ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The Salvation Army’s Midland Division hopes a kettle blitz next week will help salvage what’s been a dismal year for donations.

This season’s Tree of Lights campaign has raised $3.3 million out of the $6.1 million it needs to pay for most of its services throughout the year.

It’s a double-edged sword — fewer volunteers are signing up to ring the bells, and Karla Clark, the Midland Division’s executive director of development, says we’re living in an increasingly cashless society.

“I think people do care about their neighbors in need,” she says. “A lot of it is … having enough folks to staff the kettles. I think it’s having enough information about there, making people aware of what we do at the Salvation Army.”

There are electronic kettles that take credit cards, but Clark says they don’t do as well set up outside stores.

Clark says kettle donations alone total $1.04 million this year. She’s hoping that’s boosted during next Wednesday’s Kettle Blitz, which will be set up at Kiener Plaza and at two locations on Hampton Avenue.

The Tree of Lights campaign runs until the end of the month.

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