MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — The Salvation Army is seeing an all-time low in donations this holiday season.
- Manatee County chapter down thousands of dollars versus last year
- More volunteers needed to man kettles
- LINK: Salvation Army of Manatee County
The Manatee County chapter said it is down thousands in donations from last year.
And it comes at the same time more families are needing help.
"We're feeding approximately 250 depending on the time of the month," said Salvation Army Chief Thomas Giglio. "Close to 300 at the end of the month."
Donations also keep doors open when it gets cold outside.
"Knowing you're going to be able to come in and have a warm place to stay is a load off your mind," said Raymond Valdez.
The number of people using the cold weather shelter has skyrocketed. This week, the Salvation Army even ran out of beds.
"We had to put down mats on the floor, but better to sleep on a mat than in the cold," said Major George Patterson of the Manatee County Salvation Army.
Its donations are down about $30,000 versus last year.
The Salvation Army believes the drop in donations is because of the lack of volunteers manning the kettles.
Patterson said some Salvation Army locations in Florida allow credit card donations.
"In my experience it actually costs us more for service than what we brought in," he said.
The problem with credit card services is they charge a service fee even if it is at a low price.
Patterson is open to the idea in the future.
"We have to look at it again, and try it again and see if it's better than it was 1-2 years ago," he said.
For now, they believe if they can just get more volunteers to man the bells, the donations will come in
The Salvation Army says if you do want to donate using a credit or debit card, you can always give them a call or go in person to a location to make a donation.