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Salvation Army Struggles to Reach Goal - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Salvation Army Struggles to Reach Goal

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UPDATE

The economic recession continues to make a dent in donations in the Salvation Army's Northern Division, covering Minnesota and North Dakota.
    
Spokeswoman Annette Bauer says mailed donations are still being counted, but overall the division has collected $15.5 million - $2 million short of its goal.
    
Bauer says for the region's smaller cities, the seasonal fund raising accounts for about 70 percent of their budgets. She says Fargo, N.D., has a goal of $890,000, but is about $100,000 short. Rochester set a $1 million goal and has raised $820,000. The Twin Cities is about $700,000 below its goal of $9.8 million.
    
Bauer says there are bright spots however. Brainerd, Austin, Cloquet, Fairmont, Willmar and Willison, N.D., have met, or are near their goals. Fergus Falls exceeded its kettle donation goal after an anonymous donor gave $10,000.

ORIGINAL STORY

It is a final push for a local charity asking for the community's help. Officials with the Salvation Army's annual Red Kettle Campaign say they are in major need of donations so they can hit this years goal.. especially when the need to help families this year is greater then ever.

During the holiday season, you can spot a Salvation Army Bell Ringer somewhere around town  collecting money for those less fortunate.

Captain Bill Mealy with the Salvation Army says the Kettle Campaign is the biggest fundraiser; It helps them feed people throughout the year and allows them to  give away food and toys during their annual Christmas distribution.

"It's 60 percent of our annual budget." But Mealy says this year, they are behind on their $825,000 goal by about $20,000 dollars... something that hasn't happened before

"This year has been tough. We have seen an increase of need."

The Salvation Army says every penny counts. To serve one meal costs about $2.50 and last year alone, they served close to 70,000 meals, that's why it's important they try and meet their goal.

"We want to reach out to the community to meet the need."

A need they hope to fill as long as these red kettles fill up

"We don't know what's causing it... we're just pleading that we get people out here to support us."

It's not just in Fargo where kettles are falling short. In Fergus Falls, they are $37,000 behind their goal. In Jamestown, they're down $67,000 dollars.

You can donate to the Red Kettle campaign up until Christmas Eve at noon. If you don't have any extra money this holiday season, but don't have time, they are also in need of volunteer ringers. In Fargo they're about 400 short for the final week.

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