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“It has been slow, but I think overall we haven’t done too badly. It’s a little less than we had the last year,” said Captain Francie Lee, who added they will be wrapping up the campaign on Friday.
Lee said the trend towards shoppers carrying cards over cash probably has contributed to the difficulty in collecting cash donations in recent years. However, she said the public can still donate through the Salvation Army’s mail-in campaign and through online donations made through their website.
She added it has been difficult to find enough volunteers to watch over the kettles as well.
Still, Lee said the Christmas season is still the most important time of year for the Salvation Army.
“The Christmas donations are, by far, the bulk of donations that come in,” she said. “I have to have the budget done in a couple of weeks, and depending on what we have done to date, that will determine what the budget looks like for next year. That’s why it’s really important to have as many donations as possible now so we can figure out programming for the next year, and so that we don’t have to cut anything.”
As for the Christmas food hamper campaign – which provides not only food, but clothing, and gifts for children to local families in need, she said that has been successful. In fact, she said they delivered almost 200 hampers just on Thursday alone.
“We had some adopted families, so that always helps when the community can step up and do that,” she added.
Lee said the Salvation Army is grateful to all the volunteers who helped with both campaigns, and to all those who donated to help make a merry Christmas possible for others in the community.
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