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The Salvation Army Orlando Says Red Kettle Donations Are Down This Holiday Season

Photo: Ben White

Bells are ringing outside grocery stores, but fewer Central Floridians are dropping spare change in The Salvation Army’s Red Kettles this year. A pandemic and recession are to blame. 

The Salvation Army Orlando says donations in Red Kettles are down by 83 percent this year. 

Last year during the holiday opening weekend, bell ringers collected 16,963 dollars. This year they raised only 2,986 dollars. 

In a statement, Captain Ken Chapman said the need for the nonprofit’s services has increased by 155 percent since mid-March.

“Now, more than ever, we are asking our community to step up and dig deeper,” Chapman wrote.

The nonprofit has provided some 187,890 meals, drinks, and snacks since the pandemic to laid off and furloughed workers in Orlando. 

Officials are preparing for an even greater need once a nationwide eviction moratorium comes to an end. 

Donations to Red Kettles help support emergency shelter, food, and rental and financial assistance programs year-round.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »