Salvation Army of Greater Portland expecting increased demand this holiday season

The Salvation Army of Greater Portland launched its annual Christmas kettle campaign today, and organization leaders said demand is greater now than perhaps ever.

“I’m wearing three shirts, a sweater, coat, two pairs of socks, two pairs of gloves and three scarves,” said Kelly Walden, of Bangor, a bell ringer for The Salvation Army, during a nine-hour shift outside the J.C. Penney at the Bangor Mall in 2010. (BDN file photo by John Clarke Russ)

The group set a goal of $160,000 for this year’s kettle campaign. Maj. Steve Ditmer of the Portland Corps said nearly 3,700 people received Thanksgiving or Christmas assistance from the local Salvation Army, and another 1,443 people in nursing homes, hospitals and institutions received visits and holiday gifts through the organization.

Said Ditmer in a statement:

Indications are that this year the need will be even more. To ensure we can do this effectively we really needs the public’s support with our Christmas Kettle Campaign — both with volunteers and financial contributions.

Ditmer was joined in a campaign kick-off event today in Portland by city Mayor Michael Brennan, who added this in a statement:

This year’s Christmas Kettle Campaign is more important than ever before as the economic challenges increase for many families and individuals throughout our community.

Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.