Where does your money go? What happens to the dollars, coins you drop in those red kettles

Nov 29, 2021 | by Channel 3000

Story by Channel 3000:


With Thanksgiving behind us, bell-ringing season is about to get even busier. You’ll notice, or rather, you’ll hear the sound of more bells outside local grocery stores from now through Christmas Eve.

But the Salvation Army of Dane County is still struggling to fill shifts, and that means the non-profit isn’t able to raise as much money.

The annual Red Kettle Campaign is the Salvation Army’s main fundraiser. Steve Heck, Director of Operations, says the average bell-ringer raises $100/hour and every dollar really does make a difference.

$5 covers the cost of two meals at the shelter, while $25 covers a one-night stay.

This year, the Salvation Army of Dane County needs to raise $500,000 to cover all expenses, although Heck’s goal is three times that.

Signing up for a bell-ringing shift is one of the best ways to help make that happen.

“If you’ve got kids, bring them,” said Heck. “If you have a significant other, bring them. Just come out and enjoy the day. You’ll be amazed at how many times people come up and thank you for ringing.”

Donating a few dollars or a couple hours of your time to the Red Kettle Campaign isn’t the only way to help the Salvation Army this season.

The non-profit also needs donations of clothes, furniture, and old household items for the people living in its shelters, as well as volunteers to help collect, sort, and distribute them.

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