Salvation Army starts holiday kettle driveby Julie Siple, Minnesota Public Radio
The Salvation Army kicks off its holiday fundraising drive in the Twin Cities this weekend.
The Salvation Army hopes to raise $9.8 million in the 10-county Twin Cities metro area during the holiday season, $3.4 million from kettle donations. The nonprofit brings in a significant amount of its annual budget during the holiday season.
Salvation Army spokeswoman Annette Bauer said the money will be used throughout the year to fund housing and food programs that help a growing number of Minnesotans in crisis.
"We have continued to see an increase in need," Bauer said. "In fact, our meal programs have gone up nearly 200 percent since 2008. And our housing programs -- we expected our emergency housing, that's that just get people off the street -- we expected there to be a lull in the summer. Not only did we not see that, we saw an increase."
Bauer added that the money is also used for "our food shelves, for the after-school programs and many other things that the Salvation Army is doing to help families that are in crisis."
She said there will be more than 400 kettles in the Twin Cities alone. The Salvation Army is seeking volunteer bell ringers to help throughout the state.
People who want to volunteer can sign up online at www.salvationarmynorth.org or call 651-746-3519.
• Follow Julie Siple on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/juliesiple_mpr