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2020 Red Kettle brings in more than expected, less than hoped for


Last updated 1/13/2021 at 11:30am

2020 was a successful year for Salvation Army Havre in terms of fundraising, but despite that success, 2021 may prove a difficult year as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and the demand for their services increases.

Social Services Director Trina Crawford said the 2020 Red Kettle event, the organization’s primary fundraiser for the year which makes up their budget for 2021, brought in far more than she was expecting.

“Red Kettle went really well this year,” Crawford said. “We raised $35,000, which is way exciting, I don’t think I’ve ever raised $35,000 before.”

She said she wanted to thank the community for their generosity, especially in a time when people are financially strained by the pandemic.

She said she considers this a great success, but it was lower than the goal she had set, which was $38,000, a number she based on the increased need she sees coming in 2021.

She said the Red Kettle is effectively the social service budget for Salvation Army Havre, and after covering cost for supplies about $30,000 will go back into the community.

Crawford also said the Virtual Red Kettle, which was set up in response to the pandemic, did not go as well as she hoped and while it’s always better to have more funds there isn’t enough to help all the people who need it.

“We only have $2,500 a month to help people with,” she said. “That isn’t all that much for a town the size of Havre with as much of a low-income population as we have.”

While she considers 2020 a success overall, the organization and the community it serves will likely be in desperate need especially as COVID-19 lifts and a lot of finical support goes away.

Crawford said most people in the community can’t pay their rent with a minimum-wage job, and because there are no homeless shelters in the area it will almost certainly be a rough year for the community and her organization, which will almost certainly see a substantially increased workload.

“The need is going to be greater, probably, than it’s ever been,” she said.

Crawford said her organization is 100 percent donor based, and they can’t do much without continued support.

“If donations don’t come in we can’t do the job we are meant to do,” she said.

However, she said, despite the situation, 2020 was an encouraging year not just because of the Red Kettle but the success of the Angel Tree program, which the Havre Police Department helped out with this year when it canceled its Shop with a Cop program due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crawford said 165 kids were supplied with toys this year, and she thanked the police for their help.

“The police department was fantastic,” she said.

She also thanked Fifth Avenue Christian Church which adopted 50 Angel Tree tags in 2020.

Crawford said, while they didn’t reach as many families with Christmas presents as they normally do, they were able to reach more children.

She said Salvation Army Havre’s next big event is the Easter food baskets which they’re working on with District 4 Human Resources and Development Council.

She said they will put out information on how to sign-up in February, and are looking to set-up a way for people to sign up online to lower the risk of spreading COVID-19.


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