Salvation Army Kicks Off Red Kettle Campaign
By BJ Austin, KERA News
Dallas, TX –
The Salvation Army kicks off its nationwide Red Kettle campaign during the Dallas Cowboys halftime show at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. KERA's BJ Austin says demand for help from the Salvation Army is up this holiday season.
Pat Patey, with the Salvation Army in Dallas and Fort Worth says they've seen a 50% increase in the number of phone calls from people asking for help to pay their rent or utility bills. And he says they added six thousand children to their Angel Tree list this year. People take a name and gift requests from an Angel Tree in local shopping malls, and provide gifts for the children who might otherwise go without this holiday.
Patey says he's hoping the North Texas community will come through even in hard times.
Patey: Our Angel Tree adoptions are actually running behind last year, even if we hadn't increased adding the six thousand more children to it, we're still behind about 1600 to last year.
Patey blames the down economy, and says the last day to adopt and "angel" is December 13th. He says the local Salvation Army "bell ringers" are adding 70 more Red Kettles that take ATM or credit cards. Dallas-Fort Worth was a pilot program last year, with 12 card-ready kettles. Patey says the average donation with a card was 14 dollars. With cash, it's one or two dollars.