Short Christmas season is likely factor

CLEARWATER, FL (December 18, 2013) – In 2012, The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign raised $345,000 here in Upper Pinellas County, but this year donations are down by 9%.  Kettle gifts stay in the community where the money is donated and help provide meals and shelter for families in need, Christmas toys for thousands of children locally, and many other services throughout the year.

 This year, because of a late Thanksgiving date, the kettle season is shorter by five vital days — which equates to potentially $50,000 less than in previous years — so donations coming in between now and the end of the year are critically important to The Salvation Army’s ability to meet needs here in Clearwater and Upper Pinellas County. Five fewer bell ringing days equates to about $20 million less in donations to The Salvation Army nationwide.

” …we’re hoping that shoppers will think of their neighbors in need the next time they pass a Salvation Army bell ringer, and give what they can.”

“The short kettle season is a major concern because the red kettle campaign helps fund our programs and services throughout the year. To many, the iconic red buckets represent a tradition of caring that is passed down through the generations. With less than a week left to see our kettles at storefronts, we’re hoping that shoppers will think of their neighbors in need the next time they pass a Salvation Army bell ringer, and give what they can,” said Captain Zach Bell, Commanding Officer for The Salvation Army in Clearwater/Upper Pinellas County.

To make up for the shortfall, The Salvation Army is encouraging the public to donate generously to the red kettles found in front of local retailers, or:

  • Online at,
  • By mail to 1625 N. Belcher Road, Clearwater, FL 33765,
  • By phone to Jennifer Renfroe at 727-725-9777 x 105, and
  • Via gifts of stock through Lindsay Crossland at 727-403-7766.

The public’s support will help ensure that The Salvation Army can continue to do the most good for those in need this holiday season and throughout the year.


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About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to


About The Salvation Army of Clearwater/Upper Pinellas County

Last year, The Salvation Army of Clearwater/Upper Pinellas County served 51,609 individuals through a wide variety of programs and services, including utilities, housing, and food assistance. We visited 9,057 people in hospitals, nursing homes and elderly residential homes to let them know that their community cares for them. We served 26,798 people during the holiday season, many through our Joy Center Toyland program which provides toys for children who may otherwise go without at Christmas. Our wonderful volunteers gave 15,570 hours of their time to help us serve their neighbors in need. In addition to the programs already mentioned, The Salvation Army continues doing the most good for Upper Pinellas County through youth character-building activities, summer camp, outreach, and various other programs. For more information on how you can get involved, please visit

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