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The Salvation Army's red kettle donations are down in the Oklahoma City metro area

Organizers say The Salvation Army's red kettle donations are down this year in the metro area for several possible reasons, but with the new ‘virtual red kettle' there's still time to make a difference.
BY NASREEN IQBAL Modified: December 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm •  Published: December 19, 2012

“We give fans in the summer and coats in the winter. If there's a human need, our mission is to meet it,” Castle said. “Last year we were able to help 140,000 people in the Oklahoma City metro area.”

Castle said for each dollar The Salvation Army receives, 84 percent goes to the charities it supports.

Proctor said the money raised from the red kettle campaign helps the community throughout the year.

“One thing we say here is that need has no season,” Proctor said.

To help increase donations, The Salvation Army has created a “virtual red kettle” so people can donate online at

Bell ringers accept checks, cash and credit cards with card swiping devices on volunteer's iPhones in each participating community.

Castle said bell ringers try their own methods of increasing donations such as giving out candy canes and dressing up as Santa Claus.

She said even with donations being low she is surprised by the generosity she sees from the community.

“The other day I had a grandmother, daughter, and granddaughter stop by and donate. Three generations. They said it was a family tradition,” she said.

“I am always surprised by the people who donate. Sometimes people you would think need the money stop to give it. I hope we'll raise the money but there's no way to tell yet. This is God's work, we're just the hands and feet of that work,” she said.

Castle said while bell ringers will accept donations until Dec. 24, people can donate online anytime.

“Every nickel, dime and quarter helps. Many hands make work light,” she said.