Christmas is over, and with it, the red kettles that signal the Salvation Army's annual fundraising campaign. But the organization, just shy of its $250,000 goal, is making one final push.
The Red Kettle Campaign has raised a little under $100,000 and the direct mail campaign has brought in close to $150,000, but the total remains $247,000.
"We are happily accepting contributions through the middle of the month," said Maj. K. Kendall, the Jefferson City/Columbia regional coordinator. "We feel we're so close. We feel the community deserves to know we're close because they worked so hard in giving to the red kettles and mail appeal and volunteering their time. They deserve to share in celebration. They made the goal happen."
While increasing its goal because of the increased need for services, the Army has also tightened its own belt.
Mathews said the agency budgeted $7,000 for toys for to be distributed over Christmas for needy children through the Army's new toy shop, but got all of the toys donated. It also shaved $1,000 off its $5,000 food budget to provide groceries to families over the holidays. And it cut back bell ringing from six to five days a week, while trying to use more volunteers on the remaining days, Mathews said.
The Salvation Army's Christmas assistance programs benefited about 300 families, he said.
Donations can be mailed or brought to one of the local Salvation Army offices, he said.