The Salvation Army's annual Christmas fund-raising effort is lacking about $20,000 for its goal of $135,000 this year, Lt. Kirk Schuetz, commander of the local Salvation Army, announced Tuesday.
However, Schuetz said the shortfall is not because of fewer contributions in the agency's annual bell-ringing campaign.
"The kettles are actually up from last year," he said. "It's the (direct) mail is where we're down."
Residents have until 4 p.m. Thursday to help the Salvation Army offset the shortfall though kettle donations. Bell-ringers will be out at local stores until that time on Christmas Eve, when the kettles will be turned in, Schuetz said.
After Thursday, residents may donate to the campaign by sending contributions to P.O. Box 1177, Lawrence 66044.
Funds raised in the annual drive are used for Salvation Army food distribution, shelter, basketball programs and Christmas assistance programs, he said.
If this year's goal is not met, he said, "We'll have to tighten our belts."
However, Schuetz said efforts will be made to prevent cuts in programs.
"We'll do everything we can to prevent that," he said.
Schuetz said he wasn't sure why direct mail donations were down this year.
-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.