In response to a shortfall in red kettle donations, the Salvation Army of Superior is extending its bell ringing season through Wednesday.
"We’ve got $125,000 in the bank," said Maj. David Clark. "Our goal is $250,000 through the end of January. We’re behind where we were a year ago."
The money raised during the seasonal bell ringing campaign does more than bring holiday joy to families through Christmas food baskets and gifts. Those donations support year-round Salvation Army operations, from the food pantry and emergency social services to the Rookie Basketball Association and youth ministries.
"The money raised in Superior stays and supports Superior programs," Clark said.
This year’s shortfall was, in part, caused by a lack of bell ringers.
"We had a lot of shifts open," Clark said, but there’s still time to volunteer. The Salvation Army has extended its stay at Super One Foods stores in Superior through Wednesday. Shifts are available today and tomorrow at both stores. Sign up for a shift online at www.ringbells.org or call Aaron Kruse at 715-394-7001.
"We’ll put the kettles away after Wednesday," Clark said, but donations will be taken through the end of January at the Salvation Army, 916 Hughitt Ave., and checks can be mailed to Salvation Army, P.O. Box 485, Superior, WI 54880.
This holiday, the Salvation Army provided about 525 food baskets to families in need, feeding roughly 1,300 people. Another 45 families received gifts through the adopt-a-family program and about 300 people received toys at the Salvation Army in addition to the toys handed out through the Toys for Tots program.
"That’s covered," Clark said. "It’s the balance of the year where we’re really critical." Anyone who donates by Thursday can also get a tax break for it on their 2015 tax return.
As the holiday fundraising campaign winds down, Clark also expressed his gratitude for those who have donated.
"We want to thank the people who’ve already given," he said. "We appreciate their support."