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Mankato Salvation Army set to fall short of Christmas campaign goal for first time

If the money isn’t raised by 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Wheeler says there will be catastrophic consequences.
Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 10:33 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — This time of year, it’s hard to enter a grocery store or a bigger business in Mankato and not hear the ringing of bells or see the Salvation Army’s signature red kettle.

That money means the organization can continue to help the community. But this year, Salvation Army leaders say something is happening that could hurt its efforts in the region.

“There is some misinformation, maybe people don’t understand what the Salvation Army is about and who we are, especially in Mankato. I will just reiterate, but we are here to help people, period. There are no prerequisites. You don’t have to look a certain way. You just have to be a person in need, and we will help you,” stated Lt. Andy Wheeler of the Mankato Salvation Army.

Right now, the Salvation Army is more than $200,000 shy of its $525,000 goal, which is a record low projection of just 59%.

“That’s the hard part for us. That is the most sobering aspect of a shortfall like this is how many people will have to go without,” Wheeler said.

If the money isn’t raised by 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Wheeler says there will be catastrophic consequences.

“In previous appointments, we had to cut days of the week we served food, we had to cut hours of service for our pantry where we had those. Here, with the shortfall of this nature, is revisiting how many hours a week our shelter is open,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler is asking Mankato and North Mankato residents to do what they do best and help.

“The community knows who the Salvation Army is and what we are about here. Regardless of any outside noise, so I am going to ask the community to just step in and step up. Pay attention to your heart and pay attention to the work of the Salvation Army because it has never been about what it has never been about.”

Wheeler says he just wants the public to know that no matter what is said or done, they’ve always just wanted to provide comfort and a second chance to the people who need it most.

“We had a young man recently start coming to the program who has lost everything, and he said if it wasn’t for the Salvation Army that he would be hungry,” Wheeler recalled.

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