Last-minute donations help Salvation Army
Ivan Tristan rings the bell for the Salvation Army Kettle Drive outside the Greenfield Post Office. Recorder file photo Purchase photo reprints »
GREENFIELD — A late surge of donations to the Salvation Army’s annual holiday kettle drive, including over $3,000 on Dec. 24, brought $48,461 to the Greenfield-based organization — just under last year’s total.
Capt. Dan Brunelle, who for weeks had worried that the shorter holiday season and cold temperatures would hurt this year’s fundraiser, thanked Franklin County residents for pulling through down the stretch.
“(They) once again showed community spirit and overwhelming generosity,” he said.
The annual kettle fundraiser accounts for just over 20 percent of the Salvation Army’s yearly cash budget. That total, combined with the organization’s annual mail appeal, typically brings in about half of the revenue needed to assist people in 2014, he said.
Volunteers stayed later than usual on Christmas Eve, ringing bells and holding red kettles until 6 p.m., said Brunelle. Donations made on Dec. 24 accounted for the highest single-day total he’s ever seen in three years in Greenfield.
The Salvation Army also saw about a 40 percent increase in toy donations, which allowed them to give between three and five toys to 610 children this year.
About 180 more children signed up for this year’s toy drive than last year, including 40 who are temporarily living with their families in two Greenfield hotels.
“On one hand, you’re happy to help all those kids,” said Brunelle. “On the other hand, you realize there’s still a lot of people who are hurting.”