‘We can’t fail. Families are counting on us’: How to help the Salvation Army respond to record need

MADISON, Wis.– There are many reasons to be hopeful in 2021: our healthcare heroes are getting vaccinated, more relief checks are on the way, and we’re adjusting to this ‘new normal.’

But for the Salvation Army of Dane County, the ‘new normal’ means a lot more need.

“We’re planning on 2021 being another year that we just need more help,” said Steve Heck, Director of Operations for the Salvation Army of Dane County.

Every day of the year, the Salvation Army is busy supporting neighbors in need. But right now, that need has reached record levels: shelters are at or near capacity and more people are asking for help.

“We just see our numbers going up every week,” said Heck.

The annual Red Kettle Campaign is the Salvation Army’s main fundraiser. This year, donations were down, so the non-profit is relying on community support year-round.

“We can’t fail,” said Heck. “Families and single women are counting on us. Don’t think your $5 doesn’t matter, because it does.”

Heck explained $5 covers the cost of two meals at the shelter; $25 covers a one-night stay.

There are many ways you can help the Salvation Army of Dane County serve our community:

  • Give money on the Salvation Army’s website or by texting ‘DANE’ to 24-365
  • Donate clothes, furniture, and/or household items
  • Share unused airline miles to help the non-profit meet need nationwide
  • Sponsor a child-in-need overseas
  • Donate your vehicle
  • Create a corporate partnership
  • Volunteer your time

Click here for a full list of ways to give to the Salvation Army of Dane County this winter.

Heck is still waiting for the final Red Kettle Campaign totals to come in; he expects he’ll know the final numbers by Friday. Currently, the Salvation Army of Dane County is about $40,000 short of its $500,000 goal.

RELATED: With local shelters at capacity, the Salvation Army asks for community support heading into coldest months of the year