Salvation Army hits goalPublished 10:30am Wednesday, January 16, 2013
The Albert Lea Salvation Army raised almost $10,000 more than its goal for the organization’s 2012 campaign.
Even though the charitable organization was unable to reach its kettle goal of $91,000, the Salvation Army still was able to raise $223,000 and exceed its campaign goal for 2012. Its campaign ended Tuesday; the goal was $215,000.
Capt. Jim Brickson said he’s never missed a kettle goal before. Just over $79,000 was raised in just the kettles alone.
“It really humbled me,” Brickson said.
But all in all, he’s happy that the campaign still was successful. He said he’s thankful for the many people who give to the Salvation Army, because he and the staff work hard to make sure people in the community are being served.
“We’re making sure the community’s taken care of,” Brickson said.
In 2012, the Salvation Army served more than 25,000 free meals to members of the community. It also assisted 6,000 families who came to the food shelf, some of whom may have had multiple family members. The Salvation Army also gave out $30,000 in financial assistance, gas vouchers and heating or rental assistance.
“I’m really pleased,” Brickson said.
He said he was glad to see the campaign goal reached so that programs can continue.
“Our budget is based on sustaining programs,” Brickson said. “Sure, it would be nice to put new carpeting in the building but that’s not in the budget. The budget wasn’t based on what we want; it’s based on what we need to sustain our programs.”
Money raised goes toward the meal site and food pantry (which are the most expensive to run) and toward social services staff and programs.
He said he doesn’t ever see the campaign goal going down; the staff have already made cuts and worked to do things smarter to save money. Previous campaign goals were: $202,000 in 2011, $186,000 in 2010, and $171,800 in 2009.
“We’ve got to be faithful,” Brickson said. “We’re doing the best we can.”
And while Brickson is glad to have done so well in the campaign, he said one type of “donation” is always welcome.
“Volunteers are at a premium,” Brickson said. “People are always saying they can’t give much, and I tell them just a couple hours a week can help us.”
To donate to the Salvation Army, mail or drop off a check at 302 Court St. in Albert Lea. There are also fundraisers throughout the year like food drives and Doughnut Days in May.