Salvation Army officials across the state are putting away the Red Kettles for another year. The fundraising campaign will continue to take donations on-line and by mail through January 15th, but the Red Kettle and bell ringing effort ended Wednesday.
In Des Moines, Salvation Army Development Director Arvid Huisman says the Red Kettle campaign usually supports about half of a local agency’s annual operating budget. "That covers a lot of services," Huisman said. "We have the mobile canteen, which serves a hot breakfast to an average of 630 homeless men, women and children in Des Moines every Tuesday and Friday. It also helps us provide family services like rent and utility assistance."
The donations also pay for emergency supplies for infant services including baby formula, strollers, diapers and car seats. Lastly, the money helps the Salvation Army stock local food pantries. "Traffic at our food pantries is more than double right now than it was a year ago," Huisman said. "Demand is up in virtually every area that we serve." The Salvation Army in Des Moines is hoping to raise $600,000 from this year’s Red Kettle Campaign.