PORTLAND -- With just hours left in the Red Kettle campaign, the Portland-area Salvation Army reports donations are way down this year.
The organization was hoping to raise $855,000 this holiday season. Tuesday is the last day of the campaign and donations We're sitting around $550,000.
The money goes toward helping low-income families and homeless people with social services. In just the last six months, the need has skyrocketed by 30 percent, according to the Salvation Army. Without those donations, the organization could be forced to cut back on services in 2014.
“With the decrease in funds, we might have to decrease the number of people we can help. It is not our hope to turn anybody away,” said Lt. Jared Arnold of the Salvation Army.
Volunteer bell ringer Dale Jurgensen has noticed the decline in donations. It’s his second year as a bell ringer and he hopes the community will step up to help.
“Even a few dollars goes a long long way. And who doesn't have change in the couch or change in the bottom of your purse?” Jurgensen asked.
The Salvation Army attributes the drop in donations to several things. The Red Kettle campaign starts every year after Thanksgiving, and because the holiday came so late in November, volunteers lost out on a week of bell ringing.
Organizers also said the weather and online shopping could be to blame, keeping more shoppers at home rather than at brick and mortar stores.
The Salvation Army now hopes for a final burst of donations. “We are fairly confident the community is going to help out. There is somebody out there who sees the need, identifies the need, and says, 'I can help with this,'” Arnold said.