AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - An organization that helps guarantee panhandle families have a Merry Christmas is falling short in their holiday fundraising and asking the community for help.
The Salvation Army is about 22 percent behind their holiday fundraising goal of $274,000 and they have just nine more days to make up that difference.
With Thanksgiving being five days later on this calendar than last year's, Salvation Army bell ringers lost five days of vital fundraising time. "We were hoping to make up some of the ground, but we haven' and we're about 22 percent behind our goal at this point in time," Salvation Army Corps Officer Major Harvey Johnson said Sunday.
Recent winter weather is also to blame for the halt in holiday giving. "That kept people from giving. People would just rush into the store. We also reduced our hours when we've had that cold weather," Johnson said.
But although giving for the Red Kettle Campaign is slow coming, inside donations are right on cue. The angel tree was bare Sunday afternoon because all the angels had been adopted, but the Salvation Army still needs help packing all of these presents and delivering them to the children.
There were also still 300 angels whose gifts had not yet been returned to Salvation Army volunteers Sunday afternoon "We'll have room for about a hundred or so more we still need and anybody that can help us this week getting ready that would be really beneficial for us so that we're ready to go," Johnson said.
More than 600 panhandle children will have a merrier Christmas thanks to the angel tree program this year, but the Red Kettle Campaign helps fill the gaps the angel tree doesn't, and also helps fund year-round programs that help families with food, rent, utilities and more.
So some spare change during the season of giving can go a long way. "This is our largest fundraiser of the year. So it's critical for us to do well," Johnson said.
The red kettles will be out around town until Christmas Eve, but you can also donate online at salvationarmytexas.org.