Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign coming up short

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Updated: 12/24/2012 11:39 am
With one day left to bring in funds from the bell ringers, the Salvation Army is keeping faith they'll reach this year's lofty $242,000 goal.

"We are $38,000 down," Major Tim Grider, with the non-profit, said. "We're rounding up, because I'm sure tomorrow it will be more. But there are many reasons. First of all, lack of ringers, and B, as a very close second, is just the fact that folks don't have it. They're concerned about the fiscal cliff, they're concerned about what's going to happen after Christmas. There's just a lot of concern, and we can feel the intensity, even on the kettle."

Bell ringing is the organization's biggest annual fundraiser. In just a six-week period, the non-profit usually raises more than half its budget. Grider said they appreciate every penny.

"We had our distribution last week, helped over 6,400 kids, 1,700 families with food," Grider said. "That all happened last week. We still have to pay for that. We also have to take care of our shelters year round, we have to take care of our social services year round."

"Basically it keeps the shelter open, because what we do is pay for our christmas program through the bell ringing, but we also have enough money to get us through the lean months, which is usually during the summer months," Marvis Steele, with the organization, said. "So, if we have a poor season, it's just a little harder to do everything we normally do."

Major Grider said they'll have some important decisions to make going into the new year.

"They may be tough, they may be difficult, figuring out what we're going to have to cut back on, or maybe even cut out," Grider said. "That's going to be difficult, but we'll have to do it. We'll have to make those tough decisions, and just go from there, and hope that in time, the economy rebounds and we're able to catch up."

While the economy has taken a toll nationwide, he said he hasn't given up.

"The community's always able to help us, but they have to make that decision," Grider said. "They have to decide what they have available, and they have to decide to give it. So, that's something we're not in control of. But again, it's just hope and faith that they're able to come through and help us again this year."

Major Grider said the red kettles usually fill up right before Christmas, but he doesn't see that happening this year. He estimates they'll bring in around $4,000 or $5,000 Christmas Eve.
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