Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Fourteen Days and Millions of Dollars to Go — Western PA Salvation Army Christmas Campaign at Full Throttle

December 9, 2011

CARNEGIE, Pa., Dec. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Salvation Army’s 28 County Western Pennsylvania Division is in the thick of it and needs your help. Its fifty one Centers of Operation and more than 110 Service Units are racing toward an overall Christmas Campaign goal of more than six million dollars within the next fourteen days. Three million of that total comes from the iconic Red Kettles.

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“We are racing toward the finish line with hope and a prayer,” said Major William H. Bode, The Salvation Army’s Western Pennsylvania Divisional Commander. “We have so many more families depending on us this year and we are determined to meet those needs. Many people are asking for help the first time. One mom asked for help because the breadwinner just received a pink slip. She said ‘I can’t ever now plan to pay for the things in lay away.’ We will help that family.” The Christmas Campaign is comprised of three distinct funding streams: red kettles; direct mail appeal; and social media. The mail appeal goal is 3.2 million dollars and the online social media target is $150,000. Red Kettle dollars stay where you give. Mail appeal money stays where you live. And, social media contributions go where the need is greatest in Western Pennsylvania.

In order to serve the influx of new needy families, all Salvation Army Red Kettle goals were increased by 20% as compared to 2010. Those communities that are lagging behind last year’s figures include: Aliquippa; Altoona; Beaver Falls; Braddock; Butler; Clearfield; Erie; Greensburg; Greenville; Huntingdon; Johnstown; Kittanning; Oil City; Punxsutawney; Rochester; Sharon/Mercer; and Pittsburgh’s Homewood, Northside, Pittsburgh/Mt. Lebanon Temple Corps, Steel Valley/Homestead, and Westside. “It is important for our donors to understand that our fundraising is segmented,” explained Major Bode. “That means that money raised within that community stays there to support its own residents.”

Donors have an abundance of online social media options. You may give online by logging onto www.OnlineRedKettle.org. Contributors can also text the words “GIVE PGH” to 80888 to make a $10 donation to support the campaign. The gift will appear as a charge on the donor’s next mobile phone bill. The Salvation Army also offers a free update for the iPhone virtual “Bellringer” application by logging onto bellringer.salvationarmyusa.org. The update includes new video content and also enables donations to The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign via text message. This free app enables friends and supporters of The Salvation Army to share in the tradition of being a Salvation Army bellringer by ringing a virtual bell right on their phone. The KDKA Fred Honsberger Memorial Kettle may be accessed via KDKAradio.com. You can even show your love for Pittsburgh – and your disdain for Cleveland by logging onto www.OnlineRedKettle.org/Pittsburgh.

Volunteers of all kinds are desperately needed, especially in the Mt. Lebanon/Brookline area. For more information in either volunteering at a kettle or providing a site, contact your local Salvation Army. If you are in Allegheny County, contact Jocelyn Karsesnick at 412-446-1637. Families are encouraged and welcomed to volunteer.

Both a church and a social service organization, The Salvation Army began in London, England, in 1865. Today, it provides critical services in 124 countries worldwide. The 28-county Western Pennsylvania Division serves thousands of needy families through a wide variety of support services. To learn more about The Salvation Army in Western Pennsylvania, log onto www.salvationarmy-wpa.org. The Salvation Army … Doing the most good . . . for the most people . . . in the most need.

SOURCE Salvation Army Western Pennsylvania Division

Source: PR Newswire