MID-HUDSON – The continued weak economy is taking its toll on the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Christmas Collections in the Mid-Hudson Valley. Donations are down in the Newburgh and Poughkeepsie areas, but up in Kingston, officials said Monday.
Capt. Rohan Gage of the Newburgh Salvation Army chalks up their decline to the economy.
“With the economy and bad times, people aren’t doing as well as they were doing last year, so everything is down this year,” he said.
In Poughkeepsie, Lt. Dwayne Barnes, said his unit was impacted by a shortage of volunteers.
‘In terms of volunteers, we do solicit a lot of help to cover our kettle locations and this year we didn’t have as many as last year,” he said. “Certainly, it has a lot to do with the economy and people not giving as they generally would.”
Poughkeepsie’s kettle collections are down almost 50 percent, Barnes said.
That’s not the same picture in Kingston. Salvation Army Capt. William Geracia said the numbers are up.
“We’ve had more people out, more volunteers, especially new volunteers this year, and just overall, better coverage this year than in previous years.”
The officials of the Newburgh and Poughkeepsie branches acknowledge that they won’t hit their projected targets, but hope to raise more money before Christmas so that they can help more “adopted families” this year.