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Despite inflation, Salvation Army is hopeful for donations

Despite inflation, Salvation Army is hopeful for donations
Despite inflation, Salvation Army is hopeful for donations 02:17
Andres Gutierrez/CBS Detroit

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - Rising inflation could cause tighter budgets for some families as holiday shopping officially kicks off, and some may wonder how generous they can be.

The Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign is underway in Metro Detroit.

This is Pam Callan's fifth year serving as a volunteer and sharing her Christmas spirit during bell ringing for the campaign.

"People are struggling even more this year, even as opposed to when the pandemic was going on. It's hitting everyone, big families, small families, and people need to know that just $1, just a handful of change, can change a whole family's life," Callan said.

The nonprofit hopes to raise $8.2 million over the next few weeks.

"People are living on an even tighter budget; the needs do go up," Major Bob Mueller, the Salvation Army Metro Detroit area commander, told CBS Detroit. "People are having a more difficult time choosing what they're going to spend their money on these days, so you know, if they can come to the Salvation Army and get help with their groceries or get a coat for their child, that's what they'll do to improvise and stick to their budget."

A recent survey from the University of Michigan found about 60% of consumers have already scaled back their spending.

Those who have adjusted so far are bracing for the year to come.

"Consumers are still spending, supported by strong incomes and strong labor markets, but they might shy away from goods that are a little bit more expensive and switch to items that are a little bit cheaper," Joanne Hsu, director of the Surveys of Consumers at the University of Michigan said.

Callan is optimistic the need will open hearts.

"I am very hopeful. Some people underestimate the goodness in other people, and I don't. I overestimate. I know they're out there. And I know there's generous people everywhere," Callan said.

You can always donate your time if you can't donate money, toys, or food this holiday season.

"An unmanned kettle is an empty kettle; the more volunteers we can get, the more money will get in our kettle," Mueller said.

The Red Kettle campaign alone covers about two-thirds of its annual operating budget. To help or donate, visit

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