Salvation Army's Tree of Lights Needs Donations
Thanks to two new key locations in Columbia, Salvation Army kettles are bringing in more than expected.
But, that still may not be enough.
Kettle donations to the Tree of Lights campaign have increased so far this year by almost $13,000.
New locations at Bass Pro Shop and Michael's craft store contributed to the increase. Enthusiastic volunteers haven't hurt, either.
"The reason I do this, why I enjoy doing it, is people, said bell ringer Don Gray. "You see the best in people when they're giving. And they're smiling. They joke with you. It's a very pleasant encounter."
Although kettle donations are ahead of last year, the Salvation Army is worried because total campaign contributions are considerably lower.
"We also have, use the words, 'need has no season,'" explained Maj. Violet Windham. "Which means, while we spend a significant amount of money on Christmas, the rest of the money is used then throughout the whole year, as a whole sixth of our budget."
People working with the Tree of Lights campaign don't want to create false hopes because of the large donations from their kettles. That's because more than half of the Salvation Army's total contributions come from other sources.
To donate to the Tree of Lights campaign, go to any kettle location. Or, to donate toys for needy children, go to the former Osco drug store near the intersection of Broadway and Providence Road.