Salvation Army comes up short

Campaign shortfall of $16,800 could put damper on budget

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter Fort Dodge Salvation Army Capt. Rick Hamlund packs up some of the countertop kettles that were used during the holiday season.

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign hasn’t gone as expected this holiday season in Fort Dodge.

“We fell short,” said Capt. Rick Hamlund. “Quite a bit short. We were about $16,800 short of our goal.”

The local Salvation Army post was hoping to bring in about $60,000 with the campaign, Hamlund said.

“We still have our mail appeal that’s coming in,” he said. “We’re going to have to find out by the end of January how our numbers did, then budget accordingly.”

The program may have to cut back services, he said.

“We feed lunch five times a week here, and we may have to change that,” he said. “We may have to go to four or three times a week.”

The post suffered from a lack of volunteers this year, Hamlund said.

“The main reason we fell short was because we could not get anybody to bell ring,” he said. “I had four paid bell ringers, but they can only work so long on a shift. The rest of the day was open.”

An unattended kettle tends to garner little attention and few donations, and in multiple locations kettles had to be left unattended from 5 p.m. on, he said.

Hamlund said few service groups in town provided volunteers this year.

Some groups, such as Rotary and Fort Dodge Senior High, did provide some help, he said. And the countertop kettles that collected change inside restaurants and convenience stores did well. There was also a surprising donation of two 1-ounce South African gold Krugerrands dropped into the red kettles, worth about $1,128 each.

Hopefully the mail campaign will make up the deficit, Hamlund said.

For more information or to donate to The Salvation Army, call 576-1281. Send mail to The Salvation Army, Fort Dodge Corps, 126 N. Seventh St., Fort Dodge, IA 50501, or visit