Salvation Army donations down significantly this holiday season -

Salvation Army donations down significantly this holiday season

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A Salvation Army red kettle. Credit: KMOV A Salvation Army red kettle. Credit: KMOV
ST. LOUIS, Mo. ( -

With Christmas right around the corner, donations to the Salvation Army Tree of Lights campaign are down dramatically in the St. Louis area.

So far, $1.4 million dollars has been raised this holiday season. But, last year at this time the campaign had already raised $2.7 million.

“Red kettle donations are down 24 percent alone,” said Lt. Colonel Dan Jennings, divisional commander of the Salvation Army Midland Division. “We believe it is due to lack of enough volunteers to man our red kettle locations throughout the bi-state.”

The 2017 Tree of Lights campaign goal is $6.1 million.

Money from the campaign helps fund some 40 percent of their overall budget for programs that help people like Temple Fitzgerald. 

Staff at the organization helped her get her electricity back after she had it shut off when she couldn't meet the entire payment. 

"We set goals," said Fitzgerald, "goals we achieve which one was getting the electricity on keeping it on, paying my rent making sure I was able to manage the bill that I have and not living beyond my means." 

Jennings is hopeful they'll meet their goal or otherwise face cuts. 

"Plan b is to do more with less we’ll have," he said, "tighten our belt, be more efficient in the way we give and maybe we just can't give out as many services as we have in the past." 

To help, donations can be made by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY or online to the Tree of Lights Campaign. You can also text GIVEHOPE to 41444.

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