Red kettle, Tree of Hope drives still short of goals

CHAMPAIGN — Two local charities holding their major holiday fund drives have quite a few more dollars to raise.

The Salvation Army of Champaign County hopes to bring in $456,000 by Christmas Eve through its annual Red Kettle Drive.

But as of Monday, the red kettles were short more than $85,000, said Corps Officer Major Tom McDowell.

"There's a good chance of making it, but that's steep," he said.

Developmental Services Center's Tree of Hope campaign will run through Jan. 31, and that agency had raised just over half of its $130,000 goal — $70,000 — as of Monday.

The current amount raised is right in line with where DSC was last year about now, but this year's goal is $5,000 higher than it was last year, says DSC's Director of Development Janice McAteer.

"We're feeling very appreciative, and hoping there are a lot of people out there who still want to give," she said.

The Salvation Army is getting a good donor response at the kettles, McDowell said. In fact, kettle donations are right on target with where the agency hoped they'd be, he added.

"I couldn't be happier," he said.

Total donations Monday afternoon stood at $370,481, McDowell said. Of what remains to be raised toward the Salvation Army's goal, he said his best guess is $35,000 more will come in through the kettles if the weather cooperates.

The rest, he hopes, will come in through donation envelopes the Salvation Army has mailed out to the community.

"That would be the hope, that people would return those envelope that they've received," he said.

The Salvation Army also has a higher fundraising goal this year, 6 percent more than last year.

DSC, which serves people with developmental disabilities, wants the community to know its Tree of Hope fundraiser helps fills a big funding gap being left by the state of Illinois, McAteer said.

"The state owes us a little over $2 million right now," she said.

That money is owned for services provided to DSC clients, she said.

Since July, the state has paid DSC only randomly, in small amounts, McAteer said.

Donations can be made to DSC through the mail or DSC's website, she said.

Donations can also be made to the Salvation Army's Red Kettle drive online.

Here are the websites for both agencies:

DSC: http://www.dsc-illinois.org

Salvation Army: http://www.usc.salvationarmy.org/champaign

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