Salvation Army Discusses Where Christmas Funds Are Used

Salvation Army Discusses Where Christmas Funds Are Used

"It's our big fundraiser of the year, but it's not just for Christmas," says Capt. Chuck Cook from the Salvation Army of St. Joseph
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) "Ring, ring, ring" - it's been an iconic symbol of the Salvation Army since the 1980s: the ringing bells near their red kettle collections for the holiday season.

"The big fundraiser in the community, the one we put pressure on our own selves about is Christmas," said Captain Chuck Cook from the St. Joseph chapter.  "It's July, August, September, and October.  Those are lean months in the Salvation Army because of the way we raise our funds and the way we accumulate them."

Captain Cook set a goal of $400,000 for this year's campaign.

And after a productive weekend, they begin this week at 45% of that goal.

"Thank God for this community; they've decided to step forward," Capt. Cook said.  "It's not easy right now.  It's not as plentiful as I'd like to see it, but people are still remaining compassionate. "

Captain Cook speaks very honestly about the Christmas collections.

He says every dollar and every cent is counted by trained volunteers.

And every dollar and every cent is spent on needs; not wants.

"We hope that what we do comes out, the feeding, the food baskets, the shelter, the kids programs," Cook said.  "Whatever we do for the community, we do to the best of our ability, and we make sure it's a good and safe program for everybody."

Half of the budget each year goes to maintaining their shelter, the Booth Center.

Much of the rest go to children's after school programs.

The Christmas campaign accounts for about a third of the Salvation Army's yearly budget.

This year's campaign comes after a 2012 campaign, which was their best on record.

The $400,000 goal would break that record.

"It's not about Captain Chuck making his goal, or the Salvation Army yay for us," the Captain said.  "We could raise what we've always raised before, but it's about the needs of the community.  It's more about that than whether we look successful or not.  If we miss, we miss; it's not the first time certainly and it won't be the last."

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