bryant has seen the organization fall significantly short in his three-year stint as director of the Salvation Army of Killeen.
“There were a few things that played a role in us coming up short of our goal,” Bryant said. “The way Thanksgiving fell this year left us six days short of the number of days we had last year, and those six days last year accounted for $20,000.”
He said the multiple days of subfreezing temperatures and rain also caused a lull in donations.
“People, understandably so, were in a hurry. They wanted to get out of the store and into their cars as quickly as possible to get out of the cold,” Bryant said. “Then there were days that it was just too cold for us to even put anyone out at storefronts.”
The lack of donations will impact the services the Salvation Army can offer throughout the next year.
The area that will take the biggest hit is the homeless prevention program.
“One of our big services we offer in our area is the opportunity to help people with their rent and utilities so that they can continue operating in their way of life,” Bryant said. “When we’re short as much as we are, we have to start cutting back programs like that.”
The Salvation Army is 100 percent donor funded, Bryant said.
“We don’t receive any grants to keep these programs running,” he said.
Although the annual drive came up short, Bryant said he is thankful and appreciative of the funds that were raised.
“We are thankful for all of the organizations and volunteers who helped us raise what we did raise,” he said. “It was a tough year, and we couldn’t have raised what we did without them.”
Donations can still be made to the Salvation Army of Killeen. They can be dropped off at 1306 E. Rancier Ave., or mailed to P.O. Box 4330, Killeen, TX, 76540.