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Salvation Army Red Kettles in Trouble

Kevin Killeen
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Salvation Army St. Louis Commander Major Lonneal Richardson gets some publicity help from Mayor Slay and Fire Chief Jenkerson as the charity's red kettle numbers are $400,000 short.

Salvation Army St. Louis Commander Major Lonneal Richardson gets some publicity help from Mayor Slay and Fire Chief Jenkerson as the charity’s red kettle numbers are $400,000 short.

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – With just days left before Christmas, those little red kettles collecting donations for the Salvation Army are $400,000 short of the goal.

“I think they are a reflection of a slow job market for individuals having less disposable income,” said Divisional Commander Major Lonneal Richardson.

Richardson also blames a societal shift away from carrying cash and the late arrival of Thanksgiving this year.

The Salvation Army’s overall Tree of Lights fundraising goal this year is $6.3 million, which includes a target of $1.2 million from kettles, with the balance coming from corporate, online and mail donations.

To offset the drop in kettle donations, Richardson is making an urgent appeal for holiday shoppers to put in a dollar or two when they hear the bell ringing.

“Couple of times we have not been this far down, but we’ve been pretty far down,” Richardson said. “We are worried this year because demand is up.”

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