Marsh closures will likely affect Salvation Army holiday fundraising

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -The sight of red kettles and the familiar sound of bells ringing in the air will soon return to central Indiana.

On Thursday, the Salvation Army is kicking off their annual red kettle fundraising campaign.

But ahead of their annual push, officials from the Salvation Army’s Indiana division say they’re concerned fundraising numbers will be down.

The organization says the closing of Marsh grocery stores over the summer will likely have a big impact. Statewide red kettles parked outside of Marsh locations helped the Salvation Army raise about $165,000 last year.

“Now we’re trying to figure out the best way to make up that income without affecting our services,” divisional commander Major Bob Webster said.

Webster says roughly a third of that revenue came from the Muncie area alone.

“They’re not exactly sure how they’re going to make up that income, they’re projecting right now that they could have between $60,000 to $80,000 of loss,” he said.

With Marsh stores gone Webster says the organizations will now have to rely more heavily on grocery stores like Kroger for fundraising. The Salvation army is also partnering with Rickers and Needlers Fresh Market to add to the fundraising total.

The organizations new “Dip Boxes” which allow the public to make donations with a credit card will also be a heavily relied upon tool.

Even with new partnerships Webster says the loss of revenue from Marsh will still be felt, and could translate into less money for services like food pantries and shelters.

“When we receive money we’re able to put it to the best use possible in the community, and when we don’t receive the money there’s nothing you can do to make up for it. So, services have to be diminished because we only live on the donations that we receive,” he said.

Because of that shortage, Webster says it will be even more important for the public to donate towards fundraising efforts.

For more information on donations or volunteer positions you can visit: http://salvationarmyindiana.org/

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