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Salvation Army falls short of its red kettle goal

The Salvation Army has packed up the familiar red kettles for the season, but said the money collected from its Red Kettle Campaign this year fell short of the goal.

The Red Kettle Campaign ended on Christmas Eve and the Salvation Army still has thousands of dollars to raise. “We’ve been running a little bit behind, relative to where we were last year, all year long and we remain a little bit behind. We’re about 80 percent of our goal. Last year we were at 83 percent on Christmas,” said Melody Freeman, business administrator for the Salvation Army.

Salvation Army administrators said the goal was to raise $402,700 from the 2014 Red Kettle Campaign. As of Christmas Day, the organization still needs $85,000 and has until Jan. 31 to reach its goal. Administrators said if they don’t reach the goal, the organization will have to tighten its belt. “We’re already on a pretty tight budget here, being a not-for-profit. We just run everything bare bones — we just do the best we can,” said Freeman.

The donations that funnel in during the Christmas season fund a quarter of the organization’s outreach programs for the entire year, which includes various youth programs and a homeless shelter. “We run a 61-bed shelter. It’s called the Harbor House. It’s over at 602 N. Ann. That’s our big money expense because it’s such a large facility,” said Freeman.

Last year, the goal was a little less but the Salvation Army said Columbia did pull through and the organization reached its goal. Administrators said they hope the same for 2014. If you do want to donate to the Salvation Army, you can drop off or mail a donation to the Salvation Army office at 1108 W. Ash St.

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