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Salvation Army way behind on fundraising: Red kettles on red alert

With only two weeks left of the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign, organizers are hoping for a major boost in donations the homestretch.

"Kettles are down across the state and Becker County is no different," Organizer Michele Baker said Friday. "As of today, with two weeks remaining, we are at $11,174. Quite short of our $30,000 goal."

Starting just before Thanksgiving, the campaign runs through Christmas. Kettles are out with bell ringers at locations throughout Detroit Lakes including Central Market, Walmart, L&M Fleet, Washington Square Mall and Kmart.

Though the economy may be lagging for some folks who can normally donate, it's also cutting into the organizations that usually provide financial assistance throughout the year to families in need.

"The need is going to be a lot higher this year because of all the government cutbacks," Baker said last month. "The more help this year, the better."

Last year, the organization raised $27,000 and was able to distribute it to various projects like disaster relief, the back-to-school program, winter clothing, diapers at the Becker County Food Pantry and much more.

All of the money collected in the kettles around Detroit Lakes stays in Becker County.

"Their donations are tax deductible if they wish to write a check, they can leave it in the kettle as well," Baker said.

Last year at about this time, the Kettle Campaign was about $10,000 short of a $25,000 goal, and the community rallied to bring in the remainder of what is needed to help out through the year. This is the only fundraiser for the Salvation Army throughout the year.

"We just try to be there to fill that void. We won't fill it completely, but..." Baker said.

As in the past, residents know about the support the Detroit Lakes community and surrounding area provides for those in need. Baker is hoping for a push for another successful year for the Red Kettle Campaign.

"Thank you to the community for their generosity and support," she said. "This community is great."