Final fundraising numbers for the Salvation Army's Christmas season are rolling in.
Outside of the Twin Cities, Greater Minnesota and North Dakota came up just shy of the $3.85 million goal – pulling in a precise $3,709,718.47 strictly from the red kettles, according to the Salvation Army Northern Division.
In the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, the kettle total was just over $2.8 million.
All of this is part of the broader money-raising campaign, which includes other donations (not just bills and change dropped into the red kettle).
Christmas donations across Greater Minnesota and North Dakota came in at $7.57 million. That's short of the $9 million goal, though the army says money is still trickling in and they're "optimistic" they'll reach that mark.
The Twin Cities pulled in its largest ever haul, reaching its goal of $11.6 million (thanks in part to significant gifts from Thrivent Financial, the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation and other large, anonymous donors, the army says).
Smaller players had a big role too – that includes the Koosman family, whose "Celebrate the Light of the World" display helped bring in $164,000 for the Willmar area, the army says.
One interesting nugget: Online donations were up 36 percent this winter compared to last, the Salvation Army said.
At this link, you can look up different communities in Minnesota and North Dakota to see their goal, and how much was raised. For example, in Mankato:
More on the Salvation Army
The Salvation Army operates more than 7,500 centers across the U.S., including food distribution, disaster relief, rehab centers and more – it's funded through donations and sales at Salvation Army stores.
It is "an evangelical part of the universal Christian church," the site says.
In recent years, LGBTQ activists have claimed the organization discriminates against gay people, citing in part the organization's policy to not perform marriage ceremonies between same-sex couples, the Washington Post reported.
But the paper found most of its internal policies – while not "a 180-degree turn in its fundamental beliefs on homosexuality and gay marriage" – is still consistent with its public stance.
The Salvation Army North has a statement on its website addressing what it calls "false accusations" about their treatment of LGBTQ individuals.