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(San Bernardino, CA) In 2012, The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign raised $43,915.48 here in the San Bernardino Area, but so far this year donations are down by 16.5%. Kettle gifts stay in the community where the money is donated and help provide meals and shelter for families in need, Christmas toys for thousands of children locally, and many other services throughout the year.

This year, because of a late Thanksgiving date, the kettle season is shorter by five vital days — which equates to potentially $10,000 less than in previous years — so donations coming in between now and the end of the year are critically important to The Salvation Army’s ability to meet needs here in The San Bernardino area. Five fewer bell-ringing days equates to about $20 million less in donations to The Salvation Army nationwide.

Additionally, below freezing temperatures and inclement weather are a risk to our bell ringers’ health and safety and put a damper on donations by passersby. During particularly unseasonable weather, The Salvation Army sometimes must opt not to put the kettles out, even though it means less donations during the critical “giving season.” A few days of bad weather this year have already put The Salvation Army’s fundraising campaign even further behind.

“I am very concerned about the lost kettle days this year and how this will impact our ability to help those who are hurting. The red kettles are a symbol of giving and represent a tradition of caring that is passed down from generation to generation. We’re hoping that shoppers will remember their neighbors in need when they see a Salvation Army bell ringer in the community during the coming three weeks and be as generous as they can to help,” said Major Daniel Henderson, San Bernardino Area Corps commander.

The San Bernardino Corps of The Salvation Army serves Bloomington, Colton, Grand Terrace, Highland, Rialto, and San Bernardino. For help or for more information call The Salvation Army at (909) 888-1336.

The Salvation Army asks everyone who can to donate generously to any Red Kettle found at your favorite stores, in order to make up the shortfall. Donations can also be mailed to 746 West 5th Street, San Bernardino, CA or called into 1 800 SAL ARMY.

Gifts of food and stock are always welcome, too. Please call (909) 888-1336 for more information about how to donate appreciated stock.

The public’s support will help ensure that The Salvation Army can continue to do the most good for those in need this holiday season and throughout the year.

About the Salvation Army San Bernardino Corps

The Salvation Army may be able to provide emergency services including food, lodging for homeless or displaced families, clothing and furniture, and assistance with rent or mortgage when funds are available. The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) assists rescue workers and evacuees in such disasters as fires.

The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the Universal Christian Church, and also offers evangelical programs for boys, girls and adults. One of the largest charitable and international service organizations in the world, The Salvation Army has been in existence since 1865 and in San Bernardino since 1887, supporting those in need without discrimination. About 82 cents of every dollar raised is used directly to support these services and more where needed most in over 5,000 communities throughout the U.S.

The San Bernardino Corps of The Salvation Army serves Bloomington, Colton, Grand Terrace, Highland, Rialto, and San Bernardino. Donations may always be made online at www.salvationarmyusa.org or by calling 1-(800)-SAL-ARMY. Our local number is (909) 888-1336.

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