ROANOKE, Va. – It was a record breaking Christmas season for the Salvation Army of Roanoke. The red kettle campaign brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars, exceeding expectations.
"This kind of stands out as an anomaly for how great we did. But we really think it shows how generous people are in our community," said Captain Andy Seiler.
This year, the kettle campaign in the Roanoke Valley raised more than $315,000. That's about a $30,000 increase from last year.
"It's our biggest fundraiser of the year with the most people that give, so it funds programs like Turning Point, our domestic violence shelter for women, our Red Shield lodge which is our men's shelter, and for other programs that we run throughout the year," said Seiler.
While the kettle campaign donations were up in the Roanoke Valley, general donations during the holiday season were down.
"When people mail in their checks for Christmas and the end of the year, we saw a drop of almost 10 percent, so we're concerned about that. But we know that people will come through to help us serve people in 2018," said Seiler.
The Roanoke Salvation Army is extra thankful for the generosity because other Salvation Army branches in the area, Lynchburg and the New River Valley, saw drops in their kettle campaign donations this year. Seiler said some of the donation decline could be related to the number of natural disasters experienced this year.