The Salvation Army's annual "Make a Difference" campaign is more than halfway over, but less than half of the $430,000 goal has been reached.
As of Monday, donations at the 26 Red Kettles set up throughout the Twin Cities totaled $116,059 and $80,743 has been collected from the agency's mail appeal. That's about 46 percent of the goal; the Red Kettle goal is $220,000; the mail campaign is $210,000.
"We're past halfway; we'd like to be past halfway in cash," said Steve Schroeder, the agency's development director.
While Schroeder said there's usually a surge at the end of the campaign, a lot depends on the weather -- and a good snowfall -- to help get people in the Christmas spirit.
But that is not expected to happen anytime soon. Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 40s later this week so any precipitation would be in the form of rain rather than snow.
To help boost the Red Kettle total, Schroeder said the agency has started a new kettle matching campaign. Businesses or individuals can choose a particular site, day and time and agree to match the donations made to that kettle.
Schroeder said three business -- Country Financial, Commerce Bank and Rowe Construction -- already have taken on the matching challenge. Others wanting to take part can contact Schroeder at 309-829-9476, ext. 204.
All money raised through the Make a Difference campaign is used for Salvation Army programs, including the Safe Harbor homeless shelter that includes a warming center, the agency's food pantry, and a rent and utility assistance program.
Last year, the annual campaign raised $445,000 -- $20,000 more than the 2011 goal of $425,000. This year's campaign runs through Christmas Eve.
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