Danville red kettle drive 'very much behind' goal

DANVILLE — There's less than a week for the bells to keep ringing, and the Salvation Army in Danville needs lots of help to meet its fundraising goal for this holiday season.

"This year, we're very much behind," said the Salvation Army's Captain Judy Lowder.

Contributions for the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Drive are 63 percent of the way toward the $115,000 goal, with bell-ringers at 14 locations set to work through Christmas Eve.

Lowder said the goal is to bring in $75,000 of the total donations through the kettles, and the rest through other contributions, and as of Tuesday kettle contributions have brought in $45,000.

Last year, the Salvation Army of Danville exceeded its Red Kettle goal of $95,000, she said.

Lowder said she didn't know why this year's campaign is falling behind. However, she said more than 977 needy households in Vermilion County have signed up for Christmas assistance from the Salvation Army this year, and that's up from about 800 households signing up for that help last year.

Later this week, the Salvation Army will be giving out more than 600 food baskets to those local families in need, she said.

The Salvation Army of Champaign County was running $85,519 short of its $456,000 goal Monday, according to Corps Officer Major Tom McDowell.

McDowell said that was a steep balance to make up in the last week, but he thought there was a good chance the Champaign County fund drive could meet its goal.

More volunteer bell ringers might help the Salvation Army in Danville meet its goal, Lowder said.

She understands the weather hasn't been great for standing outside, she said, but so far just $5,000 of the Danville area kettle contributions have come in from volunteer bell ringers, with the rest from paid ringers.

Anyone wishing to volunteer in these final days, it's not too late, Lowder said.

To volunteer, you need to be willing to put in two hours, she said. Call the Salvation Army office at 442-5911 for available volunteer times and locations.

Contributions to the Red Kettle Drive can also be made online and directed to your community at: http://www.usc.salvationarmy.org

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