Salvation Army Falls Short of Red Kettle Campaign Goal (VIDEO)

By Rachelle Spence - 21Alive

December 24, 2013 Updated Dec 24, 2013 at 7:09 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) – Bells will go silent tonight as Salvation Army volunteers end the Red Kettle Campaign.

It’s Salvation Army’s biggest campaign of the year, but unfortunately this year marks the first in many that bell ringers fall short of the goal.

Bell ringers have stood out in the cold since early November, hoping to raise $265,000 this season. As of Saturday night, donations were more than $75,000 short of that goal.

Salvation Army Major, Harold Poff, believes the weather is partially to blame for the low numbers.

“If it’s raining, folks just really don’t want to stop and put money in the bucket. They rush to get in the store. When it’s really cold, it’s the same thing. They almost don’t even notice the bell ringers are there,” he said.

Christmas Eve may mark the end of the Red Kettle campaign, but Poff says there’s always time to give, “Need doesn’t stop just because the holidays are over. We’re going to need the assistance of the community to continue to meet needs for the next year.”

So if you passed a bell ringer this holiday season and you’re still looking to help your neighbors in need, it’s not too late. You can donate to a “virtual red kettle” by clicking here

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