Salvation Army red kettle donations down this year amid bell ringer shortage

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A bell ringer shortage is impacting the Salvation Army as donations have declined this year.  

Jack Ignatowicz is a bell ringer at the Bel Air in the Pocket area of Sacramento.

“Our club has been doing this at this location for about the last 10 years,” Ignatowicz told FOX40. “It’s kind of our tradition.”

The bells are still clanging, but donations to the campaign have gotten quieter.

Salvation Army Major Rio Ray said donations aren’t coming in at the same rate they’ve seen the past few years. 

“There are a lot of reasons behind it,” Ray explained. “So COVID, we had less people out but people were being more generous, so it kind of balanced itself out. This year, I think there is a lot of fear.”

Ray didn’t elaborate on the fear, but the pandemic could be a major factor as families continue to suffer financially, in addition to smash and grab robberies across the state.

“I think there are a lot of things people can be afraid of right now,” Ray said. “I think every individual has different things on their list.

This year, the goal for the Salvation Army Sacramento is to raise $320,000 benefiting those in need in the area.

With only a few weeks left, they have raised $93,000.

People are able to donate at any red kettle location or can tap or click here to donate through their website.

“Every kettle stand, there is a Google pay and Apple pay they can pay at as well,” Ray said.

Ray said everyone can make a difference, small or big.

“I’m sure we will be out here next year, no doubt about it,” Ignatowicz said.

Salvation Army Sacramento hopes to reach its goal by Christmas Eve.

Officials said all the donations stay in Sacramento.

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