The money raised made the this time of year brighter for many, though needs still exist.
The commander of the Salvation Army in Lawrence is trying not to sound too upbeat about this year's holiday season of bell ringing and fund raising.
Lt. Kirk Schuetz said he is afraid people who have yet to mail their donations will choose not to if they think they are not needed.
"We still have some to go," Schuetz said.
But Schuetz and representatives of other nonprofit groups agree the holidays were a success for Lawrence-area charitable organizations and the people they serve.
The kettle drive raised $77,000, and Schuetz said he expects to reach an overall goal of $195,800 by Jan. 7.
The money will pay about a third of the operating expenses of the local organization, Schuetz said.
"The people of Lawrence are very giving, and I expect they will come through for us," Schuetz said.
The people of Lawrence did come through for the Douglas County AIDS Project. People who attended an art auction Nov. 28 pledged $11,000, 10 percent more than last year.
The Scotch Fabric Care coat drive also was a success, said Laurie Clark, general manager.
The company takes donations of coats, dry-cleans them and turns them over to the Salvation Army to be distributed.
Clark said 1,460 coats were donated this year. The number is down a bit from last year, but the quality of the coats has continued to get better, she said.
The Shelter Inc. raised $34,900 through its Festival of Trees annual fund-raiser. The money came from the sale of 52 donated and decorated trees and will go to support the residential program for adolescents.
"The grinch didn't steal Christmas," said Lt. Carolyn Schuetz, Salvation Army corps officer.
Through the Salvation Army's adopt-a-family program and toy shop, the holidays of 2,346 people were made a little brighter this year, Schuetz said.
The number was up slightly compared to last year's total of 2,308. Through the program, qualifying adults are given a grocery voucher and their children receive toys.
Schuetz said the program partners with Toys for Tots, which provides many of the toys.
She was particularly pleased with the quality of the donated toys this year.
"We got more bigger items," Schuetz said. "We did receive more teen items this year than in years past. We've always struggled with that."
-- Kendrick Blackwood's phone message number is 832-7221. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.