The Lexington Salvation Army's iconic red-kettle campaign is more than $380,000 short of its goal just 11 days before the close of the campaign, Salvation Army staff said Friday.
According to the Salvation Army, donations to the kettle campaign are down $20,000 compared to the same period last year. To date, the kettle campaign has raised $169,598. The goal for this year's campaign is $550,000.
Salvation Army staff said many needy people — including children — are depending on people to fill those kettles.
"With so many depending on us, especially children, we hope in these last 11 days of the campaign to see kettle contributions drastically increase," said Maj. Steven Ashcraft. "We know the community cares. A lack of bell-ringers, rainy weather and a late Thanksgiving have all been contributing factors to the decline in funding."
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The kettle is on the Web, too, Salvation Army staff said. To donate, go to Salvationarmylex.org by Dec. 31. Online kettle contributions will be matched up to $100,000 by an anonymous donor. Bell-ringers will be in front of stores until Dec. 24.
The Salvation Army has a food pantry and free clothing centers, and it helps with prescription drug costs and pays emergency utility bills. In addition, the Salvation Army runs the city's women's shelter and provides emergency shelter for children. Last year, the Salvation Army provided shelter for 400 children and provided more than 64,000 meals for low-income children. Its preschool and after-school programs served more than 600 children, according to numbers provided by the Salvation Army.