NEW ORLEANS — The sound is unmistakable, and the mission more critical than ever.
“The Salvation Army not only helps people in their time of distress, we also help them get back on their feet,” said director of development for the Salvation Army of the Greater New Orleans area Michelle Linton.
At the end of 2020, It’s the Salvation Army of New Orleans trying to stay on financial footing. In what’s supposed to be the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year, this year’s Red Kettle Campaign came up short.
“It’s going to be tough trying to meet the need with what we’ve been given so far,” said Linton.
Linton says the $172,406 collected this year is far below the $260,000 goal, creating a $87,594 gap.
“We did see a little bit of a difference last year but not like this,” said Linton. “This is the biggest shortfall that we’ve seen, ever.”
Linton says the COVID pandemic meant limited locations for those iconic kettles, volunteers unable to ring bells and a nationwide coin shortage. The money from those kettles help pay for feeding and shelter programs throughout the coming year. Linton says this year is already putting a strain on services, as more folks reach out for help.
“Knowing that there’s an increase coming and that’s probably just going to continue to grow, not having the funds that allow us to do what we’ve done historically in the past, it’s concerning,” said Linton.
While thankful for the donations collected, Linton hopes folks in Louisiana will do what they do best, to help the Salvation Army do what it does best.
“The people who have given so far are very generous,” said Linton. “It’s just we haven’t had the numbers that we’ve had in the past.”
It’s an effort that takes a community to help build one up.
If you’d like to help the Red Kettle Campaign you can donate here: www.NewOrleansKettle.org