With just over a couple of weeks left before Christmas, the Kewanee Salvation Army’s annual kettle campaign has a long way to go to meet its goal.
Eddie Toliver, director of the local Salvation Army, said this week that just over $8,000 has been placed in kettles and canisters at local businesses. The goal of this year’s campaign is $46,619.
Proceeds from the kettle campaign support the Army’s mission to assist needy families in the area through a variety of programs.
Toliver said kettles accompanied by bell ringers are at seven Kewanee locations, stores with a high volume of customers.
“Counter kettles” have been placed by the cash registers in 13 more businesses.
One reason that donations into the kettles have been lower than hoped has been the change in how people pay for their purchases in local stores and gas stations.
Instead of using cash, Toliver pointed out, many people use credit or debit cards. That means they don’t get cash in change; in the past, many people have dropped that money into a kettle.
The kettles all have notices on them informing people that they can make donations electronically using a service like Apple Pay or Google Pay.
This option seems to be more popular with people in Chicago and other large metropolitan areas than it has been in Kewanee, Toliver said.
Some people will make donations when they visit the Salvation Army store in the former JC Penney location on Tremont Street in downtown Kewanee, he said.
Toliver also said people have had questions about mailers they have received that ask for donations.
The return address on the mailers is in Iowa, but Toliver assured the public that every penny donated by Kewanee people goes to the Kewanee Salvation Army.