Donation kickstarts Salvation Army’s kettle campaign

Donation kickstarts Salvation Army’s kettle campaign

At an Oct. 3 check presentation in Pawtucket are, from left, Tim Reichardt, of Narragansett Bay Insurance, Captains Edilberto Lozano and Giomar Lozano, of the Salvation Army, Tim Moura, president of Narragansett Bay Insurance, Melanie Loiselle-Mongeon and Bob Loiselle, of Loiselle Insurance, and Donna Greggson, of Pawtucket Credit Union and chairwoman of the Salvation Army Board.
With less loose change, diversifying donations becomes more important

PAWTUCKET – A $1,000 donation by Pawtucket-based Narragansett Bay Insurance Company is helping to launch the Salvation Army of Pawtucket’s 2018 kettle campaign for the holidays.

The donation was made on Oct. 3 at the request of Melanie Loiselle-Mongeon, of Loiselle Insurance Agency of Pawtucket and a member of the advisory board at the Salvation Army of Pawtucket for several years.

The local Salvation Army at 102 High St. remains an important asset to the people of Pawtucket and the other communities it serves, says Loiselle-Mongeon, including Cumberland, Lincoln, Central Falls and East Providence. The needs in the community keep growing despite a rebounding economy.

“The number of families over the years that they’ve helped, the numbers are just staggering,” she said of those who get assistance at the nonprofit. Many of those in need are working families who need help with anything from food to rent subsidies, clothes and toys, she said.

Loiselle-Mongeon and others from her agency contribute money and volunteer time each year helping with kettle campaign, which sees volunteer bell ringers come from many local businesses and government departments. They also help out with organization’s annual Angel Tree program, where presents are collected to match Christmas wish lists.

The fact that the kettle campaign is still dependent on donors who drop loose change in the red kettle outside local stores is hurting the organization “in a big way” as more people get away from using cash entirely, said Loiselle-Mongeon. The Salvation Army as a whole is trying to modernize its efforts in this area, she said, including running online kettle campaigns and seeking donations in other ways. There has been a thought about possibly going to a card-swiping system outside stores, but modernizing to that extent is “much easier said than done” for an nonprofit that remains very traditional in its practices, she said.

“It’s an amazing organization,” she said. Proof of the Salvation Army’s reputation in the community can be seen in the many local companies that choose to support it, she said, including Navigant Credit Union and the Pawtucket Credit Union.

What the Salvation Army has going for it is name recognition and a certain trust factor that nearly all of the donations given will go directly to help people in need, Loiselle-Mongeon said. “Very little” money goes to administrative costs compared to other nonprofits, she added.

Captains Edilberto and Giomar Lozano are the corps officers at the Salvation Army of Pawtucket. Ed Lozano confirmed that demand remains high, with the food pantry at the Pawtucket location serving between 450 and 500 families each month. He also highlighted the organization’s healthy food program, which sees 76 families coming each week to learn how to prepare healthier foods. Lozano said some 50 families receive help on utilities and clothing and furniture vouchers each month. The Salvation Army also runs summer camp and day camp before and after school during the school year. Once each month, the nonprofit welcomes families for classes in personal finance and budgeting.

For more on the Pawtucket Salvation Army, or to donate, visit ctri.salvationarmy.org/sne/pawtucket .