Salvation Army lagging behind in donations this season

With one week to go before Christmas, the Salvation Army is still seeking toy donations.

It’s annual Red Kettle Campaign is lagging behind, according to local officials, and the nonprofit is renewing its call for action.

“We’re short of about 2,700 toys, that equates to 1,800 children that we’re still trying to raise toys for,” said Brian Molohon, the executive development director of the Salvation Army.

The Red Kettle campaign, which funds its shelters and several assistance programs, is also taking a hit.

“Our Red Kettle campaign is trailing behind the same point where we were last year. We’re about $350,000 down,” Molohon said.

Molohon attributed low donations to a number of factors including the shorter holiday shopping season and the weather.

“I don’t think people are losing their charitable spirit,” said Molohon. “I think that people are really busy. I think that they’re being asked for a lot.”

The Salvation Army began distributing toys Wednesday morning. The organization will continue collecting toys until next Monday and, if need be, will buy toys to ensure no child goes without.

“The sad reality is, outside of these four walls, the problems and issues are getting worse,” Molohon said.

He pointed to homelessness, food insecurity and people on the bubble working more jobs, which cuts into family time and community connections. All of these factors led to the renewed call to action in this season of giving.

“I would just encourage everybody, be part of the solution. Be part of combating generational poverty. Be part of combating generational poverty. Be part of rebuilding healthy communities and families, we need a full army to come along side of us,” Molohon said.

As part of its Red Kettle campaign starting Friday, all donations will be doubled up to $1 million for five days in a row.