SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — In just one month, the Salvation Army will set out its red kettles for the upcoming holiday season. But you can help the organization right now by placing bids during their annual auction that’s underway this week.
People have donated dozens of items that are up for auction online by the Salvation Army. A honey gift basket has set off a sweet, yet fierce, bidding war.
“That went up for auction last night and we’ve already had like five or six people bidding back and forth for that particular basket,” Salvation Army Development, Volunteer & Community Relations Director Marcie Priestley said.
Most of the money raised from the auction will go toward the Salvation Army’s emergency food pantry, which has seen a five-fold increase in usage during the pandemic.
“Before the pandemic, we were seeing about 25 people come in and requesting food a week. Now, we’re seeing 125 come in and requesting food,” Priestley said.
Salvation Army volunteer David Bacon has been cold-calling local businesses asking them to donate items for the auction. He says many businesses have been generous in their donations, despite facing pandemic-related challenges of their own.
“It’s a problem, and sometimes I have trouble getting the manager on the phone because the managers are so busy dealing with the customers because they’re short-handed in their own worker-wages,” Salvation Army volunteer David Bacon said.
The Salvation Army is bringing back its in-person auction Thursday night at its Community Center on North Cliff. It turns out, people missed the excitement of live-bidding during the pandemic last year.
“People liked the option to stay home and be on their couch and pj’s and bid that way and still participate in it because they participate every year. But they really did miss that social part where we would all gather together and have a fun night together,” Priestley said.
Whether bidding online or in-person, either way, the auction benefits families in-need, through the Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army hopes to raise $8,000 during this week’s auction.