Red kettle donations down in Tampa Bay area

Salvation Army hopes to raise $2 million
Posted at 6:14 PM, Dec 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-13 17:08:04-05

Those iconic red kettles you likely walk past thinking "I'll stop next time" are struggling this year across the Tampa Bay area as donations are down more than 12 percent in 2016.



Salvation Army leaders believe part of the reason is because of technology and people are carrying cash less. 

The money collected goes toward feeding the hungry and housing the homeless. The Tampa Bay Salvation Army helps more than 100 thousand people each year.

"With less than three weeks left before Christmas, we're hoping that shoppers will think of their neighbors in need next time they pass a Salvation Army bellringer and give what they can," said Captain Andrew Miller, Area Commander for the Salvation Army.

The non-profit tells us they are working on updating the way of collecting donations through wireless card machines -- but as of now they only have one in the Bay area. 

The red kettles you're used to seeing are cost effective ways to collect donations. 

“If we get less through our kettle campaigns we will serve less people there is just no way around it,” said Capt. Andy Miller.

However, some bellringers are going beyond ringing to try and get people into the giving spirit.

Donna Sipes, a seasonal employee with Salvation Army can be found serenading shoppers at various Publix locations across the bay area. 

Sipes uses her voice to sing Christmas carols -- some of the holiday's most popular to get people to stop and donate. 

And, it's working, you will find people digging in their pockets, putting groceries down and thanking her for making their day. 

The Salvation Army will take kettle donations until December 24th.