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Salvation Army holiday donations significantly down in central Indiana

Non-profit blames inflation for the slow holiday season so far.
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Posted at 5:44 PM, Nov 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-29 18:10:07-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Volunteers are out ringing bells for the Salvation Army this holiday season, but the organization said their red kettles are not filling up like they should.

Salvation Army of Central Indiana Major Rachel Stouder said the organization is falling far short of its holiday donation goals so far.

"This is one of the harder seasons that we've ever been through, and I've been with the Salvation Army since 1998," Stouder said.

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The Salvation Army typically raises more than $3 million in donations across Central Indiana every holiday season. Stouder said those donations are about 20% of the organization's budget.

Stouder believes inflation is the reason for the slow season, since demand for the Salvation Army's services is still high as donations fall.

"We have people coming to us seeking help who literally were part of the donor population last year," Stouder said.

While some donors have decided not to give, others said the economy is a major reason why they continue to pay it forward.

"If you're feeling it, then people who are struggling are probably feeling it that much more," said Jennifer Warf, who donated outside of the Wal-Mart on the border of Westfield and Carmel. "It makes you dig a little deeper."

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Warf said she gives not to make herself feel better, but to help out the people who need it most.

"I always feel like I never give enough," Warf said. "My little contribution is not going to pay somebody's bills, but if my contributions match other people's contributions, then it can make a big difference."

If you want to donate to the Salvation Army of Central Indiana, click this link.