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Low Donations Could Cut Community Programs

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Franque Thompson

OMAHA (KPTM)- All 160 of the Salvation Army's bell ringing sites were fully staffed Tuesday.  It's an effort to raise as much money as possible on its final donation day.  This year, the Salvation Army is nowhere near its goal for the Red Kettle drive.  The lack of donations could effect many of the programs the campaign helps fund.

"The need is up and donations are down.  We're trying to do more with less," said Major Todd Thielke of the Salvation Army.

As of last Friday, the organization raised 63 percent of its $3 million; 10 percent less than last year's total.  Thielke said there's a list of reasons why numbers are low.

"The very cold weather, lack of volunteers because of the cold weather, some cancellations as well as a shorter ringing season because Thanksgiving is closer to Christmas this year," he said.

If there aren't enough donations made from the Red Kettle drive, programs like 'night watch' and 'adopt a family' could be at risk.

"We're going to have to really look at our budget, we're going to have to rely on the generosity of the community further and maybe through mail maybe we can make up for the kettles," said Thielke.

Ringing bells all over town one last time—making every dollar count.

"We wouldn't want to have to cut back programming.  We want to serve those in need as best as we can," said Thielke.

Last week the, Salvation Army was short of about 1.2 million dollars for this year's goal.  The organization is still waiting to count the rest of the kettle donations as well as text message donations and mail–ins.


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