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Salvation Army still short

2013 kettle campaign goal remains far off

December 17, 2013
By JOE SUTTER ( , Messenger News

Those familiar red kettles haven't been filling up fast enough. And so, according to Capt. Ron Cook, the Salvation Army is sending out a plea to the community for help.

The organization is on track to fall short of its goals this year, which will set it back for the entire year.

"It's our time of ringing the bells and bringing the funding in. The funding we bring in is to help us all year round," Cook said. "Our goal for this year was $280,000 - only because we reached our goal of $200,000 last year, and we pulled forward an excess of $80,000 out of a reserve account we had, which now we do not have.

Article Photos

Sharka Alstott, social program manager, puts away donated bread at the Salvation Army. The organization feeds more than 100 people a day, five days a week, and relies on funding from its holiday bell-ringing campaign to help with the entire year.

"At the present time, we are sitting at only $63,581, which is quite a ways down," he said.

The Salvation Army serves meals to the needy five days a week, and operates a food pantry, among other things.

"We've got a lot of people we serve here. They're in need, and we have our feeding program, which we get over 100 people a day," said Cook.

The bell ringers have been out since Nov. 15, he said. Usually they ring up to Dec. 24, but if the goals are not met they will continue up to the new year.

If the funds don't come in, "We'll have to cut back some of our service to the community," Cook said. "Right now we're at minimum staff anyway, so I hate to lose any of my staff."

He said times have been hard for everyone, but that makes it even more important to do things for others.

"I realize that the economy was hurting this year," said Cook. "When the economy hurts, the people in need hurt even worse."



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