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Salvations Army's Red Kettle campaign nets less in 2011

By Angela Ward award@news-journal.com
Dec. 31, 2011 at 10 p.m.


The Longview Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign ended with $107,429 for this Christmas season, a drop of more than $17,000 from its 2010 collections, Capt. Guy Watts, director of the local office, said.

He said the financial flow has been better during the past couple of weeks.

"At the halfway point we were drastically below what we'd been at during the same time in 2010. So we're grateful to the generosity of the community in helping us to catch up to the point where we at least made it past the $100,000 mark," Watts said.

The Red Kettle program raised $124,500 in 2010. The program is the Salvation Army's main source of fundraising and is used to provide food, shelter and other assistance throughout the year.

Although the campaign officially ended on Christmas Eve, Watts said that the Salvation Army willingly accepts donations via cash, check or credit card any time.

"We don't know yet whether we'll have to cut either staff or programs in order to make ends meet with this lesser amount of money," Watts said. "Hopefully we'll be able to keep everything we have now in place, but that's a decision that will be made sometime in January."

Watts speculated that the drop in donations was due to a combination of the economy and the increasing number of non-cash transactions at many businesses, but said it was impossible to know with certainty what caused the decrease.

Donations can be mailed to Salvation Army P.O. Box 3909 Longview, TX 75606, made over the phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY or online at www.onlineredkettle.org.

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