By Christy Strawser
CBS Detroit Managing Editor
Times are tough in metro Detroit, so much so that red kettles are as silent as mice, with very little cheerful clanging of change.

The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit is still $5 million away from reaching its $8.2 million 2011 Red Kettle Campaign fundraising goal, and 9 percent below its fundraising pace from last year. Scrambling, the charity issued an “urgent plea” for help Wednesday.

“With 16.8 percent of Michigan residents living in poverty — the highest percentage in four decades — we simply can’t afford to miss making our goal of $8.2 million this year,” said Major Mark Anderson, general secretary and metro Detroit area commander for The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit.

“We are counting on the generosity of metro Detroiter’s to help us keep doing the most good this holiday season and throughout the entire year.”

The financial goal of this year’s kettle campaign is slightly higher than the funds collected last year, said Major Curtiss Hartley, divisional youth officer of the Salvation Army in Metro Detroit. Why raise the goal when money is so hard to come by?

“It’s because the need is greater, we just really need to appeal to the generosity of Detroit folks,” Hartley said. “There are so many things going on, food and shelter are the basics, the numbers are through the roof in those areas.”

Hartley stopped by Charlie Langton’s morning show Thursday on Talk Radio 1270, where he told the story of a woman desperate for help. He said they had recently received a letter from a single mother of seven living in a mobile home falling apart around her, who was worried about getting the kids around in an ailing vehicle, and finding a way to provide them with Christmas presents.

“(She wrote) ‘I’m literally at the end of my rope,'” Hartley reported. Staff got her to a Salvation Army service center to sign her up for Christmas presents for her kids.

“We’ve got folks lined up at service centers needing assistance … Literally lining up. They’re looking for Christmas gifts for their children,” Hartley told Langton.

According to Governor Rick Snyder, The Salvation Army is the largest private provider of social services in the state.

This past year, The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit was involved in providing 3,194,802 million meals and 687,203 nights of shelter for the homeless. The Salvation Army uses $.85 of every dollar raised to provide direct services to people in need each and every day of the year.

Want to help? There are several easy ways to give.

Bell ringers at the charity’s famous Red Kettles will collect donations at storefronts through Dec. 24. Donations are also accepted via phone at 877-SAL-MICH and online at through the Red Kettle Campaign’s last day, set for Jan. 31, 2012.

Donors may also text ‘GOODMICH’ to 80888*. Donations can also be made via check to The Salvation Army at 16130 Northland Drive, Southfield, MI 48075.

Comments (209)
  1. JohnRalph says:

    Obama’s brand of socialism, which is an amalgamation of the Nationalist and Communist varieties despises America.

    Except Islamic America, which is an excellent example of both types since it is a religion that through Sharia Law controls every aspects of one’s life. Virtually enslaving the believer.

    National SOCIALIST German WORKERS Party, referred to in English as the NAZI Party (Hitler’s socialism for the German ‘Teutonic’ Race). In reality though no different than the left’s socialism.

    Like Stalin, for the white Russians, or Pol Pot, for the Khmer Rouge, or Ho Chi Minh, for the Viet Minh, or Mao, for the Han Chinese.

    Socialist Gods that brought death and misery to tens if not hundreds of millions of humans.

    Let us not forget our SOCIALIST God, Mein Lord God High Fü&rer Obama, for America’s liberal elite, Muslims, OWS and welfare voters on the dole.

  2. JohnRalph says:

    Meanwhile, Mein Fü&rer and Her Royal Highness Queen Moochelle, will dine on Italian White Alba truffles, Kobe steak, blue lobsters and they’ll wash it down with a bottle of Rothschild’s Chateau Lafite 1869, out of a brown paper bag, Chicago style.

    While we must eat our peas… and learn to appreciate it.

  3. Alferrer says:

    Mugabe would have done a better job. Detroit should become an African nation.

  4. Tami L Thomas-Paisley says:

    “With 16.8 percent of Michigan residents living in poverty — the highest percentage in four decades — we simply can’t afford to miss making our goal of $8.2 million this year,” I agree this goal is unattainable. Higher rate of poverty=less people that are able to donate. Not to mention the mass exodus of people from Michigan. Our population has gone down so much that we lost a seat in the US House of Representatives. I donate clothing, furniture, and other necessary items, but we are running paycheck to paycheck and I have no money to give. Regardless as to whether your a Dem or Rep, Michigan citizens are BROKE. If Detroit wants to help itself, it needs to do something to try and bring people into the city. Like tear down all the dilapidated buildings and houses, and start rebuilding. It’s your turn Detroit, pick yourselves up, because if everyone is sitting in the apple cart it will go no where.

  5. yonker says:

    Go figure…Detroit the Epi-center of Loving, Giving and Kind Islam here in America is having a problem..

  6. David Mills says:

    Im not trying to be,yah know,but certain minority groups are well,they just dont tip,let alone do much charity.

  7. Indy says:

    After the dems ran detroit into the ground, I didn`t think there was anyone left in that city

  8. Markllar says:

    It’s called “running out of other peoples money”

  9. Ron Reale says:

    Put Santa back at the kettles, and you will see more donations. Dis Santa, and you’re on the naughty list. People will give to a Santa bell-ringer. It IS Christman, stop trying to make it just look like some generic holiday with a dude in an apron.

    Ron Reale

  10. J-Rock says:

    White Collar Crime is what’s killing America! White’s are so surreptitious that no one even sees it coming til it’s too late.. Damage done!!!

  11. Chrissy J says:

    People are so hateful and clueless I bet you try to blame thiss on Obama and his “walfare” program also. Forgetting that your “Bush” is the reason were in the mess were in now. Leave the “Demo’s”‘ alone its not his fault its taking alittle longer to clean up this mess! Get over your selves! Fools!

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