Stores Step Up as Haverhill Salvation Army’s Kettle Drive Donations Plummet

A countertop kettle at EZ Way Cleaners, 139 South Main St. (WHAV News photograph,)

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With Christmas just days away, Haverhill Salvation Army’s kettle collections are down 80 percent this year.

Major Lynnann Rivers, a guest recently on WHAV’s morning program, says there is hope, however with some stores allowing kettles to be placed and others hosting “countertop kettles.”

“I’m able to have kettles at the three Market Baskets in Haverhill and then at Market Basket, Shaw’s and Walmart in Plaistow. However, you’ll probably not find somebody out because I just have not had enough volunteers to put out there,” she says.

Due to the late start, caused by the uncertainty of the pandemic, the Salvation Army is relying solely on volunteer bell ringers this year, which have not been as plentiful as in previous years.

“But we are down about 80% in Haverhill. I think the average for the state Salvation Army as a whole is 50%, but here in Haverhill we are down 80% in our Christmas income, mostly because of not having the daily kettles, people out at the kettles daily. But, it’s easy to go online to and find the town you want to give to, and donate via credit card online and it’s easy to write a check to the Salvation Army and send it to 395 Main St., Haverhill, Massachusetts,” she adds.

Rivers says they have also been helped by businesses hosting “countertop kettles.” Businesses include all three EZ Way Cleaners locations and Benedetti’s Deli on Washington Street.

In addition to the kettle drive, Rivers says they are also packing up toy bags, for families, for next weeks’ distribution.

“We are struggling with boy and girl gifts for ages 6 to 10 years old . We’re having trouble filling the bags for those age groups. You could drop off gifts here at the Salvation Army, the office is open Monday through Friday from 9 to 1, and you could go to and order something off our Registry For Good and it will be sent directly here,” she suggests.

For those interested in volunteering to stand at a Salvation Army kettle, Rivers says they are asked to take at least a two-hour shift and are required to wear a mask. Hand sanitizer pumps are attached to the kettle stand and sanitizer wipes are provided for wiping off the kettle. Volunteers are asked to take a step back when someone approaches, but still say “thank you” and “Merry Christmas.”

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