TOPEKA (KSNT) — The cold, bitter weather here and across most of the west had a huge impact on Black Friday shopping sales.
The National Retail Federation says sales in shops and stores were off ten percent compared to last year, but KSNT News learned retailers weren’t the only ones hurt.
In Topeka the Salvation Army has only collected about $25,000 dollars for their Red Kettle campaign so far.
That might seem like a lot, but it’s about half of what they normally collect during the busy weekend after Thanksgiving.
Bell ringers for the charity braved the cold wind and ice, “I wrapped up real good and stayed out of the rain,” said volunteer Christopher Davis, but it turns out many shoppers weren’t as brave.
“This last Black Friday weekend we had a really difficult fund-raising time with the weather and other issues. We ended up raising about half of what we normally do on a big, big weekend for us,” said Major Brian Burkett with the Salvation Army of Topeka.
It’s a big set-back for their $185,000 goal, but they still have almost four weeks to meet that goal and they hope you will help.
“The people of Topeka are always generous. We’re always blessed to know that people care so much about others,” said Burkett.
It doesn’t have to be much, they say even a small handful of spare change helps.
“It is really amazing when you see the quarters and dimes and nickels and dollars, how they add up to a substantial amount of money so every little bit absolutely makes a difference,” said Burkett.
He explains 92 cents of every dollar will help people right here in Topeka.
“Emergency pantry program, community meal, rent, mortgage, utility assistance, some case management programs, veteran’s services. So we really help people in almost every way that they find themselves in need,” Burkett.
“Whatever you give is very appreciated and we’ll accept whatever we can,” said Davis.
As Giving Tuesday comes and goes, if at some point you pass one of those bright red kettles on your way in or out of a store, and you have some change to spare, the Salvation Army appreciates any contribution, no matter how small.
The bell ringers will be out collecting change through Christmas Eve.