Updated: Thursday, 07 Jan 2010, 6:33 PM MST
Published : Thursday, 07 Jan 2010, 6:28 PM MST
ROSWELL, N.M. (KBIM-KRQE) - Even as demand for family services doubled donations to the Roswell Salvation Army Caring Kettles nosedived 30 percent during the Christmas season despite an innovative credit-card program.
Salvation Army bell ringers had hoped the addition of the credit card machines would help overcome the effects of the battered local economy.
"My first day people were excited, but they were intimidated to use it," said Shannon Avery, a bell ringer who was the primary volunteer offering people a chance to donate without coming up with cash.
Salvation Army Capt. Beau Perez said the credit-card machine only raised about $200 during the entire holiday season.
"It was a nice additional thing," Perez said. "I was hoping someone would come by and swipe and put 1,000 bucks in, but that didn't happen."
Instead the 2009 donations totaled about $60,000, down $30,000 from 2008, he said.
A problem magnified because needy families seeking help doubled to more than 500 from 2008 to 2009.
"We brought in a lot less monetarily than we did last year, but the need got met," Perez said.
Now dealing with the budget shortfall Perez said the Army will look toward its thrift store and fundraisers to fill the gap.