Salvation Army's kettle donations $30,000 short
Santa sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake and he knows when you've been avoiding those Red Kettle bell ringers while doing your holiday shopping.
As of Friday, The Salvation Army of York had raised a little more than $138,000 through its Red Kettle Campaign, which is $30,000 short of where it was this time last year.
Maj. Dennis Camuti, the head of the organization's York County chapter, isn't totally sure what's causing the decrease in donations, but he said he believes the cold weather might have something to do with it.
Last year, temperatures were much warmer in November and December, while the past few days in York County have been very frigid. This could impact the number of people venturing out into the cold to shop. Camuti suggested that more people might be turning to online shopping rather than going to physical stores this year.
It's possible the unemployment rate also has something to do with the decrease, Camuti said. According to numbers provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, last year in November and December the unemployment rate in Pennsylvania was 4.7 percent. Preliminary data for November of 2016 suggests the unemployment rate was at 5.7 percent. Numbers for December are not yet available.
Still, he said, "The drop is so significant there may be other things at play as well."
There is still time to donate, though. The fundraiser will continue until Saturday, and there are a number of locations in York County where Red Kettle bell ringers will be six days of the week.
Camuti is urging people to consider donating to this campaign, which is the major driver of the Salvation Army's budget each year. If donations remain low, the budget will need to be revised and fewer people could benefit from Salvation Army programs.
Donations from the Red Kettle Campaign primarily go to helping families during the holiday season through food and toy purchases, Camuti said. If there is money left over after those expenditures are taken care of, the money goes toward Salvation Army programs that help people in need throughout the year.
"I do feel that by and large York countians have been very supportive of the Salvation Army over the years," Camuti said. "Because of that, the Salvation Army is in the position to provide services to people in need, and it's only possible through the generous giving through donors and supporters."
Below is a list of York County locations for the Red Kettle Campaign:
Kmart, 1094 Haines Road, Springettsbury Township.
Walmart: 2801 E Market St., Springettsbury Township.
Walmart: 100 Town Center Drive, West Manchester Township.
Walmart: 698 Shrewsbury Commons, Shrewsbury
Walmart: 495 Eisenhower Drive, Hanover
Sam's Club: 2801 E. Market St., Springettsbury Township.
Boscov's: 2899 Whiteford Road (York Galleria Mall)
The Bon-Ton: 2081 Springwood Road (Queensgate Shopping Center)
York Galleria Mall: 2899 Whiteford Road, Springettsbury Township.
North Hanover Mall: 1155 Carlisle St., Hanover.
Surefine/Spry: 2720 S. Queen St., York Township.
Big Lots: 2140 White St., West Manchester Township.
Walmart: 50 Newberry Commons Drive, Etters.
Walmart: 1881 Baltimore Pike, Hanover
Big Lots: 1150 Carlisle Pike, Hanover