Red Kettle fundraiser exceeds goal

ESCANABA — The Salvation Army’s 2020 Red Kettle fundraiser exceeded its $100,000 goal by almost $10,000, said Major Alex Norton, an officer of the Escanaba Salvation Army since June 2019.

Norton believes the drive, which brought in $109,486.00, was so successful because community members knew how difficult COVID-19 could make raising money. He admitted that attracting donations while implementing an entirely new system to meet pandemic health requirements was expensive.

“The sheer cost of keeping our staff healthy and safe with masks, sanitizer, cleaning solutions etc., was a huge hit to our budget,” said Norton, adding, “I firmly believe people who inquired about our efforts realized this year was going to be expensive.”

Numerous other COVID-19 requirements — such as serving lunch in take-out containers — had a negative financial ripple effect as well.

“Serving the less fortunate is getting more and more expensive,” said Norton.

This year the Salvation Army will make changes to its service areas to meet people’s needs in the shifting landscape. To provide more social services, Norton is considering building a new food pantry or expanding the existing one. He asked community members to consider volunteering to help with the increased demand for caseworkers. Norton said his staff worked long hours helping the community throughout 2020, and continues to serve, regardless of risk to themselves.

“As with most Salvation Army churches, my staff wears many hats for little compensation. This is truly not a job for the faint of heart,” said Norton.


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