Programs could be jeopardized if Salvation Army does not meet holiday donations goal

TOPEKA (KSNT) — You see the red kettles and bell ringers every holiday season. But this year – not enough people are donating in Topeka – and some programs could be in jeopardy.

Two days ahead of Christmas and its not good news for the Topeka Salvation Army. The organization says it’s almost 30 percent short of its goal….with less than 48 hours left in its red kettle campaign.

That means….it could mean cuts to community meals and programs.

As of Sunday night, the Topeka Salvation Army has collected $157,000. Its goal is $220,000. That means, as of now – it’s about $63,000.

“If there is a chance that we don’t meet that goal then what we do is we will reassess our budget come January and we will look at those things we will have to cut back on,” said Beverly Peterson, Development Director for the Topeka Salvation Army.

Here’s what could be at-risk… Donations around the holiday season help fund programs like the Hispanic ministry, community meals, pay for family’s utilities and a new program that is set to kick off in January called S.P.A.R.K. (Supporting, emPowering And Reaching Kids)

“S.P.A.R.K is going to do tutoring, it’s going to help high school students with mentoring younger children, we are going to incorporate the arts,” said Peterson.

The Salvation Army hopes to bring a new social services program to the Shawnee County area … But right now they just don’t have the money to do it.

“‘Pathway of Hope’ it’s a program that helps families become self sufficient. We need a case manager, we need a director of ‘Pathway of Hope’ if we don’t raise the money come Christmas time that may be something we have to postpone.”

The Topeka Salvation Army told Kansas First News that this time last year the Salvation Army was down about $50,000.They say the community really came through — in fact they exceeded their goal by $20,000.

The organization hopes for that again this year…for those donations to come through.

If you would like to make a donation to the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign you can do so through Christmas Eve at 6 pm. Volunteers will still be out ringing those bells.

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