By Jenna DeWitt: CNJ staff writer
Despite economic hard times, Clovis and Portales still gave generously to the Salvation Army’s three holiday programs, Red Kettles, Angel Tree and The Empty Stocking Fund.
Monetary donations were up 16 percent, according to Salvation Army figures. The biggest increase was in kettle collections, which helped offset a 27-percent drop in the Empty Stocking Fund.
The drop in the Empty Stocking Fund “might be the economy,” Salvation Army Cap. Tammy Ray said. “But with the significant increase in the kettles means it is possible people were giving differently.”
A separate Red Kettle program was created in Portales this year.
The new Portales service extension unit partnered with the Portales Ministerial Alliance, churches and civic organizations to raise $9,755. Volunteers rang bells outside Wal-Mart and Russell’s Super Save every weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“All proceeds from Portales will stay in Roosevelt County,” said Dave McVey, president of the Ministerial Alliance and minister at Central Christian Church.
In Clovis, $37,652 was collected in kettles, a 4 percent increase over last year’s combined Clovis and Portales donations.