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Phoenix metro Salvation Army struggling to make donations goal for holidays

Posted at 9:05 PM, Dec 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-20 07:58:53-05

The Phoenix metro Salvation Army is facing crucial times right now, as bell ringers are in the last few days of the annual Red Kettle bell-ringing campaign.

Major Nancy Dihle, the Phoenix Metro coordinator, said the goal was to raise about $900,000. Right now they are only about 44 of meeting that goal.

The money is a big chunk of all the donations that come into the Salvation Army every year, and helps fund many programs like the holiday dinners, after-school programs, and literacy programs for children and adults throughout the Valley.

Dihle is worried that programs will have be cut if the money does not come through, but she remains hopeful.

"This is about the season of good will, the season of giving, and the season of believing isn't it? We believe it's going to happen," said Dihle.

There are 260 bell ringers throughout the valley.  

Brandy James is one of them. For her it has been a family tradition. Her grandmother and mother were both bell ringers for the Salvation Army.  

James said she does it because she understands how this money helps thousands of people in our community, including her.

"They've helped me out at Christmas, and when my rent was low. The Salvation Army has always been there for me," said James.

“One of the many important things we want people to know is that money donated to The Salvation Army stays in the local community to provide vital social service programs such as food for the hungry, relief for disaster survivors, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter for the homeless, adult rehabilitation, and opportunities for underprivileged children,” said Salvation Army's Southwest Divisional Commander Lt. Col. Kelly Pontsler.

Eighty-two cents of every dollar donated is used to support the Salvation Army’s services year-round.

“We’ve seen a lot of generosity this year, especially when disasters and tragedy have struck on a national scale, but there are still thousands in our own communities in need every day, and anything people can spare during the holiday season will help,” added Lt. Col Pontsler. 

Donations can be made to Red Kettles at store fronts around the Phoenix metro area, online at, and through the Salvation Army’s text-to-give program by texting the word KETTLES to 51555.

The Salvation Army’s signature Red Kettle was introduced in San Francisco in 1891 as a means to provide a free holiday dinner to the poor.