Good Question: Does all the Red Kettle money stay here?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC)— Can you show me the money? We’re talking about donations, specifically what people put in those famous Red Kettles this time of year.

David asked News10NBC’s Brennan Somers: When I put money in the red kettle where does that money go?

That’s a Good Question.

We know the Red Kettle Campaign is the biggest and most important for the Salvation Army each year. The group uses that support to offer meals, shelter, and other necessities to men, women, and children.

To follow the money let’s take this literally step by step. Somers talked with Major Doug Burr to get the answer.

BRENNAN SOMERS: "Say I’m at the mall or at a different store, see one of these kettles, I put a $20 bill in there. what happens next?"

BURR: "Well, we’ve got to count it. you have to keep track of that. so we have a group of women from our women’s auxiliary that comes and they help us count. That money goes into the bank and then from there, it goes into our operating account and then we process it for needs. It could go to provide help in our women’s shelter next door, or men’s shelter downtown, or it could go to social services. Perhaps toys, perhaps food, food, feeding people, etc."

That’s the answer for how the donations are moved. Does the money go anywhere else?

SOMERS: "I put in a $100 bill, how much of that stays here?"

BURR: "100% stays local. it really does. it goes into service. I mean, you know, you got to turn the lights on. You got to pay staff to provide those services. But the bottom line is what you donate in this kettle stays in Rochester."

It’s easy to follow cold hard cash and coin donations people drop in the kettles. What about the more modern ways to donate–through text or scanning QR codes on your phone?

BURR: "These QR codes are specifically designed and this one says Rochester, New York. So if someone scans this code, the money will go to a national place and it is sorted but by code. it comes back to us."

The theme for this holiday season’s Red Kettle Campaign is "Hope Marches On." The goal is to bring in $400,000.


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