‘We’re a little behind’: Salvation Army calls for donations ahead of Christmas Day


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — With just four days left until Christmas, the Salvation Army in Rochester is amping up efforts to help communities in the area ahead of the holidays by campaigning Red Kettle.

Major Doug Burr says this time of year is hard for families struggling, especially if you don’t have a place to live or money to buy food. On top of that, he says the cost of food lately is higher than normal.

Burr says they’ve had 1,400 families sign up for their Christmas toy and food basket drives. That means about 5,000 kids in need locally.

The Salvation Army is asking those who can, to consider donating $20 in the days leading up to Christmas. That $20 can put presents under the tree for two children and feed another family on Christmas day.

Burr says he’s confident they can reach their goal of $400,000 this year for the entire Christmas campaigning efforts.

He says they’re just a little over the halfway mark, and a bit behind compared to 2019 figures.

“This year we are comparing stats to 2019, because it’s a little more like normal,” Burr said.

Burr says 2020 was difficult because more people were shopping online and staying away from stores as the pandemic was very new at that time.

“Assuming everyone steps up this last week, and donates when they walk by a kettle, that’ll help us out quite a bit,” Burr said.

According to Burr, community donations also help carry the Salvation Army throughout the rest of the year.

“Christmas is our biggest fundraising time of year, we raise money which lasts us all the way until next Christmas,” Burr said. “So we not only provide Christmas toys, food, that money lasts us through all the way to October next year.”

“When we say we want to save this large amount of money we don’t spend it all exactly on Christmas time, it’s used throughout the year, keeps us going, keeps lights on, staff moving, feeding programs, shelters throughout the year,” says Burr.

Here is how you can donate to help local families:

  • Visit give.salvationarmy.org/empire21
  • Donate in-person at red kettles, or digitally with QR codes. The QR codes will let you make a donation through Apple Pay, Google Pay, Venmo or PayPal
  • Mail a check to the Salvation Army Corps in Rochester, 70 Liberty Pole Way Rochester, NY 14604

“If you help one person, you help everyone,” Burr said. “When you help your neighbor, someone you don’t even know, you donate money, you’re not just helping that person, you’re helping the society around that person, families around that person.”

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