Salvation Army bell-ringing campaign falls short of goal; cutbacks may follow

Local Salvation Army leaders are hoping for some last-minute donations before the end of the year to avoid cutting back on services in 2018.

Lt. Andy Wheeler of the Douglas County Salvation Army said in an interview Thursday that this year’s Red Kettle campaign raised a little more than $70,000, well short of the agency’s goal of $80,000.

Wheeler said he planned to do everything he could to keep the agency’s doors open throughout the year. But he also said that if the agency couldn’t raise enough money, it might have to make cutbacks.

The Red Kettle campaign began the day before Thanksgiving and ran through Christmas Eve.

Wheeler said in an earlier interview with the Journal-World that the agency had a shortage of volunteers to staff the kettles and that some people may have been reluctant to put money in an unstaffed kettle.

He also said unseasonably warm weather and fundraising pushes for natural disaster relief may have contributed to this year’s shortage.

Among the services at risk of being cut, he said, are the emergency food pantry and its meal service, which provides around 300 meals a week year-round to Douglas County residents in need.

Online donations can be made at Donations can also be mailed to the Salvation Army of Douglas County at 946 New Hampshire St., Lawrence KS 66044.