Red kettle campaign on track to meet goal
Volunteer bell ringers still are needed to boost the Salvation Army's annual Christmas fundraising campaign.
To help, call 608-757-8300 or visit janesvilleSA.org to choose a two-hour shift at one of 20 locations in Janesville.
JANESVILLE Christmas came a little early at the Salvation Army on Tuesday when four gold rings and two sets of gold stud earrings with gemstones were found in a plastic bag during the red kettle count.
"It's another example of how the Lord provides," said Maj. Bob Fay, who was going to take the donations to a jeweler to determine their value.
As of Sunday, $185,180—or 57 percent—of the $325,000 goal had been raised toward the Salvation Army's annual Christmas fund-raising campaign that receives donations through its traditional red kettles and mail appeal, he said.
The holiday campaign, which makes up about one-third of the Salvation Army's annual operating budget, kicked off Nov. 16 and is "right on track with where we need to be historically to make our goal," Fay said.
Although the red kettle campaign is doing well, Fay said the mail appeal is lagging.
"That's kind of a big red flag, right now," he said.
Most mailed donations come from people making their last charitable contributions of the year.
Fay spoke with several friends who work in the investment and accounting industries, who told him many people are holding back in making their usual year-end donations because they are waiting to see the implications of tax law changes.
"So whether or not we're going to have an influx of year-beginning donations is a real big question right now, and that's a $50,000 question we're kind of holding our breath on,'' Fay said.
If the last-minute donations don't arrive, "it's going to have a direct impact on what we're able to do for the community," Fay said.
"There is no fluff in our budget. We don't have nonessentials or redundant staff," he said.
Still, Fay said the Lord has never let him or the Salvation Army down.
"(Maj.) Ruth and I have been (Salvation Army) officers for over 34 years, and God has never let us down. That's why I have a very optimistic approach," he said.