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Posted on Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 5:55 a.m.

In the home stretch, Salvation Army still $25,000 under its $330,000 fundraising goal

By Kody Klein

With just less than two weeks left in its Red Kettle fundraiser, the Salvation Army of Washtenaw County is still $25,000 under its goal of $330,000.

The Red Kettle campaign is the Salvation Army's biggest fundraiser. This year's goal is $30,000 higher than last year's, which Major John Williams, the group's county coordinator, said was based on a commensurate increase in need, especially among younger people.


The Salvation Army depends on its holiday fundraising drive for a significant portion of its annual revenue. file photo

"The demand for our services from the younger age group is not only growing, but it’s requiring more dollars to cover basic needs," Williams said. "We wanted to increase the goal because we saw the increase in demand for services…We wanted to do a little bit more for the community as far as helping families deeper with their requests for help."

The 42-day fundraiser lasts until Jan. 31 and has made strides since the Salvation Army's December update, when it had $40,000 to go.

"We made some ground up but we didn’t make it all up," Williams said.

Williams said there wasn't a "simple answer" as to why the Salvation Army has had difficulty reaching its fundraising goal. However, he said there were eight fewer fundraising locations this year. Furthermore, the group's access to its remaining sites was intermittently interrupted by the fundraising efforts of other organizations.

"We probably lost about a week’s worth of time," he said.

In addition to these factors, Williams said he's observed fewer people have been making large donations.

"We saw an increase in smaller donations of a dollar or two given at the kettle sites," he said. "We didn’t see the larger donations at the kettle sites that we used to see."

Despite the setbacks, Williams said the group remains optimistic.

"Our expectation is that we will be able to meet the goal," he said. "We have actually every year met the goal, so I don’t have any reason to believe we won’t."

Anyone interested in donating to the Salvation Army of Washtenaw County can find more information on the group's Web site. Williams said the group accepts donations online, over the phone, or by mail.



Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 6:33 p.m.

I do NOT give to religious organizations - I give to service organizations that do not discriminate or require those in need to practice Christianity in order to receive assistance - it is time the the salvation army to go away.


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 5:35 p.m.

Many have suggested to leave vouchers in the red kettles saying why one is not donating to them because of their anti-LBGT stance. Here is a link to print-out such vouchers -


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 3:19 p.m.

thank you thaddeus, I intend to print out several of these vouchers for next christmas! GAY OR STRAIGHT, LOVE IS GREAT!!!

Dog Guy

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

The Salvation Army does not discriminate in employment or in its charitable works. Their policy on homosexuality is a statement of the religious beliefs of its members. To oppose the good works of this group because of beliefs which they do not impose on outsiders is ideological thuggery by bullies who will not allow others to believe or think differently. Although I do not agree with every aspect of their creed, I contribute to the work of the Salvation Army.


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 11:59 p.m.

I can't imagine why you removed my earlier reply. Feel free to enlighten me.

Susan Montgomery

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 6:06 p.m.

Not supporting them financially is far from "opposing their good works."

Black Coffee :)

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 5:12 p.m.

Dog Guy I couldn't agree more


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 4:36 p.m.

"Ideological thuggery"? Try replacing their concepts about LGBT people with African-American people. Would that be ideological thuggery to openly state an opinion about people of different races yet rest on the laurels of "Well, we don't have any official policy discriminating against African-Americans in employment here..." The fact is there are many other charities people can donate to that don't maintain such archaic concepts and they do just as much good.


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 3:56 p.m.



Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 1:35 p.m.

"Williams said there wasn't a 'simple answer' as to why the Salvation Army has had difficulty reaching its fundraising goal." I've got a simple answer for you: people don't particularly like donating to organizations that discriminate against certain groups of people. As long as the Salvation Army maintains its current policies of discrimination against the LGBT community, they'll continue to lose out on donations from those of us who support that community.

Susan Montgomery

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 12:41 p.m.

I used to participate in the Red Kettle fundraiser. This stopped when I learned of their policy statement on homosexuality: "The Salvation Army believes…that Christians whose sexual orientation is primarily or exclusively same-sex are called upon to embrace celibacy as a way of life. There is no scriptural support for same-sex unions as equal to, or as an alternative to, heterosexual marriage." I tried to find their position statement on their national website but it went to an error page, though it is still on some local websites, such as Maybe can ask Major Williams about it?


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 3:39 p.m.

Hi Susan, thank you for clearing that up for me, I had a pretty good idea what the SA's position on LGBT was but you hit the nail on the head. yet another reason for me never to put another dime in those red kettles, the first one being that when I was homeless the SA was in a position to help me get back on my feet yet refused to do so. this cements it!!