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Donations to Salvation Army fall short of goal
By Jackalyn Kovac
Johnstown, Pa. -- Holiday donations toward the Red Kettle Campaign are believed to have fallen short of the $120,000 goal set before the holiday season. The goal is based on the budget needs for the following year, and the budget will have to be reexamined if the goal is not met.
"We will be looking at our budget, and we will be reevaluating and assessing what we'll be able to do throughout the year. Hopefully we will be able to provide as much need as possible," said Maj. Joseph Pawlowski, Commanding Officer of the Johnstown Salvation Army. "We've done the very best with what we have; that's our tag line: 'Doing the most Good with the resources we have' and we will continue to do the most good here in the Johnstown community with what is given to us. However we might not be able to do as much as we have done in the past."
Weather conditions and the shorter time between Christmas and Thanksgiving are believed to have contributed to the low donations. However, charity leaders believe the increase in online shopping also impacted the help.
"I just think there aren't as many people out buying. I think a lot of people are buying online and I just think that is having an impact on our collections," said Pawlowski. "Obviously if someone is buying from their living room, they're not going out."
Although the donations are short of the $120,000 goal, volunteers continued to help out this year.
"We had many volunteers this year, I really appreciate the volunteers and the help we got from them," said Pawlowski.
Cadet Mary Hughes was volunteered at Market Basket in Richland Twp. Tuesday. She has been working with the charity for the last three years. Hughes is currently working toward becoming an officer and an ordained pastor for the organization.
"About three years ago I got involved with [The Salvation Army] and saw the good work they do, and I thought if I could get accepted to be an officer that is what I'm doing," said Hughes. " They've helped me throughout the years and this was one way I could give back to them."
Donations are still being accepted by the charity even after the kettles disappear Tuesday night. Maj. Pawlowski will take monetary donations at his Johnstown location on Vine Street. Call (814) 539-3110 to donate.
"Every penny helps, it doesn't matter if you are giving $50 or $.05 all the money helps. It adds up," said Hughes.