The bells have been ringing furiously at the Salvation Army’s familiar red kettles throughout Whitfield County since November.
Unfortunately for the organization — and the thousands of people it serves each year — not enough donations have been placed in those kettles.
With only two days left in the Salvation Army’s red kettle campaign, the organization is only 75 percent towards its goal. Local Salvation Army officials hope this year to raise $100,000 for Whitfield and Murray counties, up from $91,000 last year, said Maj. Art Fultz. The money helps families at Christmas and funds charitable programs throughout 2013, such as assisting people with rent, utilities and other necessities.
Bell-ringers will man kettles today and Monday but not Sunday.
“We understand that the economy in northwest Georgia and throughout the country is still struggling, but we are asking people to try to dig deeper and donate whatever they can,” event coordinator Pat Thompson said.
Because of the down economy, more people are seeking assistance from organizations such as the Salvation Army.
In 2011, 4,025 families received assistance from the organization’s food bank. Since the Salvation Army opened another food bank in Murray County this year, the number of families seeking help is likely to double.
Volunteers and part-time paid staff will be at area Kohl’s, Kmart, Kroger and Walmart locations through Monday as well as at Big Lots and the Green Spot, organizers said. Most locations will be staffed from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Cellphone users can text “give” to 80888 to contribute a $10 donation that will go to the local organization.