Red Kettle donations are way down - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Red Kettle donations are way down

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The sing song bells and the Salvation Army's red kettles are a holiday season reminder that there are many people in need and the Salvation Army is concerned that the need has grown this year.

"It was surprising this year, we didn't really expect the great increase that we had but obviously the need is out there," said Captain J. R. Fritsch of the Salvation Army.

Over 3,200 families requested Christmas assistance from the Salvation Army this year and that's up from 2,600 last year, and that includes nearly 8,000 kids.

And according to Captain Fritsch the need is widespread. "We see everything, we see grandparents raising grandchildren, people out of work and people who have been out of work for a long period of time," stated Captain Fritsch.

But the problem is that donations are way down so far this year, down 44% because of the late start of the holiday season.

"The way Thanksgiving fell this year we miss out on five days we normally have," said Captain Fritsch.

So with the loss of those five days, the Salvation Army is scrambling to meet their 2014 red kettle goal. The Salvation Army's Christmas assistance includes toys, food and clothing for those families in need. It's a chance to try and make it a wonderful Christmas for a struggling family.

"It's very upsetting.  We know we have to make up for those five days somewhere and that 44% equates to $127,000 of income," said Fritsch.

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