Salvation Army raised more than $17K with kettles

The local Salvation Army unit saw a modest bump in its Christmas donations this year, no thanks to poor weather in the last month or so.

Local service unit chairman Shannon Cox said they raised a little more than $17,000 through its annual kettle fundraiser this year.

“We basically did just 1 percent better than last year,” he said. “We were hoping to do a little better. We’re happy with it because we didn’t have the weather for ideal conditions.”

Volunteers stand in front of businesses with a red kettle and ringing a bell, and count on passing customers to make donations. The poor weather may have kept many people at home, he said.

Bell ringers were out from November 23 through December 23.

Donations can still be mailed to the Salvation Army’s office at 20 Taylor Ave., Winchester, he said.

Cox said the local organization will meet early this month to assess donations and the chapter’s budget for 2019.

“Everything raised here is spent here unless its designated for disaster response,” Cox said. “We basically help folks throughout the year with assistance to keep utilities on and to prevent homelessness.”

The unit also organizes several angel trees in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Those gifts are then given to local children in need as well as foster children. Some of those are also given to foster children in neighboring counties, he said.